Holiday cheer kicked off last weekend with tree-lighting ceremonies and parades across Columbia County.
Harlem started the festivities with its tree-lighting ceremony Thursday at City Hall on North Louisville Street despite light rainfall.
Cassidy McCoy, 5, of Harlem, enjoyed performances by the North Harlem Elementary School chorus and the Harlem Middle School band and chorus while sitting beneath her over-sized umbrella.
Dexnija Taylor, 2, of Harlem, was distracted by Santa Claus waiting inside City Hall. She said she was excited to see Santa as she waved at him through the window.
Dexnija said she was at the event to sit on Santa's lap and ask him for a baby doll and a play kitchen.
Holiday cheer spilled over into nearby Grovetown on Friday as the city illuminated thousands of lights covering buildings on Robinson Avenue at Old Wrightsboro Road.
Grovetown residents continued the celebration Saturday as they lined Robinson Avenue for the city's Christmas parade, which featured more than 70 floats and entries.
Later that night, residents celebrated the Christmas in America Festival at the Columbia County Amphitheater and Memorial Gardens in Evans.
The event began with an acoustic concert by area musicians, while the tree-lighting at dusk included performances from the Columbia County Ballet, the Dickens Carolers and the Columbia County Mass Chorus, made up of more than 300 children from eight of the county's elementary schools.
Jocelyn Harper, a Greenbrier High School senior and the Columbia County fair queen, did the honors of lighting the tree.
"I'm so excited. It's really neat how Columbia County can do this kind of thing and get such a great turnout," Harper said.
Harper also helped wrap up the weekend holiday celebrations on Sunday by riding in the Martinez-Evans Christmas parade along Washington and Belair roads.
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