Photo above: Singers from Shanklin Elementary School entertain a crowd in 2016 with Christmas songs. Photo by Bob Sofaly.
Whether it’s shopping, playing in the snow, visiting Santa or attending the annual tree lighting and parade, there is something for everyone in the Beaufort area this holiday season.
Here are some celebrations of the season:
• The Festival of Trees benefiting Friends of Caroline showcases beautifully decorated trees that are judged for their originality and creativity at The Shed on Paris Avenue in Port Royal. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 (Frozen Day will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will include special guest Elsa and Anna from Disney’s “Frozen”); there will also be a live reindeer, Sven, and more. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 is general admission (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is Snow Day, with real snow to play in). General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
• First Friday in downtown Beaufort will be held on Dec. 1, and there will be local choirs, dance groups, the annual Christmas tree lighting and Santa.
• Join Beaufort Sail and Power Squadron and Main Street Beaufort, USA, from 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, as they celebrate another festive holiday season and the magical display of decorated boats ambling up the Beaufort River in the Light Up the Night Boat Parade at the Waterfront Park.
• The traditional Beaufort Christmas Parade will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, through the streets of downtown Beaufort. Floats, bands, groups of walkers and personal cars and trucks are expected to participate.
• The Beaufort Garden Club will hold its second annual Smiles for Santa event from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays on Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, at the Port Royal Farmer’s Market. Bring your children and/or pets to the Gazebo area at the market and have your picture taken with Santa. Your photo will then be emailed to you. A $5 donation is suggested. All proceeds will go to local charities.
• Dr. Marlena Smalls & The Hallelujah Singers will present their Annual Gullah Christmas Celebration from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, at Sea Island Presbyterian Church on Lady’s Island. The event is free and will also feature choirs from Mossy Oaks Elementary School Choir the Mt. Zion AME Choir of Garnett.
• The Santa Elena Foundation’s Holiday Market, in partnership with Hank’s Lowcountry She Crab Soup, will be open from 2-6 p.m. every Wednesday until after the new year, and will feature live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, local food artisans, giveaways and a kid’s craft table. The event is open to the public and the entertainment, parking and kid’s craft table are free. The market will be at the corner of Bladen and North streets in downtown Beaufort.
• A portion of Beaufort Art Academy’s Gallery will be transformed into a winter wonderland full of fine art and crafts especially created for the holiday boutique, which will be held through Sunday, Dec. 31, at 913 Bay St. in Beaufort. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; and from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.BeaufortArtAssociation.com.