No matter how you spell it, the holiday season is special for everyone. The Lowcountry takes its holidays seriously. Take part in all that we have to offer and fill your hearts with the joy of the season.
With Thanksgiving falling so late in November, there’s a slight pause before the holiday celebrations begin. Between the neighborhood drop-ins, the office parties and friendly get-togethers, there are some large scale gatherings planned throughout the area.
Right out of the gate, we have Hanukkah from the 16th through the 24th. Christmas falls on a Thursday, the 25th. Boxing Day is the 26th, also the first day of Kwanzaa which runs through the first of the year. New Years Eve, of course, is Wednesday, the 31st. Polar Plunging, hoppin’ john eating, collard green chewing, pig cooking and oyster slurping New Years Day begins 2015.
Less known to the world, but as important to many are our local festivals and traditions. The Garden and Gun Magazine’s Jubilee officially kicks off on the 5th for two days at Charles Towne Landing. The festival celebrates all things southern in its Second Annual Made in the South Extravaganza.
Winter Wonderland, a free pre-school event, helps get the youngsters in the holiday mood with arts and crafts, music and live performances. The fun is at Armory Park on Lackawanna Blvd, the 2nd through the 5th.
A Sweet T. Christmas, returning for its third holiday season, is the fun story of a heavenly stranger, a hapless handyman, a hopeless hostess, a hopping mad Santa and their hunt for a winning lottery ticket. Laugh your way into the season at the Black Fedora Theatre.
Christmas Throughout the Ages takes a musical journey through seasonal music from the chants of the first century to modern times on the 4th at Bethel Methodist and on the 6th at Old St Andrews Parish Church.
A Stroll through Wine Country, a King Street ticketed event will ratchet the rush of holiday shopping down a notch or two. Stroll the streets, visit designated stores and sip wine while you put the finishing touches on your list. The special event is on the 5th from 4-7pm and again on the 12th. A special Mens Only evening on the 18th, 5-8pm.
Celebrate a Victorian holiday season by candlelight at the Edmondston-Alston House on the 5th and 12th, 6:30-8:30, tours given continuously. Broadway Comes to Charleston with a Charleston Christmas Special bringing holiday musical classics and spiritual favorites and everything in between from the 5th-21st at the Charleston Music Hall.
One of Charleston’s oldest and most memorable traditions is the Candlelight Service at the Citadel’s Summerall Chapel. Open to the public, the 5th-7th.
Palmetto Bronze, the Lowcountry’s Handbell Ensemble, will perform a free concert, Hark, Hear the Bells, at 7pm on the 5th at Christ St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Music of a different note: Join Awendaw Green for the Loading Dock Series at Palmetto Brewery on Huger St. Music every Friday 5-9, free, all ages, dogs on leashes and a free tour every hour.
Five special holiday editions of the Sounds of Charleston will grace the Circular Congregational Church. Beginning at 7pm, the 75 minute program will take you though the history of the city, musically.
A Christmas Crafts Workshop will be held at the Nathaniel Russell House. Discover the holidays in the 19th century with a tour of the decorated house, learn about period traditions while crafts will be offered for children and parents to practice. On the 6th, 9:30-noon.
Looking for something a little different?
How about the College of Charleston Madrigal Singers’ Yuletide Feast? Each of the evenings, 4th-6th, will be filled with Renaissance entertainment and a feast fit for royalty. At Randolph Hall 7pm.
The parades begin on the 6th. North Charleston will hold its parade at 5pm followed by the tree lighting. Lots of things for the kids beginning at 3pm with music on two stages until 9pm when the roads around Park Circle will reopen to vehicles.
The Isle of Palms Holiday Street Festival is also on the 6th. Carnival rides, Santa photo booth, and the lighting of their 22’ tree. It’s free at the front beach.
The City of Charleston is really making a weekend of it. The opening of the Holiday Market (9am-4pm) and the Lighting of the Tree (4:30-6:30) will be on Marion Square on the 6th. On the 7th, come on down to the 34th Annual Christmas Parade from 2-4pm. Fair warning, if you don’t want to be in the parade, it proceeds up Broad from Colonial Lake and ends at Marion Square.
You’ll have two chances to see the perennial favorite, The Nutcracker, this season. The Columbia City Ballet will perform on the 6th at the North Charleston PAC at 5:30 and the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker will be on stage at the PAC on the 24th, noon and 4pm
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir will join the CSO Spiritual Ensemble to present Gospel Christmas: Unspeakable Gift, at Ashley River Baptist on the 6th at 7:30pm.
The Park Café will have a ‘Karaling’ Bike tour of Hampton Park/Wagener Terrace neighborhoods on the 7th. Bike decorating station opens at 3pm. Afterward holiday karaoke. Suggested attire? Amazing holiday sweaters!
It’s 2nd Sunday on King Street, the 8th No cars...just fun.
The Feast of the Fishes will celebrate sustainable seafood and holiday wine pairings all by local “esteemed” chefs at Cannon Green 103 Spring St on the 11th.
The 25th Annual Singing Christmas Tree will be performed at the Summerville Baptist Church the 12th- 15th.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the 33rd Annual Holiday Parade of Boats held in the Charleston Harbor on the 13th. The Parade begins at 5pm on the Mt Pleasant side and ends in the Ashley River after proceeding down the Charleston side of the harbor at about 7:30pm. Wind and tide dependent.
When the worst kids in town wrangle the leads in the Christmas play, nothing is safe! Charleston Stage presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Dock Street Theatre on the 13th and 20th.
If you’re hunting for local holiday gifts, visit the Farmers Market at Marion Square, Saturdays until the 20th. There are two other markets to tell you about. The Holiday Market and Craft Show in Mt Pleasant at Moultrie Middle School grounds on the 13th from 11-4. Then there’s the Holiday Market at Park Circle on the 13th and 14th.
Candy Canes and Christmas Carols is the theme of Summerville’s Christmas Parade on the 14th.
Folly Beach’s infamous Christmas Parade is on the 14th. REMEMBER...if you want to go to or leave the beach, the parade begins at 1pm. Traffic to and from the beach is stopped during the parade.
Mt Pleasant celebrates Christmas with their parade on the 14th. Fireworks and Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30 and the parade of 100+ floats will be right after. Coleman Blvd.
Make the Grand Illumination and Buffet at Middleton Place part of your holiday festivities on the 18th, 19th and 20th from 6-8pm. The Revolution ends...celebrate!
The 4th Annual Reindeer Run will be on the 6th. The runners begin at 9am, the course starts and ends at the Southend Brewery downtown. The party afterwards is right there, so stick around, it’s all free if you have a race number!
The Jingle Bells 5K will begin at 9am on the 6th in Azalea park in Summerville. You’ll be able to hear them coming, everyone gets jingle bells to wear!
The 37th Annual Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon and Half Marathon will be on the 13th. The Boston-qualifying race will begin and end at the East Beach Village.
The Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk to fight arthritis will take place at Roper-St Francis Hospital in Mt Pleasant on the 13th.
The Citadel Christmas Breakaway 5K will also be on the 13th. Beginning at 8am it’s one lap around Hampton Park and one around the campus.
The 2nd Annual Happy Tails and Dog Mile Fun Run to benefit the homeless animals of Dorchester County will begin at 8:30 at the Miler Country Club in Summerville. Dogs are welcome to run with their owners.
The 7th Annual Charleston 5K Pajama Run to raise awareness of cancer below the waist will begin at 9:00 am on the 13th at Waterfront Park in Mt Pleasant, loop around Patriots Point and return to the Park.
The 2014 Last Chance 50K Trail Run will be on the 13th in Awendaw. The course runs along Awendaw Creek and works for both first time 50Kers or ultra runners alike.
Polar Bear Plunges on both sides of town..Freezin’ for a Reason benefits Special Olympics out of Dunleavy’s Pub on Sullivan’s Island, there’s a plunge at Kiawah Island and Folly Beach.
Everyone celebrate responsibly and eat your Hoppin’ John and collards. Enjoy!!!