SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Get ready to kick off the holiday season in Savannah! The festivities begin Friday with the tree lighting on Broughton Street.
“Friday evening, of course, is the ceremonial holiday tree lighting ceremony at the corner of Bull and Broughton Street. We’re really excited about this, it has really become one of the most popular events of the season and it really kicks off the holiday season," said Joe Marinelli, of Visit Savannah.
The tree lighting ceremony starts at 7 p.m. with a welcome, followed by performances with dancers from the Gretchen Greene School of Dance and Abeni Cultural Arts Dance Studio. Local band Tell Scarlet will also perform, and there might even be a special visitor from the North Pole.
This event is free and open to everyone.
On Saturday night, join WTOC’s Cyreia Sandlin for a beautiful evening at the Westin Savannah Harbor for the Boat Parade of Lights.
“It’s a very popular tradition here in Savannah, it’s the 19th Annual Boat Parade of Lights. We’re really excited this year to be able to host it again and put on a great event for all of Savannah," said Mark Spadoni, of the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa. “We came up with an idea to host a boat parade, a lot of people thought we were crazy, but, you know, a lot of like minded people said how can we give back to the community? We started that year with a handful of boats and this year we’ll have more than 45 boats.”
“I’ve been working on my boat for over two weeks,” said parade participant James Stevenson. "Our theme is Santa Does a Fly By. It’s got about anything you can imagine on the boat, if I get anything else I’m going to need a bigger boat. I look forward to it every year and so do all my friends. Good way to have fun like adults but act like kids and raise money to help our community. "
“To realize we have so much to be thankful for, and we’re blessed to be in a great city during a great time of year, whether they come over to the resort or the other side on River Street, they’ll still see a great boat parade from that side and an incredible fireworks display,” said Spadoni.
The doors open at 5 p.m., and there will be food and beverages, a choir performance, tree lighting and proclamation by General Oglethorpe. The parade begins at 7 p.m.
We’ve learned the Wesitn Savannah Harbor sold out of tickets, but of course you can still watch the parade on the River Street side. We suggest you get there early, and bring a chair, because there will be a huge crowd.
For more information on these and more Savannah holiday events, click here.