Plays, concerts and craft shows are just a few items decorating cities' holiday tree of events this season.
There's no shortage of events to get even Scrooge in a festive mood this year.
And the Aiken Standard is sure there will be many more announced in the coming days. We will continue to update our calendars and make sure readers know all their options for celebrating the joy of the season.
If you have an event, please send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also drop off the information or mail it to Events Calendar, 326 Rutland Drive N.W., Aiken, S.C., 29802.
The Aiken Center for the Arts is holding its T'is the Season Exhibition until Dec. 28 on its main floor. Viewers will be able to enjoy some original holiday-themed work from the center's workers. Works are available for purchase, and the shop will be open as well. The Aiken Center for the Arts is located at 122 Laurens St. S.W.
Decorated, shimmering trees will be displayed and available for auction for the city's “Festival of Trees” on Nov. 21, 23 and 24 from noon to 6 p.m., on Nov. 22 from 2 to 6 p.m. and Nov. 25 from noon to 3 p.m. All money benefits the Aiken Area Council on Aging. First Baptist Church, Women of Woodside and NuLook Fitness Center are just some of the contributors to the event. Special events include Breakfast with Santa on Nov. 24 and Festival Unplugged on Nov. 21. General admission is $5. Tickets for the Festival Unplugged are $45. Admission to special events must be purchased ahead of time and can be bought at Barbara Sue Brodie NeedleWorks, the AACOA, Floyd & Green, Plum Pudding and Tea Garden Gifts.
The Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K will be on Nov. 22 at Citizens Park at 8 a.m. Runners can pick up their pre-race packets at Aiken's First Baptist Church on Nov. 21.
One Table will once open its spread of Thanksgiving delectables on Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone is invited to attend. The food will consist of turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, rice and gravy and cranberry sauce. Everyone who comes is asked to bring a canned food item for Area Churches Together Serving and Christ Central Ministries.
The Harvest Table in Wagener will be open to anyone from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. People can come dine-in or carry-out their meals for free. The event is sponsored by Churches Together for Kids and will be at 231 Main St. S. For those wishing to volunteer, email email@example.com or call 564-7773.
Aiken Community Playhouse presents Patricia DiBenedetto Snyder, Will Severin and John Vreeke Suitable's“Miracle on 34th Street” Nov. 23, Nov. 24 and 30 and Dec. 1, 2, 7 and 8. Based on Valentine Davies' novel and directed by Thurmond Whatley, the play follows a Macy's Santa Claus–who might be the actual real deal–as he reignites the Christmas spirit into a divorced mother and her young daughter. Nov. 24 will be a special show, as it will be designed for the deaf and hard of hearing. The show will be at 3 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 8 and at 8 p.m. on all other days. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or at the box office. For more information, call the box office at 648-1438. ACP is located at 126 Newberry St. S.W.
North Augusta's Living History Park will take people to colonial times with its Christmas in the Backcountry on Nov. 24. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., storyteller Kitty Wilson-Evans, slave girl Kessie and, of course, St. Nicholas will create the past, while posing for pictures. Admission is free, and the park is on 299 W. Spring Grove Ave.
Aiken Concert Band will hold its Holiday Celebration holiday concert Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. at USC Aiken's Etherredge Center. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for students. At 7:15 p.m. in the lobby, Mike Frost Jazz will perform music from it's CD “Frosty Christmas.” Col. William Clark, retired U.S. Army Field Band commander and conductor, and Ryan Westberry, Aiken High School band director, leads the concert band, which is made of 85 members and has been in place for 25 years. USC Aiken is at 471 University Parkway. Call 641-3305 for more information.
North Augusta will hold its Christmas Tree Lighting Festival on Nov. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Calhoun Park. There will be decorated trees on display in Lookaway Hall and inflatables. Hot chocolate and food are among the refreshments.
Food such as fresh vegetables and baked goods and items such a holiday-themed objects and handmade jewelry will be among the items sold at the Johnson Farmers and Artists Holiday Market. The market is held on 407 Calhoun Street on Nov. 29 from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, call Anne Rauton Smith at 275-4097 or Donna Livingston at 275-0010.
For an unique holiday concert experience, Chip Davis and his Mannheim Steamroller will perform on Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Davis has stunned audiences for 25 years with his multimedia enhancement and the band's spin on Christmas classics. Tickets start at $55 and end at $65 to see the Grammy Award winner. The Bell Auditorium is located on 712 Telfair St.. For more information, call (706) 724-2400.
Crafts, food and Santa are among the things that will be found at the 42nd Annual Christmas Craft Show. Held at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center, crafts will include holiday ornaments, needlepoint work and pottery, and food will consist of funnel cake, hotdogs and kennel corn. The event runs Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Santa coming Dec. 1. Admission and parking is free. For more information, call 642-7631.
Caroling and live music will fill the air at Aiken's Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. Held at Laurens Street and Richland Avenue, candle lighting and Santa will be there. For more information, call 642-7634.
Living History Park in North Augusta recognizes that Christmas is a time to give back not just to people, but to the animals as well with its Christmas for the Birds event on Dec. 1. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the park is encouraging people to bring apples, oranges and peanut butter to shape decorations for the birds to munch on through the winter, as well as food for dogs and cats at local pet adoption centers. Families are also invited to enjoy storytime, cider and cookies. Call Lynn Thompson at 279-7560 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Wagener Christmas Parade will be on Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. Baked goods and a craft sale will be at the park before the parade. The CPR Foundation of the Carolinas will offer free CPR education and training, which will begin after the parade. An auction and community yard sale will also happen.
On Dec. 1, Savannah Lakes Village will host a triad of events with its Arts and Crafts fair, Holiday Market and Tree Lighting event. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the market is open from 4 to 8 p.m. The tree lighting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the park. Call 864-862-3216 for more information.
Join the dancers of the Aiken Civic Ballet's The Nutcracker for tea at it's Nutcracker Tea on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Held at the Aiken County Historical Museum, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available at Unique Expressions and 3 Monkeys. The event is hosted by Sissy Brodie and Helen Kelley. The museum's number is 642-2015.
The annual GVW Fire Department Christmas Parade will be Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. in Graniteville. For more information, call Zeke Deas at 979-9032 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Windsor will hold its Christmas Parade at 3 p.m. on Dec. 1. Refreshments of hot dogs and hot chocolate will be given. The best float and band will be awarded. For more information, call call Laura Smith at 257-5838 or Ginny Williams at 645-5151.
Local Elvis Impersonator Jason Sikes will hold a Christmas Concert with Elvis at 7 p.m. at Bobby's BBQ Horse Creek Banquet Hall. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at Bobby's or at the door. For more information, call 593-1756 or 593-5900.
The Christmas Parade in Edgefield will be at 4 p.m. on Dec. 2. It will held on the city's Main Street and will feature Santa and live music. For more information, call Calvin Henderson at 480-1255.
Masterworks Chorale will center its free Christmas concert “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on a traditional Church of England service. The concert will be Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. at St. John's United Methodist Church on 104 Newberry St. N.W. The chorale consists of singers from Augusta and Aiken and was created more than 20 years ago. For ticket information, call director of choral activities Joel Scraper at 641-3306.
Six decorated houses, Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta and Hammond Hill Elementary are the stops on Beta Sigma Phi sorority's 25th Annual North Augusta Christmas Tour. It will take place 5:30 to 9:30 p.m on Dec. 7 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8. Advanced tickets are $20, if bought by 3 p.m. on Dec. 3. Tickets at the door are $25. For more information, call 706- 831-9624. http://natoday.augusta.com/news/2012-11-06/news-notes
Attendants can walk the red carpet in their holiday wear to Celebrate the Holidays with Augusta Amusements Big Band on Dec. 7 at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., but the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Seating can be reserved at $20 and $25. For more information about the show and tickets, call (706) 726-0366 or visit www.augustaamusements.com/events.htm.
A taste of New York is riding into Aiken with Aiken Performing Arts Academy's “Christmas In New York” on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. At the show, the Aiken Performing Arts Academy Dance Team will hold its holiday sale. The performance will be at Lloyd Kennedy Charter School/Aiken Perform Arts Academy on 226 Beaufort St. N.E. For ticket information, call 644-4824.
The infamous tale of one girl and her nutcracker-turned-prince will be coming to the Etherredge Center, as Aiken Civic Ballet performs “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 7 to 9. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and children. The story opens to a grand party where Clara receives a nutcracker from her beloved godfather. Little does she know, strange things will follow that night when the clock chimes midnight. The show runs at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 8 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 9. For more information, call 648-5771 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building gingerbread houses is a holiday tradition for some, and this year there is a chance to show off its building skills with the Literary Structures Gingerbread Contest. On display at the Aiken County Historical Museum and Aiken Center for the Arts starting on Dec. 6 to 8, the houses will be judged by best depiction of a literary structure, most creative/original, most traditional or best of show. Entries are due by Nov. 19; registration cost $10. Forms are available online at www.aikencountyhistoricalmuseum.org. For more information, call 642-2015.
Celebrate the holidays will Downtown Aiken's A Holly Day on Dec. 8. Participating stores such as Aiken Antique Mall, Birds & Butterflies and Re-Fresh will offer things like in-store promotions and door prizes. Refreshments and pictures with Santa will be available. For more information, call call Aiken Downtown Development at 649-2221.
Children can sit and eat with Santa with Jackson's Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. in Jackson Community Center. The breakfast that costs $5 will have pancakes, sausage, bacon, orange juice, milk and coffee. Pictures with Santa can be taken with personal cameras. Call 471-2228 for more information.
New Ellenton will hold its Christmas parade on Main Street on Dec. 8 at noon. Parade participation is free. For more information, call Courtney at 652-2214 or email her at email@example.com.
The North Augusta Evening Lions Club Christmas Parade will run from Georgia and Martintown to Buena Vista on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. Santa will close up the parade. For those who can not attend, the event will air on WRDW.
The Aiken County-auditioned, all-male choir Bound to Sing is making its debut with its For the First Time concert on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at Aiken's First Baptist Church. Conducted by James Bennett and accompanied by Kathleen Cartledge, the choir will sing Christmas carols, spirituals, rounds and more. For more information, call Bill Riehl at 336-8802 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gingerbread men flipping through the air. Toy soldiers marching on thin wires. Reindeer flying above–only at Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bell Auditorium. Directed by Neil Goldberg, the 30 internationally-recognized artists will perform to original as well as traditional holiday music. Tickets start at $45 and end at $55. For more information, call (706) 724-2400.
Downtown Aiken will light up for Night of 1000 Lights on Dec. 13 starting at 5 p.m. Customers can walk the luminary-lit streets, visiting stores such as Aiken Center for the Arts, Gallery J and Vinya's– open late for the occasion. Santa will also be in attendance. For more information, call Aiken Downtown Development at 649-2221.
Carolina Brass Christmas Pops will perform holiday classics such as “White Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride,” as well as Broadway and Hollywood favorites, at its concert today at 8 p.m. at URS Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for students. Carolina Brass is known world-wide, playing styles from Renaissance to Big Band. The center is at 126 Newberry St. SW. Tickets can be bought online or at the box office.
For more information, call 648-1438 or visit www.apagonline.org.
Holiday Pops! at the Bell Auditorium will feature Atlanta trumpet-player and singer Joe Gransden on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Gransden will perform with his trio and the Symphony Orchestra Augusta. Tickets range from $15 to $40. For more information, visit soaugusta.org.
Elvis tribute artists Jeff Lewis and Cliff Wright band together to raise money for Toys for Tots on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. during their “Carolina Christmas” dinner show benefit. Tickets are $15, excluding dinner. Reservations are required; the location is 4656 Jefferson Davis Highway in Clearwater. For more information, call Terri Futreal at 474-2411.
Aiken Symphony Guild's December Pops Concert will feature Joe Gransden on Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. The concert will be at the USC Aiken's Etherredge Center and will be $40 for adults and $7 for students. Call the guild at 640-1297 for more information.
The annual James Brown Family Foundation Toy Giveaway will be Dec. 20 at 9 a.m at the James Brown Arena. Qualified parents and children from the Augusta-Aiken area will get toys provided by sponsors, while enjoying in various activities. This event was created in honor of James Brown, who spend thousands of dollars to give toys to children every year. The arena is located on 601 7th St. in Augusta.
Editor's note: This version of this story has been updated to correct the admission price of the daily viewing to the Festival of Trees and the date for the Masterworks Chorale's "Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" concert. The Aiken Standard regrets these errors.
Staff photo by Suzanne Stone. Vendor Susan Miller quilted between customers at the Christmas Craft Show Friday.×
Colette Pieters, 5, spins her own whirlygig while waiting for the downtown Christmas tree-lighting event to begin.×
Holiday display at Tea Garden Gifts.×
Submitted photo. The twin living Christmas trees light up the sanctuary during last year's Christmas presentation at Millbrook Baptist Church.×
File photo. Crafts fill up one of the gyms at the Weeks Center during this Christmas Craft show in 2009.×
Christmas in Hopelands×
City of Aiken's annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m.×
Photo by Phyllis Britt Mary Eleanor Smith, left, and Beverly xxxxxx check out the ornaments on a Christmas tree at the Grace United Methodist Church G.I.F.T.S. bazaar last week.×
Past Feast of Carols events as in this file photo had a medieval theme; next month's benefit dinner and musical performance will feature traditional Christmas music and a class southern Christmas buffet. The event, hosted by USC Aiken's Department of Theatre and Performing Arts will be held at the Etherredge Center Dec. 1 and Dec. 3.×
The Palmetto Kiwanis float was one of many in the Aiken Jaycees Christmas Parade.×
North Augusta's downtown scenery gets its traditional holiday glow Monday evening, with the lighting of the community's Christmas tree, in Calhoun Park. Photo by Bill Bengtson×
Submitted photo. Katie Tucker holds Baby Jesus in a scene during last year's Christmas presentation at Millbrook Baptist Church.×
County residents appreciate the formal entrance of the Christmas season at the City of Aiken's tree-lighting event.×
Star file photo The Christmas Store Project each year results in a sea of toys for disadvantaged children in the area.×
East Aiken Elementary School students perform in a Christmas show before the holidays. The school was among those to meet federal AYP requirements in results released today.×
Excited children greet Santa Claus following his arrival of the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Aiken.×
Kevin Igoe and daughter Isabel celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree downtown Friday.×