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Hello and welcome to this edition of the First District Connection.

Let me start off by wishing everyone a wonderful and joyous holiday season.  It’s hard to believe that the holidays are here and the end of 2016 isn’t far behind.  The Capitol has been dressed for the season and truly is a sight to see.  If you’re going to be in Harrisburg, try to make some time to stop in for a visit! 

CapitolPhiladelphia really comes alive during the holidays, with events and celebrations.  Check out the list below and join us for the fun!

We’ve worked together this year to accomplish so many important things.  From the modernization of liquor and beers sales, including direct shipment of wine which I sponsored in Senate Bill 97 to the legalizing of ride-sharing in Philadelphia and most importantly, the more than $30 million in economic development funds returned to the district to support local projects -- 2016 has been a great year.

The Legislature returns to session on Jan 3, 2017.  I’m looking forward to taking all of the thoughts and ideas I’ve heard from many of you back to Harrisburg as we start the 2017-18 legislative session.  We do have challenges in front of us that we must face head on this session but my colleagues and I stand ready to continue fighting for a positive outcome for all of you back home.  As always, my staff and I will keep you updated as things move forward.

Again, please let me extend my best wishes to all of you for a blessed holiday season and new year ahead.  As always, if you have questions or need help with anything please don’t hesitate to reach out.  Our staff are available by phone, 215-952-3121, and remember, if you’re in the area, stop by the office at 1802 S. Broad St.

Holiday Happenings

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest | November 25, 2016 - March 5, 2017

Offering majestic views of both the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge, Blue Cross RiverRink returns for its 23rd year and its fourth year as Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, a delightful winterized riverfront park. Winterfest houses an Olympic-size skating rink, a ski chalet-style lodge, a decorated holiday tree, rustic furniture, fire pits, warming cabins and thousands of lights that illuminate the space in style. Come cruise along the rink and stay to relax in the festive riverside enclave.

Learn More »

Macy’s Holiday Light Show | November 25 - December 31, 2016Light Show

More than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights come together to create whimsical holiday images during the Macy's Holiday Light Show, housed in the historic Wanamaker Building. Watch snowflakes, ballerinas and reindeer float in front of the four-story-high velvet curtain of the Grand Court atrium while enjoying music from the world-renowned Wanamaker Grand Organ. Don't miss out on this Philadelphia holiday tradition, which dates back to 1956!

Learn More »

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular | November 24, 2016 - January 1, 2017

Shown on the state-of-the-art Comcast Experience video wall at The Comcast Center, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is filled with sights and sounds of the season. Since its debut in 2008, more than 1.6 million people have experienced the wonderful must-see holiday show in the Comcast Center lobby. Now an annual holiday tradition, the 15-minute Comcast Holiday Spectacular takes visitors on a festive, musical journey featuring classic family favorites like "Carol of the Bells," "Jingle Bell Rock" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

Learn More »

Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show | November 10 - December 31, 2016

Festive lights, winter treats and holiday cheer fill historic Franklin Square for its all-ages (and completely free!) holiday festival and light show. The main feature is the Electrical Spectacle light show, which utilizes thousands and thousands of twinkling lights and a dynamic holiday soundtrack. The seasonal outdoor attraction rounds out the ongoing festivities with a winter beer garden, seasonal eats from SquareBurger, Lightning Bolt Holiday Express train rides around the square and a handful of other fun-filled events.

Learn More »

Christmas Village and Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market at Dilworth Park | November 24 - December 24, 2016Christmas Village

Even though the European wonderland known as Christmas Village moves to City Hall this year, expect the same outdoor holiday oasis with nearly 100 wooden booths modeled after traditional European open-air Christmas markets. New this year, the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market will lay just steps away in Dilworth Park, featuring local artisans, designers, crafters and confectionaries. If you're looking for a one-stop spot to do all your holiday shopping, these joint venues are a can't-miss spot!

Learn More »

Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park | November 11, 2016 - February 26, 2017

Those looking to ice skate in the heart of Philadelphia can pack up their cold-weather gear and head to the ice rink at Dilworth Park, opening for its third year. Skaters of all levels and ages are invited to cruise around the rink while taking in skyline views just outside of City Hall. Afterward, warm up in the Rothman Institute Cabin, offering a variety of eats and the ultimate post-ice-skating treat — hot chocolate.

Learn More »

America's Garden Capital Maze at Dilworth Park | November 11, 2016 - February 26, 2017America's Garden Capital Maze

New this year, Dilworth Park hosts a popup maze-meets-garden created in partnership with Greater Philadelphia Gardens. Wander through the holiday-inspired America's Garden Capital Maze where you'll find a variety of seasonal shrubbery and decorations. Adjacent to the Rothman Institute Ice Rink, the garden will also bring a series of special programming – "Orchids for the Office," "Terrarium How To" and more – to be presented in Rothman's heated cabin.

Learn More »

Holiday Shopping in Philadelphia | Ongoing

Tax-free shopping on most clothing and shoes — need we say more? Take advantage of Philadelphia’s awesome shopping experiences on Black Friday, including brand-new retail destinations in Center City, charming craft bazaars and pop-up shops, independent boutique shops and top-rated shopping malls. The best time to begin shopping? Thanksgiving weekend. Not only do tons of stores offer once-a-year sales, but many Philadelphia holiday pop ups also begin that weekend — as do attractions that you can check out before or after your shopping trip!

Learn More »

Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad | November 25 – December 31, 2016

Beyond serving as an incredible spot for food, the Reading Terminal Market – where you can score everything from soul food to Asian and Middle Eastern dishes to authentic Philly cheesesteaks to traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare – always dresses up for the holiday season. Kids and adults alike will delight in its 500-square-foot model railroad display, featuring seventeen train lines that run along a track close to a third of a mile in length.

Learn More »

Career Opportunities with the Pa State Police

State PoliceThe Pa State Police is looking for qualified candidates to join its ranks for the next academy class.  If you or someone you know is interested in a career in law enforcement, now is your chance to learn more!

To be eligible for written examinations scheduled for February 2017, you must submit your application by December 31, 2016. To view a complete list of prerequisites, contact a recruiter, or submit an application, visit

Property Tax/Rent Rebates Still Available

HouseDon’t forget that the deadline to apply for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program for older adults and those with disabilities was extended until December 31. 

Rebates benefit eligible Pennsylvanians who are over the age of 65, are widows/widowers over 50 and people with disabilities over the age of 18 with an income of $35,000 for homeowners and $15,000 for renters.  Half of Social Security income is excluded.

While the maximum rebate is normally $650, qualified homeowners can receive supplemental rebates to increase the total received to $975.

Rebate forms and information are available online at or by calling toll-free 1-888-222-9190.  You can also pick up applications at any Department of Revenue office, your local Area Agency on Aging, most senior centers or at my office.

If you’re eligible, please apply today. 


LIHEAP LIHEAP Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now accepting applications.

With the temperature turning colder, it is important to take steps now to ensure that you and your family are safe and warm throughout the coldest months.  Funds for heating assistance are available but dollars for heating assistance are limited, so apply to LIHEAP early.

To be eligible for the home heating assistance, an individual homeowner or renter must have an income of $17,820 or less.  A family of four qualifies if the household income is $36,450 or less.   Please call my office at 215-952-3121 to receive a form or stop for help in filling out an application. 

To apply, you will need proof of income, social security numbers and dates of birth for all family members and a recent heating bill.

For more information, visit,

Honoring our Veterans

Lawyers Honoring Veterans

The Pa Bar Association has created a new program, “Lawyers Saluting Veterans” and is looking for attorney’s willing to volunteer to assist with cases for military veterans free of charge. 

If you’d like more information about the program or to sign up as a volunteer, visit  Veterans in need of free legal services or assistance should call 1-800-932-0311.

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Offices of State Senator Larry Farnese | Contact Me
1802 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Phone: 215-952-3121
Fax: 215-952-3155
543 Main Capitol | Box 203001
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3001
Phone: 717-787-5662
Fax: 717-787-4531

Lawyers Saluting Veterans (LSV) Program State Police