NEWS

West Columbia Tree Lighting is Friday, Parade of Lights is Dec. 11

If you need to get into the Christmas spirit, West Columbia has some upcoming events that should help you.

The City of West Columbia is hosting the 17th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday (Dec 3) at West Columbia City Hall, 200 N. 12th Street.

Students from Tree Lighting past

“Christmas is coming to West Columbia,” said Mayor Tem Miles. “I’m inviting everyone to come out for the tree lighting. We want you to enjoy this special time of the year and all that it means and represents.”

Miles said he expects there to be a lot of enthusiasm for the tree lighting because it was a video-only event last year. It was not live because of COVID precautions. In addition to the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree, there will be many other parts of the ceremony that celebrate children.

Each year, West Columbia area elementary schools hold a “What Christmas Means To Me” contest. The essay winners from each school will be recognized at the tree lighting. They will read their winning essays or poems. There is also a student artwork contest. The winning artwork entry will be featured on the cover of the event program. The top three entries will be displayed on the Art on State wall in the Interactive Art Park.

In addition to the essay readings, the program includes Christmas carols and greetings, before the lighting of the West Columbia Christmas Tree.

There will be music by Busbee Creative Arts Academy Chorus and their Academy Christmas Carolers and music from the East Point Academy Cub Chorus. There will be dance from the East Point Academy Smile Dance Group. Two specially selected “Letters to Santa” will be read by Mrs. Claus. Radio personality Steve Varholy is the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

Also on Dec. 3 is First Friday in the first three blocks of State Street, West Columbia. It’s from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
“I encourage everyone to go out to First Friday before you come to the tree lighting,” Miles said. “There are so many new businesses in the River District. Support our local businesses.”

Spa 131 is on State Street. Owner Marci Delaney is planning a special night for First Friday.
“I love the holidays,” Marci said. To ring in the Christmas season, she said Spa 131 will present live music from Daryl Johnston at the First Friday event. There will be a fire pit set up at Spa 131, too. “It’s our gift to the community,” Marci said.

Parade of Lights

The Meeting Street Artisan Market is open every Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., during the Christmas shopping season, too. Its vendors offer many unique gift ideas.

The Holiday -Parade of Lights is a week after the West Columbia Tree Lighting. It’s Saturday, Dec. 11. The parade is sponsored by the Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce. It begins on 12th Street in Cayce and ends on 12th Street in West Columbia. The popular night parade is adorned with thousands of Christmas lights that brighten the evening sky. It begins at 5:30 p.m.

Miles said the parade is a tradition that is much-anticipated.
“We look forward to the Parade of Lights every year,” he said. “It’s part of what makes the season so special.” Tim James, Chamber president agrees.

“The Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber and Dominion are excited to bring back our beloved Holiday Parade of Lights,” James said. “We are looking forward to seeing the community come out and support our businesses, students and other civic groups.”

So if you are not yet in the Christmas spirit, the seasonal events in West Columbia will get you in the mood to celebrate the season.