Experience the holiday magic in historic Charleston

Image by Flickr user Frankenstein

Family-friendly holiday events begin in downtown Charleston this Saturday, December 5th with a day-full of events and continues through New Year's Eve.

Below is a list of the best of the best, but you can click here to take a look at a calendar that has hundreds of amazing programs scheduled by the Lowcountry arts and cultural community.

Events on December 5th

Holiday Farmers Market:

You'll find everything you need to deck the halls and fill the pantry with baked delights, 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. Marion Square.

Official City of Charleston Tree Lighting:

From 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. Enjoy entertainment by The Company Company, Charleston Community Band, Ashley River Unichorus, Charleston Development Academy, Dance Carolina, plus some wonderful surprises!

Holiday Parade of Boats:

Get on board with a Lowcountry holiday tradition as this display of lighted and festive boats proceeds from the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge on the Cooper River into the Charleston Harbor. View the procession along the waterfront following Patriot's Point Road in Mt. Pleasant from 5:30 to 6:30p.m. See it on the Charleston side from 6:30-7:30p.m. along the waterfront from Fountain Walk to the end of The Battery near the U.S. Coast Guard Station. Or, get in the act and decorate your own boat to join the parade - call (843) 724-7414 to register your boat today! Want a guaranteed viewing spot? Purchase a ticket to the Charleston Harbor Resort Oyster Roast for prime viewing, excellent entertainment and fine Lowcountry fare.

Charleston Harbor Resort Oyster Roast:

Come enjoy oysters, burgers, and other delectable delights while listening to music by Uncle Mingo as you view a holiday tradition - the Holiday Parade of Boats - as lighted boats compete on the water for best design. There will be children's activities and S'mores kits available for purchase for use in the Fire Pits. 5 to 9p.m. at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, 20 Patriots Point Road.

Events on December 6th

Visits With Santa Claus

Children's choirs and bands and other entertainment dazzle audiences at Marion Square. Bring your Christmas wish lists to the North Pole mailbox and visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their Elf assistants in their workshop provided by Wood Aesthetics, LLC in the magically decorated park. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Charleston Christmas Parade:

Sponsored by the Tri-County Fire Chiefs Association. The parade route begins at the corner of Calhoun & Meeting Streets, continuing onto King Sreet, and ending on Broad Street by Colonial Lake. 2 to 4p.m.

Events December 13th

Chanukah in the Square

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. Presented by the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program of the College of Charleston, Chabad of the Lowcountry and the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs. 4 to 6p.m. in Marion Square.

Events December 31st

Happy New Year, Charleston!

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs produces Happy New Year Charleston to provide a non-alcoholic, family friendly, admission-free celebration of the arts on New Year's Eve. Marion Square is beautifully decorated for the holiday season and also includes tents with live Jazz music and children's activities and an open-air stage for headliner musical performance groups. 4 to 10:30p.m.