Christmas at Hopelands

Performances for the 21st Annual Christmas In Hopelands:Dec. 13 7 p.m. Chukker Creek Boys' and Show ChoirDec. 14 7 p.m. AAA Homeschool BandDec. 15 7 p.m. Suzuki Strings of AugustaDec. 17 7 p.m. Aiken High School Wind EnsembleDec. 18 7 p.m. The Aiken SingersDec. 20 7 p.m. Harmony River ChorusDec. 21 7 p.m. New Horizons Band

Several holiday decorations have already popped up in Hopelands Gardens as one of the most popular Christmas events in Aiken approaches.


The City of Aiken's 21st annual Christmas in Hopelands is just around the corner, and volunteers are needed to screw in the light bulbs as well as greet and serve refreshments on only one of the 13 nights the event will be held.


The first chance to volunteer is to assist with the installation of the display of lights. About 100,000 lights need to be placed and many hands will be needed for the endeavor, according to Recreation Program Coordinator Kiersten Warfield.


The event showcases one and a half miles of lighted pathways and holiday displays.


Volunteers can meet at the Hall of Fame on Dec. 3 to help screw in light bulbs as Parks, Recreation and Tourism crews install the displays. The volunteer day will last from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the first 50 volunteers will receive a Christmas in Hopelands souvenir.


Volunteers are only needed on Dec. 26 to help out during the event. Warfield said people have been very generous with their time this year, and spots to volunteer on the other nights filled up quickly.


“We (PRT) have fun working it so it's got be fun for the volunteers, too,” Warfield said. “It's really a fun way to spend the evening and it will put you in the holiday spirit.”


A small change in transportation to the gardens has also been made since the typically location used is currently under construction. In past years, the shuttle busses picked residents up at the South Park Shopping Center on Whiskey Road but work is under way on the renovations of the entire building, which will soon house the Fresh Market.


There will be no general public parking, but handicap parking will be available at the Hopelands parking lot on Dupree Place.


As for the festivities, the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and The Doll House will be open in the gardens and will be decorated for the holidays.


A few local artisans will be in the Rye Patch Reception Center to sell some of their handmade items.


Children are also invited to enjoy a few crafts like making reindeer antlers, magnets, ornaments and more at the Rye Patch. The activities are free but parents are asked to accompany their children at all times.


“It's a good family event and it's free,” Warfield said. “The gardens are just beautiful.”


This year, shuttles will load at Citizens Park at 1060 Banks Mill Road.


Christmas in Hopelands will be held from Dec. 13 to 23 and Dec 26 and 27 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each night.


Several local talents will perform at the event and Warfield is still looking for a few more acts.


Contact Warfield at 642-7649 for more information about either of those volunteering opportunities or if anyone is interested in performing.