West Columbia Tree Lighting and First Friday event is Friday, there’s lots to see

Friday is a big day for West Columbia. The Annual West Columbia Tree Lighting Ceremony will be featured virtually and the First Friday event on State Street is happening. 

Because of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of West Columbia will present a video of its annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The tree-lighting is being pre-recorded to be released on Friday. The video release will include a portion highlighting the sights and sounds of Christmas in West Columbia. 

Santa Canoe at Carraway Children’s Park

“This is the sixteenth year West Columbia is celebrating the Christmas season at City Hall,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles. “It’s an important reminder of all the blessings we have been given by our creator.” 

There will also be “greetings” videos from West Columbia City Council members and city staff, released Friday. The videos will be posted around 5 p.m., Friday. Click for City of West Columbia’s Facebook page

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Miles thanked City of West Columbia personnel for working hard to prepare for the Christmas season.

“The city’s staff did a wonderful job decorating everything,” Miles said. He said the city has faced more challenges than normal this year. 

Miles also said the City of West Columbia Christmas Tree at the corner of 200 12th St. and Klapman Boulevard has extra decorations on it this year.
“The tree is decorated more this year for the daytime,” Miles said. “And you can see the decorations when the lights are not on.” 

Riverwalk Kayak Tree

In addition to the tree lighting, there will be a First Friday event on State Street, Friday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. There will be refreshments and many stores will offer holiday sales.

“There is a lot happening in The River District, and State Street is a part of that. The First Fridays are a sign of the energy in West Columbia,” said Bill Mooneyhan, president of the River District Association. “These businesses are opening their doors, and inviting you to come see what they are doing for Chrstmas. It’s a can’t-miss evening.” 

Miles also encouraged everyone to come out for the First Friday event. He said it provides the perfect opportunity to go to one of the artistic displays set up by the City of West Columbia and take a photo for Christmas and post it on social media sites. 

State Street

Miles referenced the large Christmas present and bulb-art sculpture at the Interactive Art Park on Meeting Street. There is also a kayak Christmas Tree at the Riverwalk Amphitheater. 

A Santa Canoe has been set up at Carraway Children’s Park under the pavilion. It has Santa, an otter and a turtle in a canoe. Children visiting the park can change the clothing on the otter and the turtle that are a part of the display. Children can also get into the canoe with Santa and his friends for a photo.

It’s a very festive time of year, and the City of West Columbia is making it inviting for its citizens to get out and become a part of the Christmas season. It’s a good time to take advantage of all the city has done. 

At the Interactive Art Park

Also, nearby sites featured for Christmas:
The “Lights Before Christmas” at Riverbanks Zoo is a tradition for many in West Columbia because of the easy access. The entrance to the zoo’s Botanical Gardens is off of Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia. The Lights Before Christmas features more than one-million lights, a variety of illuminated images, a 30-ft. animated Christmas tree. Click here for more info on “Lights Before Christmas”

The South Carolina State Museum has illuminated the dome of its planetarium, in order to turn the dome into a giant snow globe each night after dark for the holiday season.
Click here for more info on the State Museum’s illuminated dome: