Picking out Christmas trees in South Philadelphia with Rocky Yo-Mo

At the corner of South Front Street and Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia, hundreds of Christmas trees are all wrapped up and ready to bring home for the holidays.

From regulars to first-time customers, about a dozen holiday revelers peruse hundreds of fresh-cut Douglas fir, Canaan fir and blue spruce trees brought in from Pittsburgh.

A jolly man dressed in red approaches a young family with a big smile and open arms. It’s not Santa Claus. It’s Rocky Yo-Mo. The 49-year-old entrepreneur has set up shop underneath I-95 every year for the last five years, and he boasts 14 years of tree-selling experience under his belt. Rocky greets customers, has a laugh, and helps them find the perfect Christmas tree.

The festive, welcoming atmosphere attracts people from beyond South Philadelphia. Three generations of women make wreaths from scratch for Rocky. Nicole Howard, 37, of Trevose, Pa., spent the day with her mother and daughter trimming branches and fashioning them into wreaths. “We try to do something for the holidays and do something together as a family,” Howard said.