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Charleston, SC 2013 Christmas Events
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These touring itineraries detail the best things to see and do while you're in Charleston over the holidays. Itineraries include complete information on recommended tours, accommodations, MUST TRY restaurants and shops. Information includes which restaurants are open Christmas day, website links, touring tips, how to get to/from downtown, where to park and much much more essential touring information!
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Holiday Festival of Lights

Through December 31, 2013
Location: James Island Country Park, about 15 minutes from downtown Charleston
Phone: (843) 795-7275

Every year the James Island County Park lights up over 500,000 lights to provide you with an enchanting 3-mile driving tour. Fun for everyone - in fact, they also offer a marshmallow roast and a 54 passenger train ride through the park to view the lights. To tour the lights in your car is $15/car and if you'd like you can ride the train around the lake for approximately $3/person and children under 2 are free if they sit in the lap of an adult.

Holiday Magic Entertainment and Visits with Santa

December 1-31, 2013
Fridays: 10:00am-6:00pm; Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Marion Square - Between King, Meeting & Calhoun Streets
Phone: (843) 724-730.

Children's choirs, church choirs, gospel, classical, folk, jazz, storytelling and other forms of entertainment dazzle audiences at Marion Square. Bring your Christmas wish lists to the North Pole Mailbox and visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their Elf assistants in the magically decorated park.

The Reindeer Run

December 7, 2013
Location: Front of Southend Brewery, 161 East Bay Street at Cumberland St., Downtown Charleston, SC
racedirector@reindeerrun.org

A festive fun-filled 5K run/walk (3.1 miles) through the streets of downtown Charleston during the holiday season This event is open to persons of all fitness levels. There will be awards three-deep for age groups from 8 & Under and up to 70 & Over; but if running is not your bag, walk the course and dress-up in your best holiday costume, and win fabulous prizes for Most Original Costumes.

North Charleston Christmas Festival

December 7, 2013
Phone: (843) 740-5854
4:30-9pm

Annual North Charleston Christmas Lighting, Festival and Parade - Experience dozens of beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local churches, schools, businesses, and civic groups. Enjoy rides, dancing troupes, hayrides, pony rides, visits with Mr. and Mrs. Clause and the annual Christmas parade. Admission is free.

Charleston Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 30, 2013, 4:30pm-6:00pm
Marion Square
Location: Marion Square - Between King, Meeting & Calhoun Streets
Phone: (843) 724-7305.

Join Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and Santa Claus in lighting the magnificent 60-foot Tree of Lights, the official City of Charleston Christmas Tree at Marion Square.

Parade of Boats

December 7, 2013
Location: Official viewing sites are Waterfront Park, The USS Yorktown and the Battery Area.
Parade begins along Mt. Pleasant at 5:00pm Viewing from the peninsula begins at 6:30pm; Fireworks begin at approximately 6:45pm
Phone: (843) 724-7305

Get on board with a Lowcountry holiday tradition as this display of lighted and festive boats proceeds from the Cooper River, through the Charleston Harbor and into the Ashley River, culminating in a brilliant fireworks display over the harbor. View the procession along Charleston’s waterfront or decorate your own boat and join the parade.

Charleston Christmas Parade

December 1, 2013
2-5 PM
Phone: (843) 720-1981

The holiday tradition is better than ever as bands, floats, marchers and performers parade through downtown Charleston. The parade begins at the intersection of Calhoun and Meeting Streets, proceeds down King Street to Broad Street to Lockwood Blvd.

Annual Spirituals Concert

Matinée Concerts: Saturday & Sunday, December 7, 8, 2013
Location: Drayton Hall
Phone: (843) 769-2608

Drayton Hall presents African-American spiritual music in concert. One of the longest-running performances of its kind in the Lowcountry, these popular annual concerts have become a Charleston tradition as they offer a rare opportunity for visitors to gather at the oldest unrestored plantation house in America and experience music that could have been heard centuries ago in the surrounding fields and praise houses. The concerts will take place in the raised English basement of the main house and will be staged to take advantage of the atmospheric properties of this exceptional architectural feature. Tickets are still $35 for adults and $30 for Friends of Drayton Hall, and include a catered reception and informal tours of the house prior to the performance. For more information, please contact Dawn Brogan at dawn_brogan@draytonhall.org or at (843) 769-2605.

Holiday Farmers Market

Every Sunday in December, 8am -2 pm
Location: Marion Square, located at King and Calhoun Streets
Phone: (843) 724-7305

Under the brightly colored tents at Marion Square, you'll find everything you need to deck the halls for the holidays and fill the pantry with baked delights: natural wreaths, fresh greenery, special breads, cookies and fresh vegetables, as well as the best assortment of art, crafts and holiday gift items to complete your shopping lists.

Charleston Men's Chorus

December 8, 2013, 4PM
Location: Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street, Downtown Charleston
Phone: (843) 720-8505

The Charleston Men's Chorus will perform a combination of sacred music as well as joyful holiday lyrics. Tickets: $15 adults, free ages 6 and under.

The Nutcracker Ballet

December 26, 2013, 2PM and 7:30PM
Location: North Charleston Performing Arts Theatre
Tickets: $30, $35, $40 & $45. Children’s tickets are $10 off each price level.
Phone: (843) 723-7334, M-F

It's Charleston circa 1865 and families are filling the streets and the market of downtown in a last minute rush for gifts and decorations. Young Maria is presented with the gift of a cherished authentic Nutcracker. With a little help from Uncle Drosselmeyer she is transported on a world tour through lands of fantasy beyond her imagination. This Charleston holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the holiday spirit and the kid that remains inside us all.

Live Manger Scene

December 23, 24, 2013
5:15-7:15 PM on Dec 23, after the 7 PM Christmas Eve Service on the 24th.
Location: Front Lawn of Bethany United Methodist Church
Address: 1853 Maybank Highway, James Island
Phone: (843) 795-3527

This church presents a live manger scene that you can drive past or stop and view. Free for all.

Happy New Years Charleston

December 31, 2013, 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Location: Marion Square and surrounding locations
Phone: (843) 724-7305

This community celebration offers a non-alcoholic and family-oriented alternative program to celebrate the New Year in Charleston. This city wide, admission-free program has something wonderful for everyone: comedy, African dancing, many forms of music including classical, gospel and jazz, children's activities and so much more.

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