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Make Merry!

This weekend, catch the City of Charleston parade, Daniel Island Holiday Festival, Reindeer Run, and a concert by Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers at Drayton Hall. Photographs (clockwise from top left) by Jim Mossman & courtesy of Daniel Island Community, Charitable Society of Charleston, & Drayton Hall

December 1, 2010

Make Merry!
The happiest season of all is kicking into high gear with holiday events across town

Palms are twinkling with tiny lights, cars are crowned with evergreens, and snowmen and Santas are inflating in yards around town. But the holidays may hardly feel official till you’ve lined a parade route or gathered for a tree-lighting. So get ready to ring in the season, as this weekend’s packed with festivities. Here are a few we’re looking forward to:

Giving Back Cheer Grand Finale
Celebrate in style at the Governor Thomas Bennett House, which local designers have adorned for the holidays, creating a beautiful backdrop for enjoying cocktails, fare from local chefs, raffle prizes, and a silent auction full of perfect presents. But the most important gift of all is the one you’ll be giving—event proceeds go to Families Helping Families, which provides basic necessities to Lowcountry residents. Governor Thomas Bennett House, 69 Barre St. Thursday, 6-9:30pm. $25; $20 advance. (843)868-1422,

Reindeer Run

Aim your antlers for the finish during this downtown 5K run/walk. After the race, revel in live music, food, and drinks, plus a costume contest and awards. Proceeds benefit MUSC Children’s Hospital and Charitable Society of Charleston. Start at Southend Brewery, 161 E. Bay St. Saturday, 9am. $35; $33-$23 advance.

Daniel Island Holiday Festival

Make your list and check it twice! This annual festival is abundant with holiday staples, from unique gifts to stylish decorations and delicious food. Spend the day stocking up on Lowcountry goods to the sound of live holiday tunes. Family Circle Tennis Center, 161 Seven Farms Dr., Daniel Island. Saturday & Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (843)971-9200,

Christmas Tour of Homes

See how Daniel Island homes deck the halls during this first-time tour. Explore six residences, garnering inspiration for your own abode, and enjoy a warm reception of drinks and sweets in the final home. Locations vary, Daniel Island. Saturday, 1-5pm. $25; $20 advance. (843)971-9200,

Spirituals Concerts

For the 27th year in a row, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers gather at Drayton Hall to sing spirituals that would have been heard in the surrounding fields and prayer houses centuries ago. But this weekend, for only the second time, the concert takes place in the raised English basement. Guests can enjoy a reception as well as tours of the home beforehand. Drayton Hall, 3380 Ashley River Rd. Saturday, 3pm & 5:30pm; Sunday, 3pm. $35; $30 member. (843)769-2605,

North Charleston Christmas Festival & Parade

For a jolly family evening, start at the Holiday Market, browsing the wares of craft vendors and local farmers, or grab some sweet treats and hop on a hayride. The Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m. near the corner of Montague and Mixson avenues and concludes at Armory Park, where Mayor Summey will light the city’s tree and local musical groups will perform holiday tunes. Park Circle, North Charleston. Saturday, 4-9pm. Free. (843)554-5700,

City of Charleston Tree Lighting Ceremony

Kick off your merry-making with Charleston’s 24-year-old Christmas tradition—the lighting of a 60-foot tree in the heart of downtown by Mayor Riley and Kris Kringle himself! Marion Square, corner of King & Calhoun sts. Saturday, 4:30-6:30pm. Free. (843)724-7305,

Holiday Parade of Boats

The festivities don’t end after the downtown tree lighting. Make your way to the water to see boats cruise through Charleston Harbor adorned in their cheeriest holiday trimmings. Take votes for the family favorite as they vie for the prize of Best in Show. Saturday, 5:30pm, viewing begins at USS Yorktown, Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Rd., Mount Pleasant; 6:30pm, viewing begins at Waterfront Park & the Battery. Free. (843)724-7305,

Charleston Holiday Parade

Get into the spirit with downtown Charleston’s salute to the season. A sound track of holiday tunes provided by high-steppin’ marching bands accompanies the jolly procession of performers and floats decorated by local organizations. Begins at Calhoun & Meeting sts., proceeds down King St. to Broad St. to Lockwood Blvd. Sunday, 2pm. Free. (843)720-1981,

Chanukah in the Square

Last December, the organizers of Chanukah in the Square prepared 500 pounds of latkes. This year’s goal? 600! This joyous celebration includes food, music, and dancing, and area Holocaust survivors continue the tradition of lighting the candles of the nine-foot menorah. Marion Square, corner of King & Calhoun sts. Sunday, 4-6pm. Free. (843)953-5682,

Too tied up to celebrate this weekend? Not to worry. You can still catch the spectacular Mount Pleasant Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade next Sunday, December 12. The festivities kick off at Moultrie Middle School with a 5:30 p.m. tree illumination and fireworks show. Then snag a spot along Coleman Boulevard, as more than 100 elaborately adorned floats set off at 5:45 p.m. amidst dancers, marching bands, and other performers in one of the best holiday parades around. Moultrie Middle School, 645 Coleman Blvd.; parade begins at corner of Coleman Blvd. & Pelzer Dr., Mount Pleasant. Sunday, 5:30-7:15pm. Free. (843)884-8517,

For more events happening in and around the Lowcountry this month, click here.


Wed, 12/01/2010