Top 17 Holiday Events in South Carolina
Top 17 Holiday Events in South Carolina
Are you ready for some holiday festivities? South Carolina has you covered! From miles-long holiday light displays to festivals and parades, South Carolina will get you in the mood for the season. Here are some of the best holiday-themed events you'll find in the state.
Governor's Carolighting, Columbia
Held each year on the steps of the Columbia State House, the Carolighting evening features holiday music performed by choirs and musical artists from around the state. The governor delivers his seasonal message and lights the official state Christmas tree. Attendees can have photos with Santa and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate. Attendance is free.
Christmasville, Rock Hill
Step back in time with a charming holiday village as Old Town Rock Hill puts on a Christmasville Festival. A visit here is like stepping into a holiday storybook. There are over 70 events planned, including historic tours, art exhibitions, theater, musical performances, and of course, lots of visits from the guy in the red suit. Spread around the town, you'll find horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday carolers, specially decorated shop windows, an ice skating rink, and a gingerbread house contest. Visiting Christmasville to see the holiday-themed sites is free, but there may be admission for special events.
Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade, Greenville
This holiday tradition stretches back over 75 years. The Poinsettia Christmas Parade spectacle in Greenville, SC runs along Main Street from Augusta to North streets with over 90 floats, marching bands, performing artists, and other parade attendees. The 2021 parade will be Saturday, December 4, and starts at 6 pm.
Holly Hill Christmas Festival, Holly Hill
This is a family-friendly event with musical performances, a live nativity, storytime, puppet shows, food and craft vendors, pictures with Santa, and a Christmas parade. Generally, visiting the attractions at the festival is free, but certain events may have a fee or request a donation.
Santa on Main, Greenwood
Celebrate the Christmas season with the three-day festival, Santa on Main. Wear your pajamas to a party with Santa, watch Christmas movies, take wagon rides, and view the Christmas parade. The festival includes a Christmas Market, a tree lighting ceremony, and a train ride to the North Pole. Arts and crafts vendors are also available. The 2021 festival will be from December 5-6.
Nights of a Thousand Candles, Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet
Just south of Myrtle Beach Brookgreen Gardens become almost more beautiful under the soft glow of over 2,800 hand-lit candles and countless more shimmering lights. This walking tour along the garden's winding path takes you through the lush foliage adorned with sparkling lights. The event is accompanied by live holiday music and carolers. Travel + Leisure magazine has called it one of the "Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina."
The entertainment schedule often includes live performers for all types of music. Adult tickets cost $25, and children 4-12 tickets run $12. The Night of a Thousand Candles begins November 26 and lasts through January 2 on select nights. Advanced ticket purchase is required.
Holiday Festival of Lights, James Island County Park, Charleston
Kick-off the season at the Charleston Holiday Festival of Lights starting November 12 and ending December 31, 2021. At Santa's Village, visitors can see Santa and his elves for free. A carousel runs nightly, beginning at 6 pm., and there's a Reindeer Workshop.
At Winter Wonderland, purchase tickets for the All Aboard the Festival Express. Rides last around 12 minutes and give you a close-up look at the Festival of Lights. Other attractions include gift shops, a holiday sand sculpture, and seasonal sweet treats. On regular nights, standard-size vehicles cost $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Peak nights are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate.
Holiday Magic at Marion Square, Charleston
Marion Square in Charleston becomes the epicenter of Charleston's fantastic holiday events. Begin with a tree lighting ceremony and continue with a festive Holiday Farmer's Market, which includes Santa and Mrs. Claus visits. Marion Square hosts performers periodically during the Holiday Market and kid- and pet-friendly weekend events. The festival runs Saturdays and Sundays during December until Christmas. This is a free event for all to enjoy.
Holiday Lights on the River, Columbia
At Saluda Shoals Park, you will find the Midlands' largest drive-thru light show. Take a two-mile journey through more than a million sparkling lights and 400 colorful, animated light displays. In addition to the drive-through lights display, admission includes access to special activities like a hayride or the Saluda Shoals train ride through the lights. There's a laser light show on the wetland trail and holiday movies playing in the Environmental Center. Santa visits holiday lights from December 10-23 for professional photos and kid visits. Admission is $25 per car and $50 per passenger van. An additional 3% fee is charged for credit card transactions.
Holiday Market, Columbia
Thousands of shoppers descend on the South Carolina State Fairground to find the perfect holiday gifts and decor at the Junior League Holiday Market. Nearly 170 merchants are available for holiday browsing. The market includes a festive Holiday Ball, Sundaes with Santa, and a Ladies Night Out Event.
Ticketing prices vary. Ladies Night Out costs $50 a person, while the inaugural holiday ball is $65 per person if bought before November 15. Sundaes with Santa is $8 per child, while the adults can use a general admission ticket, which costs $8 per person. The general admission includes entrance for all four days.
Carolina Lights, Columbia
At the Carolina State Fairgrounds, take the family for a drive-thru holiday light show. Admire over 100 LED light displays, such as the 12 Days of Christmas, a dancing field of Christmas trees, and Frosty the snowman. Cars cost $20, and mini-buses cost $35. Advanced car pass purchases receive a 25% discount online when done before December 3. Starting December 4, purchases can be made online or at the gate. The show runs from December 4 to the 26 and is closed on Christmas Day. The light show opens at 6 pm.
Carolina Carilion Holiday Parade, Columbia
A long-running holiday tradition celebrating 68 years in 2021, the Carolina Carilion Holiday Parade is scheduled for December 4, 2021. South Carolina's official holiday parade includes festively decorated floats, parade entries, and marching bands from across South Carolina. It begins at 9:45 am. at Sumter Street and Laurel and proceeds through downtown on Sumter towards historic house horseshoe, ending on Senate Street. The parade is free viewing, and the broadcast starts at 10 am
Anderson Christmas Lights, Anderson
Running from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day, Anderson Christmas Lights has been running for over 28 years. The display has almost 300 displays across 2.5 miles of lights. A Holiday Village accompanies the lights with holiday-themed performances and events. Santa is available for visits and photos. Admissions benefit the Easter Seals. The cost is $10 per car, truck, or van. The lights open at 5:30 pm.
Main Street Lights, Newberry
The theme for 2021 is "A Very Berry Christmas." Newberry's downtown transforms under the glow of thousands of Lights. The main street is lined with banners and bells, light poles surrounded in garland and bows, and special stages for winter events. The downtown parks have ice skating rinks, a horse-drawn carriage runs around the historic Opera House, and carolers wander around singing holiday songs. Find a special mailbox that mails letters to Santa and marvel at the lighted community Christmas tree.
Harbour Town Lights, Hilton Head
The stunning views of Hilton Head Island and Sea Pines Resort become more luminescent under illuminated seasonal lights. A towering Christmas tree overlooks the harbor during Harbor Town Lights. In addition, there is live entertainment and other holiday activities. Take a stroll along the harbor to enjoy the illuminated seasonal figures and other holiday displays.
The event also includes fake snow machines, which run Friday nights from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Festival of Trees, Beaufort
Downtown Beaufort has been kicking off the holiday season with a 30-plus-year tradition. The multi-day Festival of Trees event displays over 60 beautifully and creatively decorated trees. The festival includes food, music, and a visit from Santa. There's also a Gingerbread 5K run through Port Royal's Old Village. The Festival benefits Friends of Caroline, a local nonprofit. Individual events may charge an entry or admissions fee.
The Christmas Show of the South, Myrtle Beach
The Carolina Opry Christmas Special has been running for over 35 years. The Christmas special honors our traditions each year while creating a family experience with new talent and rotating artists. The show is a mix of music, comedy, and dance. The facilities are transformed into a winter wonderland with over 35 Christmas trees, 75 wreaths, and five miles of lighting wire. It's all presided over by a stunning 30-foot tree.
CNBC has rated the Christmas Show of the South as a top attraction in Myrtle Beach. Shows run starting November 1 and continue through January 5, with evening performances and scheduled matinees. Ticket prices range from $42-$70.
Celebrate the Holidays in South Carolina
South Carolina is a great place to get in the Christmas spirit. From boat parades to elaborate light displays, our festivals and events are sure to create lasting family memories from this special time of year. You can also learn more about the Best Holiday Event in North Carolina on EZ Home Search as well!