Thanksgiving & Christmas events 2011




HOLIDAY GINGERBREAD VILLAGE: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 26, 1-5 p.m. Nov. 27, Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds St.; free; (706) 722-8454,

SEVENTH ANNUAL ONE TABLE THANKSGIVING DINNER: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 24, The Alley, downtown Aiken; community event where local churches, sponsors and volunteers feed an estimated 2,000 people

FORT GORDON DINING FACILITIES: Thanksgiving dinner for soldiers, family members, retirees and their families; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 24; soldiers served 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; retirees and families welcome and are requested to come after 12:30 p.m.

BLESSING OF THE HOUNDS: 11 a.m. Nov. 24, Hitchcock Woods Memorial Gate; Aiken Hounds’ opening meet and Blessing of the Hounds; please do not bring your own dogs; (803) 643-3724

COLONIAL CHRISTMAS IN THE BACK COUNTRY: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 26, Living History Park, North Augusta; re-enactors sharing knowledge and skills, relaxing together; bring something to share, trade or sell; cooking/recipe competitions; potluck evening meal;

A HOLIDAY EVENING AT RED­CLIFFE: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 26, Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, 181 Redcliffe Road, Beech Island; holiday open house; Jazz musician Bill Karp, refreshments, informal tours; (803) 827-1473




HOLIDAY TOURS OF THE BOYHOOD HOME OF PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, on the hour, 419 Seventh St.; $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 students K-12. Groups of 10 or more by reservation: $3 each; (706) 724-0436,

FESTIVAL OF TREES AT ROSE HILL ESTATE: 2-5 p.m. Nov. 24, noon-6 p.m. Nov. 25, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 26, noon-3 p.m. Nov. 27, Rose Hill Estates, 211 Greenville NW, Aiken; lights, trees, auction; proceeds benefit Aiken Area Council on Aging; (803) 648-5447

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY: Noon-9 p.m. Saturdays, 2-8 p.m. Sundays Nov. 26-Dec. 18, 1-9 p.m. Nov. 25, Kackleberry Farms; Christmas tree farm, Santa, s’mores, hot chocolate; $7; Snow Days, ride down Snow Hill on real snow additional $10 per person;, (487) 625-8668

JAMES BROWN TOY GIVEAWAY REGISTRATION: 9-11 a.m. Nov. 26, Bell Auditorium; Dec. 3, 10, James Brown Arena; parents must bring valid state ID and birth certificate and Social Security number for each child ages 1-12; each child registered must be present at toy giveaway; giveaway 9 a.m. Dec. 19, James Brown Arena

USC AIKEN WINTER WONDERLAND HOLIDAY FEST: 5-7 p.m. Nov. 30, University of South Carolina Aiken, in the Quad; $5 adults, $3 children older than 6, free for ages 6 and under; fake snow, iceless skating rink, pictures with Santa, treats and activity tables

OUR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, AIKEN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM: Dec. 1-5, 433 Newberry St., Aiken; an over-the-top Christmas of trees, trees and more trees decorated for the season; open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; (803) 642-2015

AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING: Dec. 1, 2500 Walton Way on the History Walk across from the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre; caroling with the ASU Choir, refreshments and a visit from Santa

AIKEN CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2, center of Laurens Street and Richland Avenue, downtown Aiken; music and refreshments; sing carols, light candles, countdown to tree lighting; children given opportunity to tell what they’re thankful for; appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus; all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult; free

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AND ARTISANS HOLIDAY MARKET: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3, Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta; annual holiday open house; free, open to the public; exhibits of artworks, samples of gift shop foods, holiday music; artisans market 5-9 p.m. Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3; (803) 441-4380,

OLDE TOWN CANDLELIGHT TOUR OF HOMES: Self-guided walking tour presented by Olde Town Neighborhood Association; 6-9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3; eight homes on the 300 block of Broad Street and three newly renovated businesses on Greene Street, decorated with Christmas décor; live music and opportunities to sing Christmas carols; tickets available at The Fox’s Lair, Heritage Academy, Schweitzer Art Glass Studio, The Book Tavern, Fireside Outdoor Kitchens and Grills, Sundrees Urban Market, Martina’s Flowers and Gifts and Ruth’s Family Restaurant


GRANITEVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE: Dec. 3, Main Street; sponsored by Graniteville Fire Department; details, (803) 663-3795

AUGUSTA CHRISTMAS PARADE: 3 p.m. Dec. 3; nonprofit group entries $40, commercial or business entries $100; entry deadline Nov. 23; entry forms available at and

THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE CHRISTMAS LIGHT-UP SPECTACULAR: Noon-8 p.m. Dec. 3, Augusta Common; includes Saturday Market on the River, activities, vendors, music; parade 3 p.m.; Mayor Deke Copenhaver flips the switch to light up downtown; fireworks; (706) 722-8000

A HOLLY DAY: Dec. 3, all day, downtown Aiken; shops offer holiday specials; Aiken Downtown Development Association, (803) 649-2221,

CHRISTMAS FOR THE BIRDS: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3, Living History Park, 299 W. Spring Grove Ave., North Augusta; free; create decorations for birds to eat all winter; bring apples, oranges, peanut butter for the birds and food for dogs and cats to be given to local pet adoption centers; cider and cookies served; story time at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30;

MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION OF COLUMBIA COUNTY CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m. Dec. 4, beginning on Evans Town Center Boulevard, to Washington Road, to North Belair Road, ending at Cox Road; to participate visit

VERY MERRY MORRIS SUNDAY: 2-5 p.m. Dec. 4, Morris Museum of Art; holiday tunes by Celtic duo Lillie Morris and Michael Hay during Music at the Morris; gallery scavenger hunt and create handcrafted ornaments and greeting cards during Artrageous! Family Sunday; free

DECK THE HALLS WITH HISTORIC AUGUSTA: 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 415 Seventh St.; Greg Boulus of Charleston Street Fine Flowers and Events presents how to adorn your home with seasonal flora; create a fresh evergreen arrangement (please bring clippers); $30; (706) 724-0436,

NIGHT OF 1,000 LIGHTS: All day Dec. 8, downtown Aiken; held by Aiken Downtown Development Association; food, festivities and Santa in town; (803) 649-2221,

ELKS ANNUAL CHRISTMAS DINNER DANCE: Dinner 7 p.m., dancing 8 p.m. Dec. 9, Elks Lodge; $50 couple, $30 single; Mood Swings band; limited seating available; (706) 869-9203

THE SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE: 7 p.m. Dec. 9-11, 3 p.m. Dec. 11, Abilene Baptist Church; free, tickets available from church office

AIKEN JAYCEES CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m. Dec. 11, downtown Aiken; register entries by Dec. 5;

NORTH AUGUSTA LIONS CLUB CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m. Dec. 11; entry is free for noncommercial participants, $25 for commercial participants; register by Dec. 4; entry forms at Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, 406 West Ave., or contact Verlon McDowell (803) 279-7288 or; sponsorship opportunities, (803) 279-7701

ALL ABOARD THE POLAR EXPRESS: 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 11, Augusta Museum of History on the passenger car in the transportation exhibit; $2 child, two tickets per person; limited to 36 children per performance; children must wear pajamas; refreshments;, (706) 722-8454

CHRISTMAS DURING THE CIVIL WAR IN AUGUSTA LECTURE: 2 p.m. Dec. 11, 415 Seventh St.; Dr. Lee Ann Caldwell, director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History at Augusta State University; tour Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson; $10; (706) 724-0436,




HOPELANDS GARDENS: Lights, lights and more lights; Hopelands Gardens illuminated with more than 100,000 holiday lights; Dec. 10-11, 15-23, 26; refreshments offered; visitors must ride shuttle from Fred’s parking lot on Whiskey Road; all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult

6-10 p.m. through Dec. 30, 633 Louisville Road; light displays, hay rides, Santa, holiday treats; $7.50, $4 ages 4-17; (706) 825-6441,




FOURTH ANNUAL HANDEL’S MESSIAH SING-IN: 6 p.m. Nov. 27, West Acres Baptist Church, 555 Gibbs Road, Evans; sponsored by Columbia County Orchestra; singers welcome to rehearse at 4:30 p.m.; free;

A CELTIC CHRISTMAS: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, St. Mary's on the Hill Catholic Curch Parish Hall, 1420 Monte Sano Ave.; Irish, Southern and traditional Christmas songs and stories featuring Harry O'Donoghue, performer and host of Georgia Public Radio's The Green Island Radio Show, and Carroll Brown, singer, songwriter and guitarist; $15; tickets available at church office Nov. 28; Jeff Ryan (706) 284-1531 or

TUESDAY’S MUSIC LIVE: UGA ACCIDENTALS HOLIDAY CONCERT: Noon Dec. 6, St. Paul’s Church, 605 Reynolds St.; free concert; lunch $10, reservations required for lunch; (706) 722-3463 or

AUGUSTA COLLEGIUM MUSICUM, FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Sacred Heart Cultural Center; with guest chorus Davidson Fine Arts School Choir; $25; reservations required by Dec. 2; (706) 733-5619, (706) 826-4700,

FESTIVAL OF SONG & CELEBRATION: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St.; with Augusta Children’s Chorale, Symphony Orchestra Augusta Pops! At the Bell Series; (706) 826-4705,

COLUMBIA COUNTY CHORAL SOCIETY, A SERVICE OF LESSONS AND CAROLS: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, First Baptist Church of Evans; $15, $10 seniors, students, active-duty military and dependants and groups; (762) 233-7793,

AIKEN CHORAL SOCIETY WINTER CONCERT: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 4 p.m. Dec. 11, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Aiken; $15 ages 12 and older at Aiken County Historical Museum and at door; singing Brahms’ Love Songs & Waltzes, folk songs and Christmas carols; (803) 642-2015

THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS WITH AMY GRANT AND VINCE GILL: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Bell Auditorium; $40, $50, $60;, 1-877-4AUGTIX and at the Champion’s Box Office at James Brown Arena

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS HOLIDAY FESTIVAL CHORUS: 8 p.m. Dec. 10; Etherredge Center at USC Aiken, 471 University Parkway; Aiken Symphony Guild concert featuring Symphony Orchestra Augusta, $40; (803) 641-3305 or e-mail

AUGUSTA CHORALE CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, 4 p.m. Dec. 11, Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, Paine College; with Glenn Hills, Cross Creek and Butler high school choirs and the Suzuki Strings of Augusta; $15 adults, $5 students; (706) 830-0991,

AUGUSTA COLLEGIUM MUSICUM, HOLIDAY MUSIC FROM AROUND THE WORLD: 7:30-9 p.m. Dec. 12, Augusta Museum of History, $10 for museum and Collegium members, $15 others; (706) 733-5619

AUGUSTA CHORALE CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCES: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 14, Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, 1116 Phillips St.; also 11:30 a.m. Dec. 15, Elim Baptist Church, 2359 Mount Auburn St.; (706) 830-0991, www.augusta

AUGUSTA MEN’S CHORUS: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Covenant Presbyterian Church, and 3 p.m. Dec. 18, St. John United Methodist Church; e-mail Robert Gibson,

AUGUSTA CHORAL SOCIETY, A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Saint Paul’s Church; selections from Handel’s Messiah and the Baroque masters Bach, Vivaldi and Charpentier; $25 adults, $20 senior citizens, $10 students; (706) 826-4713,

TONY HOWARD’S MOTOWN CHRISTMAS SHOW: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Imperial Theatre; sounds of Motown music, tribute to Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, the Supremes, James Brown, more; $10-$30;

12 BANDS OF CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Dec. 18, Imperial Theatre; $12 advance, $5 ages 5-12;

JOHN BERRY, JOY TO THE WORLD CHRISTMAS SHOW: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Imperial Theatre; $15-$27;; for child ticket rates call (706) 722-8341

CONCERTS WITH A CAUSE CHRISTMAS EVE CONCERT AND LESSONS AND CAROLS: 10:30 p.m. Dec. 24, St. John’s United Methodist Church, 736 Greene St.; with St. John’s choirs and orchestra; benefits The United Methodist Children’s Home;




CHRISTMAS BELLES: Dec. 2-3; dinner 7 p.m., show 8 p.m.; Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre comedy with an ailing Santa, Elvis and a long-kept family secret; $30-$40 or $25 for show only; (706) 793-8552;

ELI’S BETHLEHEM INN: Through Dec. 2, Kroc Center; musical dinner theater presentation by ENOPION Theatre Company; $15; (706) 771-7777,

THE NUTCRACKER, DANCE AUGUSTA: 7 p.m. Nov. 25, 1 and 5 p.m. Nov. 26-27, Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St.; $17-40;, (706) 722-8341;

THE NUTCRACKER, COLUMBIA COUNTY BALLET: 7 p.m. Dec. 2, Imperial Theatre; $20-$29;

FRUITCAKES!: 8 p.m. Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4, William Miller Bouknight Theatre, 405 Main St., Edgefield County Theatre Co.; $15; (803) 637-3833,

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER: 8 p.m. Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17; 3 p.m. Dec. 11, 17, Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St. SW; six wild kids take over the Christmas play and bring a fresh interpretation to the Christmas story;

THE FROG PRINCE AT CHRISTMAS: 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Dec. 7, Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, ASU Patchwork Players for Literacy; $3, groups of 15 or more $2 per person, free with ASU ID; (706) 737-1625

THE MISCONCEPTION OF MINSTREL KRAMPUS: 8 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 15-17, Le Chat Noir, 304 Eighth St.; musical takes an irreverent look at the reason for the season; $15-$30; (706) 722-3322,

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: 8 p.m. Dec. 10, 3 p.m. Dec. 11, Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St.; musical version of the Charles Dickens classic; $15-$41;

A DICKEN’S TALE: 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11, Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Theatre, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; $5 advance, $7 at door; performed by Bright Star Children’s Theatre; (706) 312-7912,,

THE NUTCRACKER, AIKEN CIVIC BALLET: 7 p.m. Dec. 16-17, 2 p.m. Dec. 18, USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 471 University Parkway; $20 adults, $15 seniors and students; (803) 641-3305,; Aiken Civic Ballet (803) 648-5771

BEHOLD THE STAR: 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17, Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre; presented by Barefoot Productions Inc./Creative Impressions; 2 p.m. show $15, ages 12 and under $10; 7 p.m. show $20, groups of 10 or more $18, ages 12 and under and students with ID $10; ASU box office; (706) 951-4239, (706) 664-9022



24TH ANNUAL NORTH AUGUSTA CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3; advance tickets $17, $20 day of tour; brunch and fashion show 10 a.m. Dec. 3 at First Baptist Church of North Augusta; (803) 279-4844

41ST ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CRAFT SHOW: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, H. Odell Weeks Activity Center, Whiskey Road, Aiken; vendors from all over the Southeast with handmade treasures; all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult; (803) 642-7631

ALLELUIA COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 3, Peach Orchard and Lumpkin roads; baked goods, German and Italian dinners, entertainment, auction, bookstore, crafts, coffee house; (706) 798-1882

’TIS THE SEASON: 7 and 8 p.m. Dec. 3, 10, 12; 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Dec. 17, 19, 26; DuPont Planetarium, USC Aiken, 471 University Parkway; $4.50 adults, $3.50 seniors, $2.50 students 4K-12; reservations encouraged; planetarium show traces world’s holiday customs, explains seasons, star of Bethlehem;

BERRY CENTER INC. 50TH ANNIVERSARY, ART SALE, HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: 2-4 p.m. Dec. 4, The Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way; free; Very Berry art and music to celebrate the holiday season and 50th anniversary; music by Bill Karp; (706) 738-6792

12TH ANNUAL AUGUSTA MOTORCYCLE TOY RUN TO BENEFIT MILITARY FAMILIES: Held by Southeastern Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America; kick stands up 1:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Augusta Museum of History; rain or shine, warm or cold; all motorcycles welcome; one new, unwrapped toy or $10 per rider; police escort to 4010 Deans Bridge Road, Hephzibah, where toys will be collected for delivery to Fort Gordon; refreshments at end of ride; (803) 634-0785, (706) 796-6301

AUGUSTA OPERA GUILD HOLIDAY WINE-TASTING: 7-9 p.m. Dec. 8, the historic home of Al Cheatham, 808 Milledge Road; Vino e Voce, an evening of wine and song; Dennis Sodomka, wine critic for Augusta Magazine and Augusta Chronicle columnist will present wines paired with hors d’oeuvres; Augusta Opera soloists will perform arias and duets; formal attire encouraged; $50; purchase before Dec. 1 from; (706) 364-9114

AIKEN COUNTY HISTORIC GINGERBREAD CONTEST: Dec. 8-11, Aiken County Historical Museum. 433 Newberry St. SW; entries must feature Aiken County historic sites, registration forms at museum; register by Nov. 30; categories for all ages; (803) 642-2015 or Del Hickey at (803) 642-5852,

REINDOG ROMP AND PET FAIR WITH AIKEN SPCA: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10, H. Odell Weeks Activity Center, Whiskey Road, Aiken; $10, includes bandana for pet; fee waived for walkers who collect more than $100 in donations; (803) 648-6863,

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: 8:30 p.m. Dec. 10, H. Odell Weeks Activity Center, Rooms 6 and 7; Santa has breakfast with children and listens to holiday wishes; holiday craft; register by Dec. 4; ages 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult); (803) 642-7631

HOLIDAY BAZAAR AND SPAGHETTI DINNER: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Evans Middle School, 4785 Hereford Farm Road; crafts, holiday décor, jewelry, handmade items, kitchen needs and wishes, accessories, gifts; supports Evans Middle School Parent Teacher Organization and Boosters;

HOLIDAY CHEER 2011: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Jabez Hardin Performing Arts Center, 720 N. Belair Road, Evans; presented by Cutno Dance Center

KWANZAA COMMUNITY CELEBRATION AND MARKETPLACE: 3-7 p.m. Dec. 18, Diamond Lakes Community Center; dance, music, performances, tribute to community elders, lectures, marketplace, activities for children, community drum circle; open to all, regardless of racial or cultural background; some proceeds benefit C.H. Terrell Academy and Cycle for Freedom; vendors and performers contact Denise Lipscomb or Baruti Tucker (706) 394-0190,




GARDEN LIGHTS, HOLIDAY NIGHTS: 5-10 p.m. through Jan. 7 (closed Dec. 24, 31), Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta; nearly 1 million bulbs light a winter wonderland; carolers, refreshments; $18.95 adults; $12.95, ages 3-17; member discount; (404) 876-5859,

LIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS: 6-9 p.m. through Dec. 30 (closed Nov. 24, Dec. 24-25), Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia; nearly 1 million lights, animated displays, refreshments, visits with Santa;

DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL: Nov. 29-Dec. 4, Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta;, 1-800-982-2787

TYBEE FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Events include Lights On for Tybee Celebration Dec. 2, parade Dec. 3 and Holiday Shop-n-Stroll Dec. 3-4. A Floating Christmas Parade with decorated boats, skiffs and yachts is Dec. 10;

NEWBERRY (S.C.) OPERA HOUSE: Holiday shows: Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver Christmas Dec. 1; Palmetto Mastersingers Dec. 2; An Irish Christmas Dec. 5; Christmas With Emile Pandolfi Dec. 6; Carolina FreeStyle Holiday Show Dec. 7; John Tesh – Big Band Christmas! Dec. 13; A Christmas Carol, The Musical Dec. 14; for tickets, (803) 276-6264 or

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Handel’s Messiah, Atlanta Symphony Hall, 8 p.m. Dec. 1 and 3; $29-$59; ASO Gospel Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3, Memorial Arts Building, Woodruff Arts Center; $15-$42;, (404) 733-5000