Christmas childhood favorites will pop up at Aiken's Jaycee Parade on Saturday. Over at the Aiken Center for the Arts and Aiken County Historical Museum, gingerbread houses in the style of classic literature structures are on display. The actors and crew at Aiken Community Playhouse will perform “Miracle on 34th Street” one final time. Around the county, Christmas house tours, more plays and parades and a few chances to meet jolly old St. Nick are happening this weekend.
Friday, Dec. 7
Gingerbread houses in the style of literary structures are exhibited at Aiken County Historical Museum and Aiken Center for the Arts on Friday. They are being judged based on Best of Show, Best Depiction of a Literary Structure, Most Creative/Original and Most Traditional. The final day of the show is Saturday. The museum is located on 433 Newberry St. S.W. and is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 2 to 5 p.m. The art center is on 122 Laurens St. S.W. and is open Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Follow one girl and her nutcracker-turned-prince as Aiken Civic Ballet performs “The Nutcracker” on Friday at 7 p.m. at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center. Clara's new present – her nutcracker – turns into a prince one night and takes her away on a magical journey in the classical story. The show also will run Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and children. For more information, call 648-5771.
Aiken Performing Arts Academy will bring New York to Aiken with its “Christmas In New York” on Friday at 7 p.m. at Lloyd Kennedy Charter School/Aiken Performing Arts Academy. Also, there will be a holiday sale, courtesy of Aiken Performing Arts Academy Dance Team. For ticket information, call 644-4824.
The Aiken Choral Society Winter Concert will put on its “A Ceremony of Carols” concert at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, at Cornerstone Baptist Church on Hitchcock Parkway. Tickets will be $15 and will be available at the door. The concert will also be on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m.
Kris Kringle will bring the spirit of Christmas to the Aiken Community Playhouse one more time during its final weekend of “Miracle on 34th Street.” The show, based on Valentine Davies' novel and directed by Thurmond Whatley, will run on Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. For those who wish to attend just the show, tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for senior adults, $12 for students and $7 for children younger than 12. The URS Center for the Performing Arts' box office can be called at 648-1438. For those interested in attending the show with a group, Single, Single Again will have a dinner at Pizza Joint at 6 p.m. and attend the show afterward on Friday. Reservations to join the group were due by Nov. 30 to Jeanne Shanks at 648-7968 or email@example.com.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” will open at the Abbeville Opera House on Friday at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students. Other show dates and times include Saturday and Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 14 at 3 and 8 p.m. Call (864) 366-2157 for more information.
Beta Sigma Phi sorority will take interested groups on a candlelight tour around to six decorated houses, Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta and Hammond Hill Elementary on the 25th Annual North Augusta Christmas Tour on Friday at 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The $25 tickets can be bought at the stops during the tour. For more information, call 279-4844, 279-6036 or 279-5074.
Until Dec. 30, the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia will hold its Lights before Christmas event. Running from 6 to 9 p.m., animated images, a 4-D movie and visit with Santa are a few things to expect. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children between ages of 3 and 12 and free for children 2 and younger; tickets can be ordered online and will increase by $2 at the gate after 5 p.m. The zoo is closed Christmas Eve and Day.
At 6 to 10 p.m., visitors to Roper Mountain Holiday Lights in Greenville can enjoy lit-up displays. Car admission is $10 per one vehicle; $20 per activity van; $40 per bus; $21 for multiple cars. All proceeds go toward local charities.
Celebrate the holidays with Augusta Amusements Big Band's holiday celebration concert Friday at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the performance 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.
Dinner and a show will be at the Kroc Center on Broad Street in Augusta on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Enopian Theatre will perform “Eli's Bethlehem Inn,” and potato soup, bread, fruit, cheese, skewered chicken and apple tarts will be served. Tickets are $16. For more information, call (706) 771-7777 or visit www.enopion.com.
At the Newberry Opera House, Palmetto Mastersingers will put on its traditional Christmas Concert at 8 p.m. on Friday. For more information or for tickets, call the box office at (803) 276-6264 or visit www.newberryoperahouse.com.
Saturday, Dec. 8
Children ages 6 to 12 can make Christmas gifts or decorations on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Aiken County Recreation Center in Graniteville. Lunch will be available. Those interested had to RSVP by Dec. 3. For more information, call Tandra Cooks at 663-6142.
Help those in need by stuffing trucks with canned food, clothing and toys at the Aiken Salvation Army and Toys for Tots' Stuff-A-Truck event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Held at both Aiken Walmart stores, the event will aid the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots' client populations.
Two grand chances to take pictures with Santa will take place on Saturday. At 10 a.m., Cold Creek Nurseries will hold its event with AAA Homeschool Band performing; for more information, call 648-3592. If you miss that opportunity, Chris' Camera Center on Laurens Street will start its session at 11 a.m.
Shop around downtown, hit up in-store promotions and win door prizes at Aiken's A Holly Day on Saturday. Equine Divine, Nandina and Tea Garden Gifts are just a few shops to visit. There will be a chance to get pictures with Santa and refreshments. For more information, call Aiken Downtown Development at 649-2221 or visit www.downtownaiken.com.
Children up to fifth graders are invited to explore what it might have been like long ago in Bethlehem on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. For the “Night in Bethlehem” event, St. John's United Methodist Church's gym will be populated with costumed individuals and booths, teaching the kids information about the ancient society. Children will need to register or call the Children's Director at 648-6891. For more information, call 648-6891.
Millbrook Baptist Church will hold the musical pageant “A Night With the King” at 4 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 8. Admission is free. On Dec. 9 at 6 p.m., the show will have its final performance; also that night will be a Kid Blitz Live event in the gym at 5:30 p.m. and Bellarive Youth Concert at 6 p.m. For more information, call 641-8241.
A Holiday Luminary Service will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 2648 Jefferson Davis Highway in Graniteville on Saturday at dusk. For more information, call 593-9213.
Shopping for hidden treasures and baked goods can be done in Edgefield at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8. Angels Helping Sarah's Santa's event will be held at the American Legion Hut on Penn Street.
Spend the morning with Santa at Breakfast with Santa on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Jackson Community Center. Five dollars will buy pancakes, sausage, bacon, orange juice, milk and coffee. Personal cameras need to be brought in order to get photos with Santa. For more information, call (803) 471-2228.
Two Christmas parades will occur on Saturday. The New Ellenton Christmas parade will take place on Main Street at noon; for more information, call Courtney at 652-2214 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The other is Midland Valley Chamber Christmas Parade at 3 p.m., occurring at LBC Middle School in Bath to Langley; for more information, email email@example.com or call 270-0934 or 292-2769.
Williston United Methodist Church's United Methodist Women's mission projects will be raising money at the church's Nativity Festival. Christmas crafts and baked goods will be sold. The festival on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. is free to the public, though donations are accepted.
USC Aiken percussion ensemble and mezzo-soprano Diane Haslam are a couple of performers that will play at Augusta Men's Chorus annual Christmas Concert at 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 at First Baptist Church of Augusta. General admission will be $10 at the door; elementary to college students will be admitted free.
Holiday music will be performed along Aiken Choral Society's 25th Annual Tour of Homes on Saturday. Tickets are $15, and the event will run 4 to 7 p.m. Maps will be at the Aiken County Historical Museum at 3:30 p.m. the day of the event. For more information, call the museum at 642-2015 or visit http://aikenchoralsociety.com/index.html.
Sunday, Dec. 9
Cartoon characters will parade down Park Avenue, Laurens Street and end at Trinity Lutheran Home on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Aiken Jaycees Christmas Parade; for more information, call 644-3008.
On Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum are inviting children to decorate an iconic holiday treat. The Children's Gingerbread Cookie Decorating Party is free and will be at the Aiken County Historical Museum on Newberry Street. Call the museum at 642-2015, for more information.
Boys from Chukker Creek Elementary Boundary Boys, East Aiken School of the Arts No Boundaries and the men's choir South Boundary will perform with Bound to Sing in its debut concert on Sunday. The concert – For the First Time – at 3 p.m. will feature sea chanties, Christmas carols and spirituals. Performed at Aiken's First Baptist Church, it will be free to the public with a free will offering. For more information, call Bill Riehl at 336-8802 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two other parades will occur today. At 2 p.m., North Augusta Evening Lions Club Christmas Parade will run its parade from Georgia Avenue and Martintown Road to Buena Vista Avenue. At 3 p.m., Jackson's Christmas Parade will be held; call 471-2228 for more information.
For anyone interested seeing the Elise Herlong Horne home off Pitts Branch Road, the Lybrand home on Watson Street, the Art Center, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ridge Spring Baptist Church, Spann United Methodist Church and Ridge Spring United Methodist Church, Green Thumb Garden Club's Christmas Tour of Homes would be a way to spend an afternoon. Taking place on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Ridge Spring, tickets can be purchased from any garden club member.
Two Christmas concerts will be performed on Sunday. Augusta Chorale will perform its concert on at 4 p.m. Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel of Paine College. For adults, tickets are $15, while tickets are $5 for students. Call (706) 830-0991 for more information. New Beginning Ministries Church in Beech Island will hold its concert at 6 p.m, featuring the Wilson Sisters, Blessed, E Hall, Laura Wilson, Shawna Domonique Harris and Harmony. For more information, call 439-9800.
Explore churches with the Edgefield Historical Society on Sunday at 3 p.m. This Christmas Tour of Churches will have a walking tour starting at St. Mary's Catholic Church. For more information, call 637-3833.
Aiken Standard File Photo Dancers for last year’s “The Nutcracker” presented by the Aiken Civic Ballet Company.×
Aiken Standard File Photo Aiken Jaycees President Carey Sarka presents Mary Beth Whitlaw and her daughter, Elizabeth, with the second place trophy earned by the Triple A Homeschool Band for last year's Aiken Jaycees Christmas Parade.×
Aiken Standard file photo The Palmetto Kiwanis float was one of many in the Aiken Jaycees Christmas Parade in 2011.×
Aiken Standard File Photo Forrest Wicks watches as his daughter, Isabella, puts finishing touches on her gingerbread man during a past A Holly Day in downtown Aiken.×