The holiday season is in full swing around the Coastal Empire and South Carolina Lowcountry.
Several holiday events will be taking place this week and weekend around the area. The following is a schedule of events, along with details.
-WTOC's Toys for Tots donation drive continues through Dec. 15. Drop off your unopened toys in the drop box at the front lobby of WTOC Studios, located at 1511 Chatham Center Dr, Savannah, GA 31405.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28:
-Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights Party
The Friends of the Coastal Gardens will host their first Holiday Lights Party on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens on Canebrake Road in Savannah. This special evening offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a private viewing of the more than 100,000 holiday lights in the Garden. In the Andrews Education and Visitors Center, the festive holiday evening will include food stations and an open bar catered by Sandy Hollander of 45 Bistro.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29:
-Toys for Tots Toy Drive – Winning Orthodontic Smiles, 102 Buckwalter Pkwy #3J, Bluffton, SC 29910 - MORE INFO
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30:
-St. Vincent's Holiday Shopping Extravaganza
Put on by St. Vincent's Academy and proceeds go towards SVA aid and scholarships. It's a great way to shop small if you missed small business Saturday. This 8th Annual Holiday Shopping Extravaganza event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6-9 p.m. in Walsh Hall on the corner of Harris and Lincoln Streets. It will feature over 40 local boutiques and vendors. $15/admission supports scholarship and student aid. Enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages. MORE INFO; FACEBOOK LINK.
-Downtown Design District Holiday Walk
This annual Holiday Walk offers the chance to mix and mingle with neighbors, friends, and shop owners over tasty refreshments and festive surroundings. Get a jumpstart on your gift buying in the Design District's fabulous mix of locally owned and operated boutiques - featuring distinctive fashion, home decor, antiques, local artwork, specialty gifts, home accents, and much more. This seasonal event will take place Thursday, Nov. 30 from 5-8 p.m. MORE INFO.
-Annual Lighting of Sweetheart Circle
Georgia Southern University will kick off the holiday season during the Annual Lighting of Sweetheart Circle. University President Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D., will flip the switch to light up the Circle for the holidays, and Santa GUS will also make an appearance. The event will run from 4-6 p.m. at Sweetheart Circle.
-The 30th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Friends of Caroline Hospice
Kicks off on Thursday with an Opening Gala on Thursday, November 30, at The Shed on Paris Avenue in Port Royal featuring a preview of 75+ beautifully and whimsically decorated trees available for purchase, a big silent auction, music, wine, beer and lots of food from ten of Beaufort's best local restaurants. Santa will also be in attendance to have some fun and get some photos with attendees. Check here for a schedule for this year's events.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1:
-Tybee Christmas Tree Lighting
"Lights on for Tybee Celebration" begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 when Mayor Buelterman lights Tybee's Christmas tree downtown at the Tybrisa/Strand Roundabout. Following the tree lighting ceremony, there will be singing led by the Tybee Arts Performing Society, an awards presentation by Tybee Beautification Association for the best decorated businesses, and dance performances by students with The Studio. Plus, a variety of businesses will have extended store hours and complimentary refreshments. This hometown celebration will conclude with Santa and Mrs. Claus making a grand entrance. MORE INFO
-Christmas on the River (Savannah)
Enjoy music, food and holiday cheer throughout the weekend at Rousakis Plaza on River Street. There will also be a Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2 starting at 5:30 p.m. Overall Festival Hours are as follows: Friday, Dec. 1: 4-10 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 3: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. MORE INFO.
-21st Annual Hinesville Illuminated Christmas Parade Hosted by WTOC's Dawn Baker
The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 in downtown Hinesville and will feature beautifully decorated floats and festive fun the entire family can enjoy. For more information, call 912-368-4445 or click here. Also, FACEBOOK LINK.
-City of Richmond Hill's 16th Annual Chili Cook-off and Christmas Tree Decorating Contest
Events will take place Friday, Dec. 1 from 6-8 p.m. in J.F. Gregory Park.
-Outdoor Holiday Movie
Bryan County will host an outdoor movie night from 6-9 p.m. at Henderson Park featuring "Frozen" and will do the same on Dec. 8 at Hendrix Park. Both events will include a visit from Santa from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
-Christmas Tree Lighting at Hunter Army Airfield
The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Building 6015, and will feature seasonal music by local choruses and the 3rd Infantry Division Band, sing-alongs with Santa's elf, and children's rides.
-First Friday Holiday Celebration in Downtown Statesboro
The event will feature a holiday parade, 5K run, and a chili cook-off. Also, Santa Claus will make an appearance at the parade. The event runs from 5:30 until 8 p.m.
-Greenbriar Children's Center's Gift Wrap Center
Wrapping officially starts at 5 p.m. on Dec. 1. Prices for wrapping start at $3, and all proceeds benefit Greenbriar's mission to care for, shelter and help abused, neglected and runaway children. The Gift Wrap Center is open through Dec. 24.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2:
-Enmarket Bridge Run
Thousands of participants will run and walk the 5K, 10K and Double Pump (a combined 5K and 10K) over Savannah's Talmadge Memorial Bridge this weekend. The Health & Wellness Expo at the Civic Center Friday, Dec. 1 to gear up for race day. Then on Saturday, the race will begin at 8 a.m. and then there will be medals for all races, live music, free beer and Brunswick stew as part of the Michelob ULTRA Post-Race Party presented by HostSouth. For those who like to dress up, there will be a Costume Contest. MORE INFO; FB LINK.
-Savannah Ballet Theatre presents "The Nutcracker"
The one and only Savannah Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker takes center stage this holiday season at the beautiful Lucas Theatre. Join Savannah Ballet Theatre's world-renowned dancers, along with local talent, and surprise celebrity cameos, for a one of a kind performance that is perfect for all ages. Two performances will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2, one at 2 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. FB LINK
-Savannah Christmas Parade
Enjoy a Lighted Christmas Parade and the official arrival of St. Nick on Saturday, Dec. 2 starting at 5:30 p.m. on River Street. MORE INFO.
-Tybee Island Christmas Parade
Line the streets and share your holiday joy as festive, spirited participants lead Santa from the 14th Street beachfront parking lot to the Tybee Gym. Following the parade, kids can spend time with our North Pole visitor and enjoy the games and activities provided by the YMCA of Coastal GA - Tybee Island Branch. MORE INFO.
-Richmond Hill Christmas Parade
Richmond Hill's 22nd Annual Christmas Parade starts Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. It will begin on Maple Street and continue on Cherry Street, then down Ford Avenue to Richard Davis Drive past City Hall, finishing in J.F. Gregory Park.
-Holiday Craft Fair
The Richmond Hill High School Marching Band will hold its Holiday Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 at St. Anne's Catholic Church, featuring live entertainment and gifts, with coffee and donuts available starting at 8 a.m.
-Toys for the Boys
A Motorcycle Run for the Georgia Sheriff's Youth Homes will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 in Swainsboro. Registration starts at 10 a.m. and ride leaves at 11:30-11:45 heading out to the homestead. Also register and leave from Statesboro Yamaha and the Burke Co. Sheriff's Office and A & A Minit mart near Plant Vogtle. To be guaranteed a t-shirt, you must pre-register. call 478.494.7992 for more info. FB LINK.
-Bluffton Christmas Parade
The Bluffton Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 . Roads along the parade route will close at 8 a.m. Affected roads include Bridge Street, Calhoun Street from Bridge to May River Road, May River Road from Calhoun Street to Pin Oak Street, and Pin Oak Street from May River Road to 9th Avenue. No parking will be allowed on any road along the route beginning at 7 a.m. All vehicles parked along the parade route after 7 a.m. will be towed at the owner's expense.
-Guyton Christmas Parade
The Guyton Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. on Highway 17.
-Lyons Lighted Christmas Parade
Parade starts at 6 p.m. in downtown Lyons. FB EVENT LINK
-31st Annual Christmas Extravaganza in Downtown Sylvania
Event is Saturday, Dec. 2 from 3 until 7 p.m. in downtown Sylvania. This year's festival will feature over 80 arts, crafts, food vendors and activities. Call 912.564.7878 for more information.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3:
-9th annual Tybee Lighted Boat Parade
Join in on Sunday, Dec. 3 at The Original Crab Shack. The event begins at 5 p.m. with a Hot Dog and Chili Bar. The Hot Dog & Chili Bar is free for everyone with a Second Harvest canned food donation. Boats will depart Crab Shack docks at approximately 6 p.m. and return around 7 p.m. Awards will be given out after the parade for Best Decorated, Most Lights, Most Enthusiastic Elves (Crew), and Longest Voyage. If you would like decorate your boat and participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you will be participating. Participants will receive 5 days of free dockage the week of the event, plus a $25 Crab Shack gift card. MORE INFO.
OTHER DECEMBER HOLIDAY EVENTS:
-Now until Dec. 26: Christmas Tradition Musical/Savannah Theater - MORE INFO
-Dec. 5: Christmas Tree Lighting at Fort Stewart
The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Club Stewart, and will feature seasonal music by local choruses and the 3rd Infantry Division Band, sing-alongs with Santa's elf, and children's rides.
-Dec. 7: Wine and Fries/Ronald McDonald House - MORE INFO
-Dec. 8-9: Holiday Pops/Savannah Philharmonic and Chorus - 7:30 p.m. and a Saturday Matinee at 3 p.m. MORE INFO/TICKETS
-Toys for Tots Flag Football Game
This event is hosted by the Long County Sheriff's Office. It will take place on Friday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Long County Recreation Department. Toy donations will be accepted at the following locations: Long County Sheriff's Office, Long Auto Parts, Dairy Queen, Ludowici Medical Center, Ludowici Bank, Heritage Bank, Dollar General, Grace Academy, Lena Mae Country Cafe, and IGA.
-Dec. 9-Jan. 1: Skate Fest at the Savannah Civic Center. MORE INFO
-Dec. 9: Long County Christmas Parade
Parade will begin Saturday at 2 p.m. in downtown Ludowici. Immediately following there will be a Christmas "Sounds of the Season" festival. Then, the Community Christmas Tree Lighting will be at 6: p.m. at the Old Well Pavalion with Santa and Mrs. Claus available for photo ops.
-Now until Dec. 1: Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island Festival of Trees is hosting their annual Festival of Trees event that will showcase beautiful holiday trees that will be on display in the resort until Dec. 1.
-Pembroke's 34th Annual Christmas Parade
Event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, immediately followed by the Christmas tree lighting. Vendors will be open beginning at 2 p.m.
-Breakfast with Santa
The Richmond Hill Fire Department will host "Breakfast with Santa" at the Ford Avenue station and nearby senior center on Dec. 9. The event runs from 8-11 a.m. and includes pictures with Santa, crafts and a bouncy house. Bryan County Emergency Services will host a similar event from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 16 at Station No. 7, located on Highway 204 in Ellabell.
-Mayors' Christmas Motorcade
The cities of Pembroke and Richmond Hill are both once again participating in the Georgia Municipal Association's Mayors' Christmas Motorcade, which collects gifts for Georgia hospital patients with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs. Items can be dropped off at either city hall through Dec. 5.
-The Burton Fire District will be bringing Santa for his annual neighborhood visits. Here is his schedule:
- Monday, Dec. 4: All Joy, Brighten Oaks, The Bluestone, Bridge Point, Saw Mill Forest
- Tuesday, Dec. 5: The Gatherings, Old South Apartments, Old South Villas, South Pointe Trace, Heritage Lakes
- Wednesday, Dec. 6: Rivers End, Oldfield Mews, University Park
- Thursday, Dec. 7: Midpoint, Southern Oaks, Alston Park, Heritage at New Riverside
- Friday, 12/8 & Saturday, 12/9: Weather Make Up Days
- Monday, Dec. 11: Island West, Parkside, Baynard Park, Eagles Point
- Tuesday, Dec. 12: Woodbridge, Towns at Buckwalter, Sandy Run, Edgefield, Arborwood, The Willows
- Wednesday, Dec. 13: Grande Oak, Cedar Lane, Mill Creek, Lawton Station, Palmetto Point
- Thursday, Dec. 14: Rose Hill (both sides), Westbury Park, Shell Hall
- Friday, 12/15 & Saturday, 12/16: Weather Make Up Days
- Monday, Dec.18: Pine Ridge, The Farm, Fern Lakes, Pine Crest
- Tuesday, Dec. 19: Wellstone, Hidden Lakes, Bluffton Park
- Wednesday, Dec. 20: Crown at Old Carolina, Meadowbrook, Old Carolina, Windtree
- Thursday, Dec. 21: Old Towne Village, Pine Forest, Victoria Bluff
- Friday, 12/22 & Saturday, 12/23: Weather Make Up Days