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Christmas Activities, Festivals and Parades

Updated on November 26, 2012

SC Parades and Festivals for Christmas

Christmas festivals and activities abound in the Carolinas, and each year local communities from the South Carolina area can be counted on to put on the green and red and throw a party. Some SC towns have simple tree lighting ceremonies, but others have Christmas parades and festivals of light. Local Christmas parades and festivals can be a great way for your family to get in the Christmas spirit.

Below you will find many of the top holiday festivals and parades in South Carolina, and you are welcome to discuss your own community event in the comments section, if we did not mention it here. So on your way to buy him some presents, you just have to stop and see some lights! Some of these like the James Island Christmas festival of lights charge (that one is $12 per carful) but most of the Christmas festivals, and all of the Christmas parades, are free.

Holiday Parade

Santa Knows
Santa Knows

South Carolina Christmas Festivals of Light

Anderson, SC -- Anderson has a Lights of Hope festival throughout December. Small businesses show their support for the community by participating in the festival, which costs $5 per vehicle and most of the money goes to charity. The lights arrangements change each year.

Charleston, SC -- James Isand is the place to be, in Charleston, for their Christmas Festival of Lights, For more than 20 years, this three mile drive through a county park captures the magic of Christmas. See the festival of lights from November 11th through January 1st. It includes marshmallow roasts, gingerbread houses and more

Columbia, SC -- Three festivals of light events are happening in and around Columbia. The Riverbank Zoo Festival has been held for more than 20 years at the zoo, and the fesitival includes a chance for the kids to see Santa. It is billed as the "only place in town were it snows every night," and lasts from November 19th through December 30th, 6-9 p.m. This festival is top notch! The Irmo festival of lights, at Saluda Shoals Park includes the Wetland Walking trail and Dazzling Dancing Forrest. The Harborside lights festival in .the Lake Carolina part of NE Columbia, SC is a small one day event in mid-December

Greenville, SC -- The Roper Montain Holiday Lights Festival is attended by more than 80,000 people and includes the Santa and his sleigh in the Winter Wonderland. The festival is sponsored by the Rotary Club and the Roper Mountain Science Center Association. From Thanksgiving through December 30th, 6-10 p.m.

Hilton Head, SC -- The Rotary Club sponsors the Dove Street Festival of Lights , benefiting the Deep Well. This is one of the best coastal festivals and should not be missed.

Inman, SC -- In the town of Inman, the animals participate in the award winning Holiday Lights Safari Benefit at Hollywood Animal Park. the Christmas festival runs from November 19th until January 1st. Animal food is available.

Parade of Boats

Charleston, SC has a Christmas Parade of Boats
Charleston, SC has a Christmas Parade of Boats

Christmas Parades in SC

Christmas parades and festivals can be a fantastic was opporunity for free or low cost family fun during the holidays. The following is a list of these parades, and if you have a Christmas parade that I have not mentioned, please add it to the comments.

Charleston, SC -- Early in December, the Charleston Christmas Parade in downtown Charleston has been a tradition. It begins Calhoun and Meeting and proceeds down King and Broad Streets. The Town of Mt Pleasant, part of the greater Charleston area, has its own Christmas parade with over 100 floats that parade down Coleman Blvd. A different kind of parade in Charleston is the Parade of Boats in Charleston Harbor, December 3rd, and is is always on the same day as the Christmas Tree Lighting in Battery Park at the Harbor.

Columbia, SC -- For more than 50 years, the Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade has provided fun, marching bands, drill teams and in recent years more than 100 entries. The Christmas parade takes place on the first weekend in December.

Greenwood, SC -- An early December Christmas Parade is held each year in Greenwood, SC.

Prosperity, SC -- The small town of Prosperity tradtionally hosts a Christmas Parade with floats and clowns on the first Sunday in December. This small town Christmas parade can warm your heart.

Photo credit Chistmas parade by twbuckner. Santa by Scott Clark and Boat parade by Deputymomma. Please tell about your towns Christmas event in a comment below!


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    • authorfriendly profile image

      authorfriendly 6 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Thanks for all the kind comments. I update the information each year for the Christmas activities. For example the James Island Christmas Festival of Lights increased its fee by $2/car, but is still a bargain.

    • mothercristina profile image

      mothercristina 6 years ago

      Thumbs up for a good read.

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 6 years ago from Philippines

      nice hub, it's good that you were updated about it...

    • CharlotteHughes profile image

      CharlotteHughes 7 years ago

      That James Island festival sounds awesome.

    • Joe34 profile image

      Joe34 7 years ago from United States

      I feel like celebrating Christmas right now reading this.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      This is a good roundup of festivities. Rated up!

    • Lyria profile image

      Lyria 7 years ago

      It looks beautiful! I love boat parades too.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Excellent and informative hub :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      It makes you want to be there!