Holiday events continue with Christmas in Hopelands, A Christmas Carol, more

26th annual Christmas in Hopelands: 6-9:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 14-23 and 26, Hopelands Gardens, 135 Dupree Place; more than two miles of lighted pathways and holiday displays, visit the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, The Dollhouse, the Rye Patch and Stables with the new exhibit “Aiken’s Historic Horses”; free admission and refreshments; (803) 642-7631. MARK HUDSON/SPECIAL 

Marines Toys for Tots Christmas Give Away Registration: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 16, Liberty Tax Service, 2625 Deans Bridge Road, 3227 Wrightsboro Road, and 2115 Windsor Spring Road in Augusta; and 132 Kerr St. in North Augusta; bring copy of all income, bills, receipt from DHS for full stamps assistance, original Social Security cards and birth certificates for each family member to receive certificate for all children; (706) 432-8683 or (808) 392-0691; 


Tire City Potters Holiday Clay: Through Dec. 16, Tire City Potters, 210B 10th St.; in a guided session, custom design and sculpt holiday trees to take home as decorations or to give as a unique gift; individuals, small groups and private parties welcome; 15 percent discount for active military; prices start at $35; schedule a session; call Shishir, (706) 294-3871; 

Santa Paws Program: Through Dec. 18, Columbia County Animal Services, 1940 William Few Parkway, Evans; donations of pet food, bedding, toys, litter, collars and leashes, more accepted 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays through Dec. 18 to be given to pets/owners in need during holidays; applications for assistance are being accepted for those needing help caring for pets, forms online at under “news”; (706) 541-4077 

Inaugural Festival of Trees: Through Dec. 30, Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum, 406 Park Ave SE, Aiken; decorated trees line the first floor; vote for a favorite for Best in Show; (803) 293-7846, 

The Lights at Evans Towne Center Park: Through Jan. 1, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; 

Augusta on Ice: Through Jan. 6, Augusta Common; ice skating, Elves Lounge, ice slide, winter playground, live music, s’mores and hot chocolate, craft beer and wine; hours vary by day; individual tickets and passes available; 

Eli’s Bethlehem Inn: 7 p.m. Dec. 7-8; 6 p.m. Dec. 2, 9, Kroc Center; a play presented by Enopion Theatre Company; 

Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson Holiday Tours: Through December, 419 Seventh St.; guided tours every hour from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; house decorated as it would have appeared in 1917 during World War I; $5 adults, $4 for senior citizens, $ for students, free for under age 5; home will remain decorated through December;

Christmas Movie Night: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), Dec. 15 (The Polar Express), Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; with appearance by Elf on the Shelf, train rides, concessions; free; 

Madeline’s Christmas: 7 p.m. Dec. 8-9; 3 p.m. Dec. 10, Bartow Community Center, Mancin Auditorium, 1138 Academy Circle, Bartow, Ga.; musical stage production by The Schoolhouse Players; $15 adults, $8 students through 12th grade; buy at the door or online at 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9, 15-16 and 3 p.m. Dec. 10, Aiken Community Playhouse; a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids, probably the most awful kids in history, 

’Twas the Night Before Christmas: 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9; 4 p.m. Dec. 10; Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, Third Avenue, Bldg. 32100, Fort Gordon; a holiday play by Ken Ludwig; (706) 793-8552 

Coney Island Christmas: 8 p.m. Dec. 8; 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 9; 8 p.m. Dec. 15; 3 p.m. Dec. 16, Abbeville Opera House; Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music and merriment in this tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays; (864) 366-2157 

26th annual Christmas in Hopelands: 6-9:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 14-23 and 26, Hopelands Gardens, 135 Dupree Place; more than two miles of lighted pathways and holiday displays, visit the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, The Dollhouse, the Rye Patch and Stables with the new exhibit “Aiken’s Historic Horses”; free admission and refreshments, s’mores kits $5; shuttles run continuously from Citizens Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road, from 5:45-8:45 p.m.; handicap parking only at 135 Dupree Place; live entertainment featuring Harmony River Chorus (Dec. 9), Christ’s Way Christmas Church Light Show (Dec. 14), Aiken High School Jazz Band (Dec. 15), Suzuki Strings of Augusta (Dec. 16), Town Creek Baptist Church Musical (Dec. 17), Carolina Elite Stompers (Dec. 18), M’Aiken Music carolers (Dec. 19), Tim Gidley (Dec. 20), Ryan Abel (Dec. 21), Aiken Community Playhouse Youth Wing carolers (Dec. 22); in case of inclement weather, dates may be canceled; call the rain-out line at (803) 643-4661 or sign up for texts by texting AIKREC to 84483; (803) 642-7631 

Bethlehem’s Child Live Nativity: 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, downtown Wagener, S.C.; fourth annual walk-through village of Bethlehem presented by Berlin Baptist Church; (803) 564-6308 

Mystery of the Christmas Star: 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 9, 16, 23, 30, DuPont Planetarium at USC Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken; planetarium show for ages 4 and older takes audience back 2,000 years to Bethlehem in pursuit of a scientific explanation of the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus; make reservations 24 hours in advance online at or call (803) 641-3654; unclaimed reservations released 10 minutes prior to show; rooftop RPSEC Observatory and Bechtel Telescope open for 30 minutes after shows, weather permitting; $6.50 adults, $5.50 senior citizens, $4.50 4K-12th grade, $2 with USC Aiken ID; 

20th annual Christmas on Breezy Hill: Through Dec. 9, Breezy Hill Baptist Church, 612 Ascauga Lake Road, Graniteville; hayrides begin at 6:30 nightly; theme is The Miracle of Christmas; (803) 663-7037 

Night of 1,000 Lights: 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, Laurens Street, downtown Aiken; luminarias line the streets, shops stay open late; treats, drinks and music; free; (803) 649-2221, 

Smith-Hazel Tree Lighting: 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, 400 Kershaw St., Aiken; children must be with adult; free; (803) 642-7631 

Cold Creek Nurseries Ladies Night Out: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, Cold Creek Nurseries, 398 Hitchcock Parkway, Aiken; heavy hor d’oeuvres, wine, live music, take home a handcrafted evergreen centerpiece for holiday table; $49.95; (803) 648-3592 

Christmas With the Keepers: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, Woodside Plantation Country Club, 1000 Woodside Plantation Road, Aiken; holiday dinner to benefit Savannah Riverkeeper and Edisto Riverkeeper, which work to protect and ensure all people’s access to fishable, swimmable, drinkable water in their river basins; tickets at, on Facebook, or the night of the event; Meg Adams (706) 951-2075 or email 

17th Annual Christmas at Cedar Rock: 6:30-9 p.m. Dec. 7-9, Macedonia United Methodist Church, 7257 GA Highway 80, Thomson; the sights and sounds of Christmas with a hayride through lights and displays, live nativity, petting zoo, store with handmade crafts, homemade baked goods, preserves and jams, jewelry, gift baskets, more 

Columbia County Orchestra Christmas Concert: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 2553 Washington Road; dessert social will follow the concert; free; 

Hayride Through the Life of Christ: 7 p.m. Dec. 7-10, Columbia County Fairgrounds, 5462 Columbia Road, Grovetown; unique presentation centered on the true meaning of Christmas; hot chocolate, live music, children’s activities; free; for details, contact Sharon Baptist Church in Appling, (706) 541-0667; 

Holiday Tour of Homes: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9; 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, presented by Augusta Ballet; three homes located on the Hill; $20 through Nov. 25, $25 after; (706) 261-0555, 

7th annual SantaCon Pub Crawl: 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, downtown Augusta, check-in at Metro Coffeehouse; dress as Santa, an elf, reindeer, etc. for holiday-themed pub crawl; proceeds will benefit education programs; Santa Bash afterparty 11 p.m., Sky City; $15, 

Historic Washington-Wilkes Christmas Tour of Homes: Friday, Dec. 8, Christmas party 6-8 p.m., Merry Oaks Plantation, 519 N. Alexander Ave., Washington, Ga.; Dessert Soiree 8-10 p.m., Washington Woman’s Club, 108 N. Alexander Drive; order tickets by Dec. 1; Saturday, Dec. 9, homes tour 10 a.m.-5 p.m., headquarters 22B West Square, $30; Art Show 10 a.m.-5 p.m. multiple locations, free; 7 p.m. Christmas Parade of Lights through downtown, free; early bird weekend $50 by Nov. 23; (706) 678-5001 or email; 

Ugly Holiday Sweater Exhibit: 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Aiken County Historical Museum, 433 Newberry St. SW, Aiken; exhibit your ugly sweater for all to see Dec. 5-8 with a wrapup party Dec. 8; to loan your sweater for the exhibit, call (803) 642-2015 or email 

“A Renaissance Yuletide Feast” Madrigal Dinner: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8; doors 6:30 p.m.; Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation, 3000 Reserve Club Drive, Aiken; Aiken Choral Society presents fifth annual dinner with chorus in full renaissance “garb” and singing music from the 16th century and earlier; Christmas sing-along; $70; or at the Aiken County Visitors Center, 133 Laurens St. NW, Aiken 

Eb Scrooge: A Southern Fried Carol: 7 p.m. Dec. 8-9, Burke Office Park Auditorium, 715 W. Sixth St., Waynesboro, Ga.; a modern spin on a timeless classic captures the sights and sounds of life in today’s South while maintaining the spirit of Dickens’ beloved tale of greed and redemption; produced by Burke Community Theatre, Waynesboro-Burke Concert Series and Downtown Development Authority; (706) 551-0224 

39th annual Singing Christmas Tree: 7 p.m. Dec. 8-9; 3 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Abilene Baptist Church, 3917 Washington Road, Martinez; free, pick up tickets 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 9 a.m.-noon Fridays; download tickets for $1 at; 

Sip N Shop: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Bar on Broad, 917 Broad St.; a Toys for Tots event; shop with 17 vendors, get a raffle ticket for each new, unwrapped toy donation; 635195241/?ti=cl 

A Christmas Carol: The Musical: 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9, 3 p.m. Dec. 10, Imperial Theatre; as performed by The Augusta Players, 

Christmas Crafts at the Farmers Market: Sunrise-noon, Saturdays, Dec. 9 and 16, Aiken County Farmers Market, 115 Williamsburg St., Aiken; local craft vendors in addition to fresh, local produce; (803) 293-7846, (803) 293-7846; 

Nutcracker Tea: 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Aiken County Historical Museum; an afternoon holiday affair featuring short performances by Aiken Civic Ballet; 

Toy Shoppe at Towne Center: 2-6 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; vendor village, Santa photos, train rides, more; bring a new, unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots; 

Christmas in the Park: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Burnettown 

An Evening with the King: 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Mount Transfiguration Baptist Church, 350 Blanchard Road, North Augusta; Christmas musical, drama and dance cantata; (803) 278-4051, 

The Story of Christmas: 6 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Grace Baptist Church, 4945 Hardy McManus Road, Evans; (706) 868-9729; free, but ticket required; 

Augusta Choral Society: Messiah by Handel: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Saint Paul’s Church; $35 adults, $30 ages 60 and older, $15 students and military; (706) 826-4713, 

All About That Baby: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Whole Life Ministries, 2621 Washington Road; a delightfully fresh presentation of the blessed story of Jesus’ birth shared by Whole Life Ministries Children’s Choir; 

North Augusta Lions Club Christmas Parade: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Georgia Avenue, North Augusta; “The Sweetest Christmas Ever,” grand marshal Heidi Gray, who starred as Annie in the Broadway tour; (803) 624-2487 

Aiken Symphony Orchestra: Home for the Holidays: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, USC Aiken Etherredge Center;; (803) 641-3305; 

Augusta Chorale 35th annual Christmas Concert: 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, Druid Park Avenue, Paine College; selections from the Many Moods of Christmas, Handel’s Messiah, spirituals; with guest soloist mezzo soprano Pamela Dillard; $15 advance or $20 at the door; ages 17 and younger free; 

Christmas Musical Program: 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 1930 Olive Road; (706) 736-8078, 

Everyone Was Worried Christmas Play: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Augusta Worship Center, 3840 Mike Padgett Hwy.; witness the prophets, angels and shepherds tell their accounts of what happened leading to that glorious night; free 

Christmas at First Baptist: 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Ext.; The Sanctuary Choir and a 35-piece orchestra will present a variety of Christmas favorites such as Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Rutter, Wilberg, Handel and Leroy Anderson will be featured; free admission; childcare provided; donations for Golden Harvest Food Bank will be accepted; 

Chamber After Hours - Holiday Social: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, Jones Creek Golf Club, 777 Jones Creek Drive, Evans; networking opportunity to meet and build relationships with other local businesses, celebrate holidays; for members only; 

Menorah Lighting Ceremony: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Evans Town Center Park, Evans; to celebrate the Jewish festival of Chanukah, a 7-foot menorah will be kindled followed by songs, greetings by local dignitaries, rabbis, a children’s performance, gifts and activities for children; organized by Chabad of Augusta; free;

Live Nativity: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13, National Hills Baptist Church, 2725 Washington Road, 

Holly and the Christmas Kerfuffle: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, Maxwell Theatre, 2500 Walton Way; Porkchop Productions children’s play presented by Augusta University Literacy Center; (706) 737-1625 

Hometown Christmas: 4:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, downtown Warrenton, Ga.; annual holiday event, shops stay open late, parade, carriage rides, tree lighting, live nativity, luminaria-lined streets, more; (706) 465-9604 

Readers Theatre & Holiday Sing Along: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, Aiken County Public Library, 314 Chesterfield St., Aiken; for all ages; read the Dylan Thomas story A Child’s Christmas in Wales; holiday singalong follows; bring an instrument to play or a song to share; refreshments; free; register by Dec. 11; (803) 642-2020 

An Evening of Irish Traditional Christmas Music: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, 506 Telfair St.; featuring John Doyle; $25 with portion to benefit GHIA; make reservations at or call (706) 267-5416 

Aiken Civic Orchestra Christmas Concert: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, St. John’s United Methodist Church, 104 Newberry St. NW, Aiken; with South Boundary Singers; holiday music, traditional carols, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite; 

Fatty Marsha’s Ninth Annual Christmas Toy Drive: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, Sacred Heart Cultural Center; HIV/AIDS awareness program will be collecting new, unwrapped toys and coats for children up to age 12 who have HIV; semi-formal and formal dress for dinner, dancing and an educational program; $25 single or $45 couples in advance; $30 singles and $55 couples at the door; (706) 449-4315 or (706) 955-3276 

Misconception: The Lost Gospel of Christmas: 8 p.m. Dec. 15-16, Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; a rock opera retelling of the nativity story that is compelling and thoughtful with splashes of irreverence with music by Mark Swanson and directed by David Alpert; $30-$35; 

Breakfast With Santa: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Odell Weeks Activities Center, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken; for ages 12 and younger with adult; make a holiday craft after breakfast; registration required by Dec. 11; (803) 642-7631 

Santa at the Depot: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum, 406 Park Ave. SE, Aiken; children’s crafts, music, cookies and milk; storytime at 1 p.m.; bring a camera; free; (803) 644-1907 

Photos With Santa: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Dec. 16, Hole-N-One Family Fun Center, 3197 Whiskey Road, Aiken; Mark Farmer Digital Photography will take photos; Mrs. Claus will read books; bring your letter to Santa; call to reserve a photo time; (803) 643-1715 

Ninth Annual Hoofbeats and Christmas Carols Parade: 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, downtown Aiken; presented by Hatchaway Hounds Mock Hunt; carriages, horses, carolers; (706) 951-2349 

Behold the Star 2017: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Maxwell Theatre, 2500 Walton Way; presented by Creative Impressions, a musical and dance production that celebrates the birth of Jesus and the spirit of Christmas; (706) 667-4100 

Movie: Santa Stole Our Dog: 3-4:35 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Aiken County Public Library, 314 Chesterfield St. SW, Aiken; Dove-approved for all ages; Santa Clause (Ed Asner) accidentally steals a family’s dog, which leads to an epic 12-days-of-Christmas journey to the North Pole to get the dog back; 

Christmas in the Smokies Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show: 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, New Life Worship Center (South Campus), 3550 Morgan Road, Hephzibah; dinner served at 6 p.m.; free; (706) 796-7880, 

Bethlehem Village Live Walkthrough: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, and Sunday, Dec. 17, Martinez United Methodist Church, 3614 Washington Road, Martinez; walk through the town, visit the people of Bethlehem, experience where Jesus was born 

Christmas Extravaganza: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, Whole Life Ministries, 2621 Washington Road; with Sanctuary & Hand Bell Choirs; free; (706) 737-4530 

Community Chanukah Latke Dinner: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way, Evans; AJCC members $10 adults, $5 for ages 3-12, under 2 free with $25 family maximum; nonmembers $13 adults, $7 ages 3-12, under age 2 free; $35 family maximum; RSVP by Dec. 11; (706) 228-3636 

O Holy Night: A Classical Christmas: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3131 Walton Way; performance by Emmy-nominated and award-winning lyric tenor Marco Panuccio, with pianist Jason Maynard; $25, $15 students; 

Augusta Metro Chamber Women in Business Holiday Luncheon: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road; $30 members, $40 others; registration required at 

Santa’s 2-Day Artshop: 9 a.m. Dec. 20-21, Aiken Center for the Arts, 122 Laurens St. SW, Aiken; two days filled with creative gift-making in the art shop; bring your lunch; supplies included; open to ages 4K and older; $150; register online at; (803) 641-9094 

Christmas Break Camp: Dec. 20-21, Art Nook School & Studio, 601 Silver Bluff Road, Aiken; holiday projects to include drawing, painting; no experience needed; begins 9 a.m. for ages 5-7; begins 1 p.m. for ages 8-10; $80; (803) 760-7710 

Christmas With the Annie Moses Band: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, Jabez. S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, Evans; (706) 726-0366, 

Merry Grinchmas Family Night: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, Augusta Richmond County Public Library, 823 Telfair St.; a celebration of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas with snacks and activities like pin the heart on the Grinch; free; most appropriate for families with children under 12; registration recommended, (706) 821-2623 

Christmas With John Berry: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St.; (706) 722-8341, 

The Nutcracker: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, USC Aiken Etherredge Center; Aiken Civic Ballet’s signature holiday showcase of the iconic ballet, 

Winter Wonderland: Dec. 28-29, Art Nook School & Studio, 601 Silver Bluff Road, Aiken; winter art projects to include drawing, painting; no experience needed; begins 9 a.m. for ages 8-10; begins 1 p.m. for ages 5-7; $80; (803) 760-7710 



Mon, 02/19/2018 - 17:33

Music by Turner: You used to only hear live music at the club

Many of my recent columns have extolled the virtues of Augusta’s incredibly vibrant and burgeoning concert scene.

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