City of Charleston getting into the Christmas spirit

Image by TheDigitel

Update December 3:

The city has sent out a release saying the parade is actually on Sunday the 6th.

First reporting:

Now that your belly has been stuffed with pie, turkey, and all sorts of other goodies, you know what that means: It's Christmas!

While there are festivals and events all throughout the region, we'll start off with the City of Charleston which was good enough to do a roundup and send it on over.

The Holiday Farmers Market, Santa visits, tree lightings, a street and boat parade, and even a Chanukah event, the fun starts on December 5.

Oh, and also note that the Festival of Lights on James Island is already underway.

Here's the scoop:

The festivities kick off Saturday, Dec. 5, at the 23rd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, when Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Santa Claus and three very special guests help light the official City of Charleston Tree, a 60-foot tree of lights at Marion Square. The winners of the 8th Annual Tree Decorating Contest, featuring local youth and school art groups, will also be announced at the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Presented by the City of Charleston, Holiday Magic in Historic Charleston offers family-oriented activities and performances that capture the spirit of the season for everyone in the community. Marion Square, located at King, Calhoun and Meeting Streets, is the site of Charleston's Official Holiday Tree and holiday entertainment stage, as well as drop-off location for Debi's Kids and the Salvation Army Angel Tree. For the month of December, the park will be beautifully lighted and decorated for the holidays, including the 60-foot Tree of Lights, a Hanukkah Menorah and a Kwanzaa Kinari. Each of these cultural symbols will be lighted at the appropriate times during the holiday season. Highlights of the Holiday Magic program include:

Holiday Farmers Market
December 5-20-Marion Square
Saturdays: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You'll find everything you need to deck the halls for the holidays and fill the pantry with baked goodies, all from local farmers and artisans, including natural wreaths, fresh greenery, special breads, cookies and fresh vegetables, as well as the best assortment of art, crafts and holiday gift items.

Holiday Entertainment and Visits with Santa
December 6-20-Marion Square
Fridays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Children's choirs, bands and other entertainment dazzle audiences at Marion Square. Bring your Christmas wish lists to the North Pole mailbox and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in their workshop provided by Wood Aesthetics, LLC in the magically decorated park. Drop off location for Debi's Kids and the Salvation Army Angel Tree.

23rd Annual City of Charleston Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 5-Marion Square
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Join Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and Santa Claus in lighting the magnificent 60-foot Tree of Lights, the official City of Charleston Christmas tree in Marion Square. Sponsored by Blue Cross BlueShield of SC and Weight Watchers.

30th Annual Holiday Parade of Boats
December 5-Parade begins along Mt. Pleasant at 5 p.m.; viewing from the peninsula begins at 6:30 p.m.
Get on board with a Lowcountry holiday tradition as this display of lighted and festive boats proceeds through the Charleston Harbor. View the procession along Charleston's waterfront or decorate your own boat and join the parade.

Holiday Parade of Boats Viewing Party and Oyster Roast
December 5-Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Mt. Pleasant
5 to 9:00 p.m.
Admission: $10 adults, children 12 and under free with adult admission- tickets available at the door, day of the event only
Come enjoy oysters, burgers and other tasty items while listening to music by Uncle Mingo and watching the Holiday Parade of Boats cruising through the Charleston Harbor. All proceeds go to benefit the outreach programs of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

29th Annual Charleston Christmas Parade
December [UPDATE: It's the 6th]-Downtown Charleston
2 to 5 p.m.
This holiday tradition is better than ever as bands, floats, marchers and performers parade through downtown Charleston. The parade begins at the intersection of Calhoun and Meeting Streets, proceeds down King Street to Broad Street to Lockwood Blvd. Sponsored by the Tri-County Fire Chiefs Association.

Chanukah in the Square
December 13-Marion Square
4 to 6 p.m.
A festive party for everyone, featuring music, dancing, lighting of the nine-foot Menorah by Charleston's Holocaust survivors, crafts and many treats, including latkes and other traditional Chanukah foods. Sponsored by Piggly Wiggly.

Happy New Year, Charleston!
December 31- Marion Square and surrounding locations
4 to 10:30 p.m.
This high-energy arts celebration offers a non-alcoholic event featuring family-oriented concerts and presentations to mark the New Year in Charleston.

For a full schedule of Holiday Magic events, please visit or call (843) 724-7305.