'Tis the Season

Holiday events to add to the top of your list

By Kim Jamieson

The holidays stir up a sense of excitement and joy that can be seen and felt across the Midlands. From twinkling lights and decorated trees, to mugs of hot cider, warm fires and tasty treats, the Christmas season is without a doubt the most whimsical and anticipated time of year. Here is a sampling of some of the fun to be had this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Holiday Open House at Capital City/Lake Murray Country Visitors Center
Each year, the circa-1840 Historic Lorick Plantation House on Lake Murray is transformed into a vision of Christmas past. Area garden clubs deck the halls with period decorations, featuring live and dried plant materials. Cookies and hot apple cider will be served.
Dec. 8 & 9
Capital City/Lake Murray Country Visitors Center
2184 North Lake Dr., Irmo
Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
Sunday noon to 3 p.m.

59th Annual Carolina Carillon Holiday ParadeSouth Carolina officially kicks off the holiday season with a parade featuring dozens of floats, high school marching bands, live performances and, naturally, Santa Claus. Begins at the corner of Gervais and Bull streets, heads west on Gervais, passes in front of the State House and continues into the Vista.
Dec. 1
9:45 a.m.
Free to view
(803) 799-1216

Columbia City Ballet’s Nutcracker
Columbia City Ballet’s holiday family tradition, Nutcracker, dazzles South Carolina audiences each season.
Dec. 8 & 9 and 14 to 16
Koger Center for the Arts
1051 Greene St., Columbia
Dec. 8 & 15 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.;
Dec. 9 & 16  3 p.m.; Dec. 14 7:30 p.m.
$16 to $39
Koger Center Box Office: (803) 251-2222
Columbia City Ballet: (803) 799-7605

Devine Night OutMore than 40 stores along Devine Street welcome guests on Dec. 13 for an evening of shopping, socializing and festive cheer. The celebrations continue with a free after party featuring live entertainment and an assortment of complimentary food beverages.
Dec. 13
Participating retailers along Devine Street, Columbia
5 to 10 p.m.
Devine Street Association
(803) 608-6161

Famously Hot New Year
Think Times Square meets Southern hospitality, and you’ve got Columbia’s Famously Hot New Year! Join thousands downtown to celebrate and ring in 2013 while enjoying live music and party food in a festive, safe environment.
Dec. 31
Main Street, Columbia
7 p.m.
General admission is free; premium tickets available for purchase range from $25 to $400

Holiday Parade of HomesTour fully furnished homes decorated for the holidays. Find inspiration in the latest home design and decorating trends.
Dec. 1 to 9
Olde Park in Forest Acres
Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia
Jingle All The Way 5K & Santa’s Fun Run
The 6th annual Jingle all the Way 5K takes runners toward the State House, where they become part of the official start of the 59th Annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade. Have a little fun – wear festive holiday gear!
Dec. 1
Lady and Main streets, downtown Columbia
9:45 a.m.
Race registration online at carolinacarillon.com/race.html

Junior League’s Holiday Market
The 27th Junior League Holiday Market is one of Columbia’s premier shopping events and largest fundraisers featuring more than 90 merchants from all over the United States. Special events include a preview party on Nov. 28, Ladies Night Out on Nov. 29 and PJs with Santa on Nov. 30.
Nov. 29 to Dec. 2
Cantey Building at the State Fairgrounds
Market admission is $8; prices for special events vary
(803) 254-0805

Historic Columbia Foundation Holiday Home ToursMix history with the holidays by taking a guided tour of Columbia’s historic homes. Explore the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion and Mann-Simons Cottage, while learning how families of yesteryear decorated, celebrated and spent their holiday seasons.
Dec. 1 to Dec. 31
Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Last tour begins at 3 p.m.); Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. (Last tour begins at 4 p.m.); Closed on Mondays, Christmas and New Years
General admission rates per house:
Adults $6; Youth ages 6 to 17 $3; ages 5 and under free; members free; AAA adults, over 65, college students with ID and active military $5; AAA youth $2.59
(803) 252-7742

Holiday Lights at Saluda Shoals
Pack up the car and drive through countless dancing lights at Saluda Shoals Park during Holiday Lights on the River. After driving the two-mile loop, get out of the car and explore Nights of Wonder or go down the Winter Wonder Ride giant slide.
Dec. 1 to Dec. 31
Holiday Lights on the River
Cars $10; 15 Passenger Vans $20; Buses $35
Dec. 14 to 23
Nights of Wonder
Prices vary
Saluda Shoals Park
5605 Bush River Road, Columbia
6 to 10 p.m.
(803) 731-5208

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo & GardenTake a walk on the wild side through millions of holiday lights scattered throughout animal habitats and exhibits. Warm little hands by the Jingle Bell Bonfire, have a nice cup of hot cocoa, roast marshmallows and enjoy other festive foods at various points throughout the zoo. The entire family is sure to go ape over this holiday bash!
Dec. 1 to 30
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
6 to 9 p.m.
Closed Dec. 24 & 25
(803) 779-8717

Palmetto Mastersingers Concerts
South Carolina’s musical ambassadors, an all male chorus of more than 60 voices, sing holiday classics.
Dec. 13 and 14
The Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
7300 College Street, Irmo
7:30 p.m.
(803) 765-0777

Saint Joseph’s Reindeer RunFree holiday fun for children ages 3 to 5. Enjoy games, snacks and a special visit from Santa.
Dec. 11
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
3700 Devine Street, Columbia
10 to 11 a.m.
(803) 254-6736

Silver Bells, Golden Harps, Brass Magic
Hear the sounds that welcome the magic of the holiday season: bells, harp and brass. Guest artists include Palmetto Brass, harpist Katie Taylor, Southern Bronze Handbell ensemble, Young Sandlapper Singers and the Katie Quackenbush Vocal Scholarship Winner.
Dec. 4
Dreher High School Performing Arts Center
3319 Millwood Ave.,
7 p.m.
Dec. 20
The Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
7300 College St., Irmo
$10 to $20
(803) 381-5481

Sounds of ChristmasThe Lexington County Choral Society presents Sounds of Chrtistmas, featuring the Lexington High School Percussion Ensemble.
Nov. 30 & Dec. 1
Saxe-Gotha Presbyterian Church
5503 Sunset Blvd., Lexington
7:30 p.m.
Adults $20, Seniors 65 and up $15, Students $6
(803) 359-8794

The Christmas Angel
The Christmas Angel, an original ballet written and choreographed by Gabrielle Celeste, is the story of a prince whose soul is devoured by jealousy. Through the love of the Christmas Angel, he is forgiven and redeemed.
Dec. 7 & 8
The Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
7300 College St., Irmo
7 p.m.
$6 to $16
Celestial Stars Arts Acadamy
(803) 939-1129
celestialstarsdance.com or thechristmasangelballet.com

The Christmas DollA heartwarming holiday musical for the whole family.
Nov. 23 to Dec. 2
Columbia Children’s Theatre
2nd level of Richland Mall
3400 Forest Drive, Columbia
Fridays 7 p.m.; Saturdays 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sundays 3 p.m.
$8 for adults and children ages 3 and up
(803) 691-4548

The Nutcracker by Columbia Classical Ballet
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without Columbia Classical Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker performed to Tchaikovsky’s memorable score.
Dec. 1 & 2
Koger Center for the Arts
Dec. 1 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 2 3 p.m.
$6 to $33
Koger Center Box Office (803) 251-2222
Columbia Classical Ballet (803) 252-9112

The South Carolina Philharmonic Holiday Pops: Ring in the SeasonJoin conductor Morihiko Nakahara and the musicians of the South Carolina Philharmonic orchestra as they welcome theholidays with everyone’s favorite symphonic classics. 
Dec. 2
Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
7300 College St., Irmo
3 p.m.
(803) 407-5011
or scphilharmonic.com

The Two Claras by Columbia City Jazz
The Two Claras is a contemporary dance re-imagining of The Nutcracker and is a heart warming Christmas tale of friendship, love, loss, magic and rejoicing as we follow two friends across years of holiday celebrations.
Dec. 14 & 15
Drayton Hall at U.S.C.
(803) 252-0252

Please note many great holiday events were scheduled after the printing of this article. Visit columbiacvb.com/calendar for a continually updated list of holiday festivities. The Columbia CVB works hard to share information as it is submitted by community partners.

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