Tree lightings, parades this week

Santa passes out candy at Calhoun Park in North Augusta during the 2008 tree lighting event. This year's holiday celebration was postponed Tuesday afternoon because of rain and will take place from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, instead. Also tonight, events at Fort Gordon and Augusta State University.

If you love the thrill of the first illumination of the Christmas tree each year, then you’re in luck – there are seven tree-lighting events today through Saturday. For entertainment before the sun goes down, take in one of the many holiday parades happening this weekend.


NORTH AUGUSTA’S TREE LIGHTING: 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, John C. Calhoun Park between Georgia and Carolina avenues; includes a chili cook off, food vendors, musicians, local artwork, an inflatable moonwalk; portion of vendor sales benefits Friends of Lookaway Hall; (803) 441-4311

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL: 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, Barton Field, Fort Gordon; free; performance by Garden City Chorus at 5:45 p.m.; (706) 791-6001

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: Begins 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, History Walk outside Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way; refreshments, caroling by ASU Choir; tree lighting 6:30 p.m., followed by visit from Santa and photos; free; (706) 737-1759

WAGENER HOMETOWN HOLIDAY CELEBRATION AND CHRISTMAS PARADE: Friday, Nov. 30 – 5:30-7 p.m. local businesses open house, refreshments, carriage rides, visits with Santa; 6 p.m. music by Edisto Singers, WSHS JROTC, Busbee Corbett Elementary Middle School Chorus, WSHS band at Pavilion; 7:30 p.m. tree lighting and fireworks; Saturday, Dec. 1 – 9 a.m. craft and yard sale, 11 a.m. parade, 11:30 a.m. barbecue sandwich plates by WSHS FFA $5, noon car show, trophies presented 2 p.m.;

AIKEN CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, Laurens Street at Richland Avenue, downtown Aiken; music, refreshments, carols, light candles, countdown to tree lighting; appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus; all ages, must be accompanied by an adult; free;

CHRISTMAS LIGHT-UP SPECTACULAR: Saturday, Dec. 1; Holiday Market noon, Augusta Common; Miss Augusta Christmas Fantasy Parade 2 p.m.; family fun 3:30 p.m., Augusta Common; Mayor Deke Copenhaver throws the switch lighting up downtown 6:25 p.m., followed by fireworks,

COLUMBIA COUNTY FOX FAMILY CHRISTMAS AND TREE LIGHTING: 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Lady Antebellum Pavilion, Evans Town Center; meet Santa, live entertainment by Mass Elementary School Chorus and others, arts and crafts, more; free; (706) 312-7194,

GRANITEVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE: 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Main Street; sponsored by Graniteville Fire Department; details, (803) 663-3795

CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES AND FESTIVAL OFF MAIN: Dec. 1-2, Depot Dash, arts and crafts festival, entertainment, parade; 111 Railroad St., Thomson; (706) 597-1000,

MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION OF COLUMBIA COUNTY CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Evans; staging area closed to traffic 10 a.m.; parade route: Evans Town Center Boulevard to Washington Road to North Belair Road, ending at Cox/Owens Road near Evans High School,

39TH ANNUAL EDGEFIELD CHRISTMAS PARADE: 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Main Street, Edgefield, S.C.; horse drawn wagon for rides, singing by W.E. Parker Chorus, JET Middle School and Strom Thurmon High School Show Choir, more; snow on the square and pictures with Santa after the parade; (803) 480-1255,