As another year comes to an end, the holiday season is among us. Although we do not see many white Christmas’s here in South Carolina, one thing is certain, the joy the holiday season brings is alive and well in the midlands. As our country faces tough times this year, let us all rejoice and take time out to remember what Christmas means to us. If you are interested in starting a great holiday tradition for your family, church group, or even just some close friends, you will not have far to drive to find one of South Carolina’s many spectacular holiday light displays. Midland’s businesses and communities are offering a variety of displays this year and all are within 60 miles of Columbia. Make 2008 a year to remember with the holiday light displays of the Midlands.
The 21st annual Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is underway. The gates opened November 22 and the lights will continue to light up the Columbia skyline through December 30. (The Zoo will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day). General admission for adults is $8 and for children ages 3-12 it is $6. The light display is open from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. The display is mainly outdoors so be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. For more information call 803-779-8717 or click here to visit their website.
The Fantasy of Lights in Sumter will take place less than 50 miles from downtown Columbia. This million plus light display will begin Monday, December 1st at 6:00 p.m. at the world famous Swan Lake. This year will mark the 29th anniversary of the Floating Christmas Tree. The holiday entertainment will begin December 6th when the annual Poinsettia Festival kicks off. There will be no shortage of fun and holiday cheer with entertainment, refreshments, and the Santa Express waiting to send your children’s letters directly to the North Pole. The light display will feature cartoon characters like Dora the Explorer, Barney, Spongebob Squarepants, and many more that are sure to delight young and old alike. For more information call the Swan Lake Visitor’s Center at 1-800-688-4748 or click here for further details.
You will want to mark your calendars now so you can be a part of The 1st Annual Lights of Lugoff Christmas Parade. This event will take place on December 11th at 6:00 p.m. The parade of floats will get their start at First Palmetto Savings Bank and will travel down SC Highway 1 to SC Highway 34 where they will turn right beside McDonald’s and make their way to Boulware Road. The floats will be courtesy of local businesses and organizations. According to Mapquest.com driving distance from Columbia is approximately 34 minutes.