Since its start in Evans seven years ago, the Christmas in America ceremony has become Columbia County's signature seasonal event.
The friendly blend of patriotism and Christmas sets just the right tone for our community - which perhaps helps explain the steadily growing numbers of participants each year.
This year could go over the top.
The ceremony itself is still the centerpiece of the event. That takes place at 5:30 p.m., culminating in the tree-lighting an hour later. And this year, the lights on the official Columbia County Christmas tree will be accompanied by dazzling displays all around the amphitheater.
But that's not all. For the Fans Entertainment is bringing a host of acoustic acts to the stage starting at 3 p.m. And after the ceremony, if the weather cooperates, the family friendly Christmas comedy Elf will be shown on an outdoor screen.
During the event, photos with Santa - with your own camera, or with help from a News-Times photographer - will be available. And holiday vendors will be on hand for plenty of shopping opportunities.
With Columbia County Fair Queen Jocelyn Harper flipping the switch to light the tree, the event also serves as the start to Sunday's Martinez-Evans Christmas Parade.
The city of Harlem lights its tree Thursday; Grovetown lights its tree Friday. And Saturday, Columbia County lights the entire community.
Come, and get ready for a Merry Christmas.
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