A production team from ABC has chosen the 8100 block of Germantown Avenue, which includes Bredenbeck’s Bakery, Stagecrafters Theater, NoName Gallery and Carman’s Shoe Repair as the backdrop for Good Morning America’s July 4 broadcast in Chestnut Hill.
The Chestnut Hill Business District is inviting residents to come out early that morning, where the block will be closed to traffic. The show’s live segment starts at 8 a.m., so it’s best to get there between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
“Our goal is to have a fun block party going on in the background,” said Courtney O’Neill, the business district’s executive director. “We want to make a festive holiday block party to serve as a backdrop for the Good Morning America correspondent when she goes live.”
Producers visited the neighborhood on Wednesday, June 28, to make their site selection for one of several filming locations for the show’s annual Fourth of July celebration. They caught up with NoName’s owner, Jonene Nelson, that day too. Nelson told the Local that based on her conversations with them, she expects the producers to do a good job representing the community.
“They were cool as s***,” said Nelson. “I’ve had other news people here and you could tell they were just doing their job, but these producers were definitely interested in the culture of Chestnut Hill.”
Nelson also said she was proud to represent the bottom of the hill. Sometimes, she said, it seems like the top of the hill gets all the attention.
“That’s why I opened up down here,” she said. “I knew I could draw a crowd. All these other businesses on this block – like Laurel Hill and Bredenbeck’s - they deserve it.”
Susan Dannenberg, manager at Laurel Hill Gardens, echoed Nelson’s sentiment.
“It’s exciting because we often see events like these at the top of the hill,” she said. “We’re happy to showcase our business and what we’ve got.”
According to O’Neill, Chestnut Hill was chosen after former 6ABC reporter Jaclyn Lee suggested the idea of using Germantown Avenue to “Good Morning America" producer Adam Daniels. Lee left 6ABC for Good Morning America earlier this year.
“It’s amazing for Chestnut Hill and the publicity that we’ll get,” said Sandy MacEachern, owner of Robertson’s Flowers & Events – a business that has been passed down for four generations. “Hopefully it brings a lot of visitors to see our great little town.”
Courtney O’Neill, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Business District, thanked City Councilmember Cindy Bass for help with getting the street closed to traffic.
“That’s usually a four-week process,” she said.
O’Neill said she’s also been in touch with nearby schools, to let more children know about the event, and added that the early morning gathering for GMA is just the start of the day’s celebrations. The annual Bocce Club parade will start at its normal time, which is just an hour later.
“We just want to make sure that everyone who wants to attend knows about it,” she said.