Tree lightings, parades and festivals will kick off the holiday season in Richmond and Columbia counties this weekend.
•The Augusta Chronicle Christmas Light Up Spectacular is from noon-10 p.m. Saturday at Augusta Common. A parade is scheduled at 2 p.m. and a tree lighting and fireworks at 6:25 p.m.
•A month-long holiday celebration will kickoff with Christmas in Columbia County at Evans Towne Center Park beginning with the showing of the film Elf, on Friday at 7 p.m., with a surprise appearance by Elf of the Shelf.
The film is the first of three Friday night Christmas movies featured on the big screen. Festivities will take place from 5 - 9 p.m. with movies beginning at 6:30 p.m.
•Saturday will kick off with the 7th Annual Jingle Jam 10K benefitting Safe Homes of Augusta, beginning at 8 a.m.
According to the group’s Facebook page, more than 700 runners have registered for the race at Evans Towne Center Boulevard beginning at 8 a.m. The annual race features music, choirs, Santa Claus and a costume contest and includes chip timers and a timing system to record start and finish times.
Temporary road closures will be in place beginning at 7 a.m. to accomodate runners, according to a news release from Columbia County.
•Columbia County’s 17th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting festivities is also Saturday, from 2 - 7 p.m. There will be free photos with Santa, crafts with Mrs. Claus, roaming carolers, train rides, a vendor village, live nativity and fireworks. The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 6 p.m.
•Grovetown and Harlem will hold their Christmas parades and festivals this weekend as well. Grovetown’s annual Christmas Parade will begin at 10 a.m. heading east down John Huffman Way road and ending on Robinson Avenue.
Later in the day, Grovetown will hold its second annual Christmas Festival at Liberty Park from 4 - 8 p.m., with a Christmas Tree lighting taking place at 7:30 p.m. The festival will include more than 50 vendors, live entertainment, and pictures with Santa.
Harlem’s inaugural Festival of Trees and Holiday Market will also take place Saturday, from 2 - 7 p.m. The city’s annual Christmas Parade will begin at 2:30 and will feature a variety of themed floats including “”Whooville,” “Let their be Peace on Earth,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Joy to the World.” The parade will be judged and trophies will be awarded, courtesy of Woodmen of the World in Harlem.
For more information, visit evanstownecenterpark.com or contact Columbia County Community Events at (706) 868-3484.