Columbia County marks the start of the holiday season this week with multiple celebrations.
Harlem starts the festivities with its 18th annual tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The ceremony, in front of City Hall on North Louisville Street, will include live Christmas music, cookies and hot chocolate and photos with Santa.
Grovetown will light up a center city intersection Friday during its annual tree-lighting ceremony. The ceremony, to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Robinson Avenue at Old Wrightsboro Road, also will include live entertainment and refreshments.
The city will continue spreading holiday cheer during Saturday's 36th annual Christmas parade. The parade will start at noon and run along Robinson Avenue from Summerfield subdivision to Wrightsboro Road.
The 10th annual Christmas in America Festival will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Columbia County Amphitheater and Memorial Gardens. Live entertainment includes a mass elementary schoolchildren's choir and dance performances.
The 20-foot cypress, near the playground, will be lit at 6:30 p.m.
On Sunday the Merchants Association of Columbia County will add to the celebrations with the 46th annual Columbia County Christmas Parade in Evans. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. and run from Evans Town Center Boulevard to Washington Road and up Belair Road to Cox Road.
The parade also will be broadcast live on WRDW-TV.
Harlem will conclude the initial holiday merriment with its Christmas in the Heart of Downtown Harlem festival and Christmas parade on Dec. 11.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in downtown Harlem. The parade will start at 11 a.m. and will run from Harlem City Park, along Milledgeville Road and North Louisville Street to Harlem Middle School.
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