Celebrate the holidays with parades, tree lighting, concerts and more

·8 min read

Events to celebrate the Christmas holidays are plentiful this week now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over. Festivities include everything from concerts and tree lightings to parades and stage shows. For a quieter activity, candlelight tours are being offered at the Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson as well as through the 33rd annual North Augusta Christmas Tour of Homes.

The 3 Redneck Tenors Christmas SPEC-TAC-YULE-AR was originally scheduled at Hardin Auditorium in 2020. The show will go on Dec. 2, 2021.
The 3 Redneck Tenors Christmas SPEC-TAC-YULE-AR was originally scheduled at Hardin Auditorium in 2020. The show will go on Dec. 2, 2021.

Holiday concerts

The 3 Redneck Tenors present their Christmas SPEC-TAC-YULE-AR concert of "classic, pop and deep-fried" musical delights. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Hardin Auditorium. Get tickets at augustaamusements.com.

Christian music artists Casting Crowns, Mac Powell, Cain, Dante Bowen and Jordan St. Cyr will take the Bell Auditorium stage for the 2021 KLove Christmas Tour presents concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 3. Tickets start at $25.50 at aectix.com.

On Saturday, Dec. 4, Augusta Choral Society will present Handel's Messiah with accompaniment by the Lyra Vivace Orchestra. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Paul's Church in downtown Augusta. Tickets are available at augustacs.org and will be available at the door.

Joye in Aiken's "Joye to the World!" Holiday Concert on Dec. 5 at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center will feature Martina DaSilva (clockwise from top left), Riley Mulherkar, Ella Bric, Mathis Picard, Bryan Carter and Dan Chmielinski.
Joye in Aiken's "Joye to the World!" Holiday Concert on Dec. 5 at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center will feature Martina DaSilva (clockwise from top left), Riley Mulherkar, Ella Bric, Mathis Picard, Bryan Carter and Dan Chmielinski.

Joye in Aiken is bringing its first-ever “Joye to the World!” Holiday Concert to the USC Aiken Etherredge Center at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. The 75-minute concert will include six artists performing what Joye in Aiken Artistic Director for Jazz Riley Mulherkar describes as “lots of holiday classics but with some extra swing.” Tickets to the “Joye to the World!” Holiday Concert are $50 from www.joyeinaiken.com.

Tree lightings

Holiday lights fill the air during the Christmas Tree Light-Up and Fireworks Spectacular at the Augusta Common in 2019.
Holiday lights fill the air during the Christmas Tree Light-Up and Fireworks Spectacular at the Augusta Common in 2019.

Augusta's annual Christmas Tree Light-Up and Fireworks Spectacular is being hosted at the Augusta Common downtown on Saturday, Dec. 4. Activities start at 4 p.m. and include things like train rides, inflatables and pictures with Santa Claus. The tree will be lit at dusk and will be followed by a fireworks display.

Several other towns are holding tree lighting events this week.

North Augusta residents Kadie Allen, right, and six-month-old Emma Wilson enjoy the lights of the North Augusta Christmas tree at John C. Calhoun Park.
North Augusta residents Kadie Allen, right, and six-month-old Emma Wilson enjoy the lights of the North Augusta Christmas tree at John C. Calhoun Park.
  • North Augusta tree lighting: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, Calhoun Park, 798 Georgia Ave.

  • Fort Gordon Tree Lighting and Festival: 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, Barton Field; stick around for crafts, treats, a bonfire and live entertainment.

  • Augusta Technical College will hold its tree lighting from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, outside Building 1300. The festivities will include live music, crafts and hot chocolate and cookies with the tree lighting set for 6 p.m.

  • Aiken tree lighting: 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, Park Avenue and Newberry Street SW, downtown; guests can enjoy music, crafts, and a visit from Santa

  • Grovetown will light its tree as part of a festival from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Liberty Park Community Center. Visitors can take photos with Santa, do crafts and enjoy shopping with vendors.

Santa, Mrs. Claus and a few of their favorite elves greet parade goers with a wave from atop a firetruck during the 2020 Grovetown Christmas parade.
Santa, Mrs. Claus and a few of their favorite elves greet parade goers with a wave from atop a firetruck during the 2020 Grovetown Christmas parade.

Christmas parades

And who doesn't love a parade?

  • Grovetown presents its 47th annual holiday parade from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 4. The procession starts on Horizon South Parkway.

  • Edgefield's parade starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, downtown.

  • The Columbia County Christmas Parade is set for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Evans Towne Center Park. The festivities continue with the nearby Evans on Ice pop-up ice skating rink, pictures with Santa from 2-6 p.m. and a Holiday Market from 2-7 p.m.

  • North Augusta Lions Club presents the annual Christmas parade from 3-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, on Georgia Avenue.

  • Augusta will hold it's holiday parade the second weekend of December, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, along Broad Street.

  • The downtown Aiken Christmas parade begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Barnwell Avenue and Laurens Street NW, then turns down Park Avenue.

Onstage

Warren Post (from left), Betty Walpert, Sol Baird and Karen Brotherton star in the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre production "A Nice Family Christmas."
Warren Post (from left), Betty Walpert, Sol Baird and Karen Brotherton star in the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre production "A Nice Family Christmas."

"It’s Christmas Eve, and a young newspaper reporter on the brink of being fired has been assigned a last-chance story about a typical family Christmas – his family’s Christmas," says Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre in describing its holiday show. "A Nice Family Christmas" will be staged at 8 p.m. Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, with dinner served at 6:45 p.m. A lunchtime performance will be at 3 p.m. with lunch beginning at 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 12. For tickets, call (706) 793-8552.

The Augusta West Dance Guild will stage "It's the Night Before Christmas" twice, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Columbia County Performing Arts Center. Get tickets at https://thecenterofcc.com.

Holiday home tours

Historic Augusta is again offering Holiday Tours of the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson in December. And for two nights – Dec. 3 and 4 – special Candlelight Tours will be offered every 30 minutes from 5-6:30 p.m. Learn more at www.wilsonboyhoodhome.org.
Historic Augusta is again offering Holiday Tours of the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson in December. And for two nights – Dec. 3 and 4 – special Candlelight Tours will be offered every 30 minutes from 5-6:30 p.m. Learn more at www.wilsonboyhoodhome.org.

The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson is decorated for the holidays to show visitors what Christmas was like in 1860s before, during, and after the Civil War. During December, guided day tours are offered Wednesdays-Fridays on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the Wilson House is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students K-12. Children 5 and under are free.

For two nights – Dec. 3 and 4 – Special Candlelight Tours will be offered every 30 minutes from 5-6:30 p.m. Candlelight Tour admission is $10 for adults or $5 for students K-12. Learn more at www.wilsonboyhoodhome.org or call 706) 724-0436 to make a reservation.

North Augusta Christmas Tour of Homes 2012.
North Augusta Christmas Tour of Homes 2012.

The 33rd annual North Augusta Christmas Tour of Homes returns after an absence in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Candlelight tours will be from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 3; daytime tours are from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4. The tour includes stops in The River Club, Campbelltown Landing, The Colony and Woodstone as well as the historic Charles Hammond House on Martintown Road and The Arts and Heritage Center.

Advance tour tickets are $20 and may be purchased at Arts and Heritage Center, Jim Bush Flowers and Gifts, CommuniGraphics and Parks Pharmacy in North Augusta, Consign Design in Martinez and Plum Pudding in Aiken or online at www.natourofhomes.org. Tickets also may be purchased on tour days for $25 at any tour stop.

Hickory Hill in Thomson, the home of Sen. Thomas Watson, will offer holiday tours on Sunday, Dec. 12; reservations are required and space is limited. Each room is decorated to represent a different Christmas tradition. Tour times are at 5 and 6 p.m. and masks are required. Call (706) 595-7777 or email mzupan@hickory-hill.org for reservations. The historic home is located at 502 Hickory Hill Drive in Thomson.

Unique ways to celebrate

Santa's Holiday Laser Show will use 25 high-powered lasers producing 100s of laser beams at the Georgia Carolina Fairgrounds.
Santa's Holiday Laser Show will use 25 high-powered lasers producing 100s of laser beams at the Georgia Carolina Fairgrounds.

For a bright and shiny spectacle, pay a visit to Santa's Holiday Laser Show running Dec. 2-5 at the Georgia Carolina Fairgrounds. Guests can watch from the field drive-in style or while sitting in chairs and on blankets. Food trucks will be available. Admission is $35 per vehicle no matter how many occupants there are. For tickets, go to freshtix.com/events/santaslasershow-tucson.

RUNAugusta running club is organizing a Santa Pub Run on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. in downtown Augusta. Adults will dress as North Pole natives and run from bar to bar across a three-mile stretch, enjoying drinks and the night air.

The Augusta Museum of History is hosting a special Elf on the Shelf event on Dec. 4 at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus will read the "Elf on the Shelf" story on their trolley. Afterwards, guests will hunt for Ginger the scout elf who will be hidden among the exhibits.

University of South Carolina Aiken's DuPont Planetarium is bringing back its Mystery of the Christmas Star show. Guests will explore a scientific explanation of the star that led the biblical wise men to the birth place of Jesus Christ. Shows run every Saturday through Dec. 28 at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. The planetarium is located at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center on University Parkway in Aiken. Reservations can be made by calling (803) 641-3313 or online at usca.edu/planetarium.

Next week

After two postponed show dates, Chicago is set to perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at Bell Auditorium. Tickets purchased for the May 9 and Dec. 8, 2020, dates will be honored. With hits like "You're the Inspiration," "Hard Habit to Break" and "25 or 6 to 4," this band has been rocking for more than 50 years. Tickets start at $59 at aectix.com.

Abilene Baptist Church Singing Christmas Tree at Evans Towne Center Park, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.
Abilene Baptist Church Singing Christmas Tree at Evans Towne Center Park, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.

The Singing Christmas Tree presented each year at Abilene Baptist Church requires advance tickets picked up from the church office at 3917 Washington Road in Martinez or downloaded for a $1 fee at itickets.com. Performances are planned for 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 10 and 11 and for 3 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12. Visit https://www.myabilene.org/sct for more information.

Ongoing

Lights of the South in Grovetown, Ga., is one of the most popular holiday attractions in the south-east, offering millions of lights creating fun and festive displays across more than 100 acres.
Lights of the South in Grovetown, Ga., is one of the most popular holiday attractions in the south-east, offering millions of lights creating fun and festive displays across more than 100 acres.

Lights of the South is open through Dec. 31 with more than 5 million colorful lights displays to dazzle visitors. Guests can view them via a walking trail or a hay ride. Pictures with Santa are also available. Located on Louisville Road off Carl Sanders Highway, it's open every day (except Christmas Day) from 6 to 10 p.m. General admission costs $16, children 3 and younger get in free, and fast passes cost $26. To buy tickets, go to lightsofthesouth.com.

Grab your skates – or plan to rent some – to enjoy the Evans on Ice pop-up skating rink at Evans Towne Center Park. It's open 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $12 at evansonice.com.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Here is a list of holiday events happening this month in Augusta GA

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