Holiday events: Christmas

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.

HOLIDAY PHOTO DISPLAY: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 23, Cold Creek Nurseries, 398 Hitchcock Parkway; bring family, friends and camera; no charge to take photos


LIGHTS OF THE SOUTH: 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 30, (closed Christmas Day), Lights Of The South, 633 Louisville Road, Grovetown; more than 5 million lights throughout 100-acre forest; food, sweets, beverages, hay rides, walking trails, Christmas train, Christmas tree maze, more; $8; ages 4-17 $5; ages 3 and younger free; (706) 825-6441,

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; (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 FOR THE BIRDS: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 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;

CHRISTMAS LIGHT-UP SPECTACULAR: 10 a.m. 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,

CHRISTMAS ARTS IN APPLING: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, downtown Appling; food vendors, art show, art sale, art parties, face painting, tours of historic buildings, children’s activities, craft booths 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., downtown Appling; concert by Columbia County Orchestra Brass 2 p.m., historic Appling Columbia County Court House; reception by Columbia County Historical Society 3 p.m., old county jail; activities end 4 p.m.;

DECK THE HALLS – A GALLERY ON THE ROW CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Gallery on the Row, 1016 Broad St.; door prizes, refreshments, clay ornaments for children to decorate, artisan demonstrations; (706) 724-4989,

HAMMOND HILL CARNIVAL/COOKIES WITH SANTA: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Hammond Hill Elementary School, 901 W. Woodlawn Ave., North Augusta; inflatables, rock wall, train ride, games, prizes; crafts, business vendors, food, pictures with Santa; armband for unlimited games $10; for vendor applications

NUTCRACKER TEA, AIKEN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM: 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 433 Newberry St., Aiken; museum open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; (803) 642-2015

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

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,

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,

AIKEN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: Saturday-Wednesday, Dec. 1-5; several trees on display throughout the museum, 433 Newberry St, Aiken; (803) 642-2015

HOLIDAY ON THE HILL: Dec. 1-30, Hickory Hill, 502 Hickory Hill Drive, Thomson; experience the magic of the holidays on an evening tour of Sen. Thomas E. Watson’s beloved home; (706) 595-7777,

MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION OF COLUMBIA COUNTY CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Evans; applications to participate online; deadline to enter parade Nov. 19; 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, columbia

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 Thurmond High School Show Choir, more; entry forms online; snow on the square and pictures with Santa after the parade; (803) 480-1255,

RETURN TO BETHLEHEM: A live set of the city of Bethlehem built in a field beside the church; a guide takes groups of 20 people through live scenes of the night of Jesus’s birth; handicapped guests can drive through; 6-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Dec. 5-8; park in front of Wesley Center no later than 5:45 p.m.; no donations taken;

LADIES NIGHT OUT: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, Cold Creek Nurseries, 398 Hitchcock Parkway, Aiken; create a centerpiece for the table using fresh greenery; music, wine, hors d’oeuvres, door prizes, shopping; $25, includes supplies; in-store registrtation required; (803) 648-3592

25TH ANNUAL NORTH AUGUSTA CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8; sponsored by Beta Sigma Phi Sorority; tickets: Jim Bush Flower Shop, Communigraphics, Parks Pharmacy; day of tour tickets at any stop; $20 until 3 p.m. Dec. 3, $25 after; (803) 279-4844, (803) 279-6036, (803) 279-5074

A HOLLY DAY: All day, Saturday, Dec. 8, downtown Aiken; shops offer holiday specials; Aiken Downtown Development Association, (803) 649-2221,

CITY OF NEW ELLENTON CHRISTMAS PARADE: Noon Saturday, Dec. 8, Main Street, New Ellenton; (803) 652-2214,; free

MIDLAND VALLEY CHAMBER CHRISTMAS PARADE: 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, South Carolina Highway 421 from LBC Middle School in Bath to Langley; to enter, e-mail or call (803) 270-0934; (803) 292-2769

NORTH AUGUSTA LIONS PARADE: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9; parade forms available at North Augusta Chamber of Commerce; entry deadline Nov. 29, no exceptions; parade begins at Kmart shopping center, goes down Martintown Road, then left onto Georgia Avenue to Buena Vista Avenue; (803) 279-2323

AIKEN JAYCEES CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, downtown Aiken; Cartoon Christmas theme; register entries by Dec. 1; (803) 644-3008,

STORYTIME WITH MRS. CLAUS: 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, Odell Weeks Center, Rooms 6 and 7, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken; Mrs. Claus reading holiday books; refreshments; door prizes; each child given a free book; ages 8 and younger, accompanied by adult; (803) 642-7631; free

CHRISTMAS IN HOPELANDS: 6-9:30 p.m., Dec. 13-27 (closed Dec. 24 and 25), Hopelands Gardens, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken; lights, lights and more lights; refreshments offered; ride shuttle 6-9 p.m. from/to Citizens Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road; children must be accompanied by an adult; free, donations appreciated; (803) 642-7631

NIGHT OF 1,000 LIGHTS: 6-10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, downtown Aiken; held by Aiken Downtown Development Association; food, festivities and Santa in town; (803) 649-2221,

CHRISTMAS CANCELLED: A SPECIAL CIVIL WAR HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, 181 Redcliffe Road, Beech Island; musicians, actors bring alive the holiday experience of free and enslaved families during the Civil War; includes tours of historic slave quarters and decorated historic mansion, games for the whole family; (803) 827-1473

CAROLINA CHRISTMAS: In support of Toys for Tots Foundation; 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, 4565 Jefferson Davis Highway, Clearwater; $15; (803) 474-2411

A BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, The Stables Restaurant at Rose Hill Estate, 221 Greenville St. NW, Aiken; holiday music and a special guest from The North Pole; reservations recommended; (803) 648-1181,

BAREFOOT PRODUCTIONS INC./CREATIVE IMPRESSIONS: BEHOLD THE STAR 2012: Saturday, Dec. 22, Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, 2500 Walton Way; 3-5 p.m. show $15, ages 12 and younger $10; 7-9 p.m. show $20, ages 60 and older $18, children and college students with ID $10; (706) 667-4100

Tree lightings, parades this week
Holiday concerts will offer variety
Dance companies to present classic, new versions of The Nutcracker
Grovetown, Aiken displays to light up holiday season