Get ready for tree lightings and Santa sightings

By Mindy Lucas
Online Article Here

There must be quite a few good boys and girls in the Lowcountry this year, because Santa will make a number of appearances at various tree lightings and holiday light displays this season.

Coming up first, Kris Kringle will appear daily via a firetruck at Shelter Cove Harbour, 1 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island.

Running in conjunction with Shelter Cove Harbour's new "Light Up the Harbour" light display, the appearances are noon to 3 p.m. this Friday through Sunday. Children can share their Christmas wish lists and also take a photo with the Jolly Old Elf, who will be at Neptune's statue each day.

The festivities will also include a bounce house and holiday train for children from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

The light display runs through Jan. 1 and will feature Christmas music and displays on boats in the marina.

For more information, visit

Then, Santa arrives by helicopter at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Coligny Plaza at 1 North Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head.

The appearance will take place during the outdoor shopping center's Black Friday event from 2 to 5 p.m.

Santa is expected to make a few flyovers and will then land to greet children after a spin on a firetruck.

The event also will feature food trucks, bounce houses for the kids, street-style vendors and a performance by Cranford Hollow.

In addition, the event kicks off a monthlong celebration at the plaza featuring daily giveaways and a final grand prize drawing of $1,000 to be awarded on Dec. 25.

For details, visit

Santa will make another appearance along with Mrs. Claus and Rudolph at a "Community Christmas Tree Lighting" at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.

Sponsored by the Town of Hilton Head Island, the event is from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the center at 14 Shelter Cove Lane.

Festivities will include Christmas carols, holiday crafts, treats and a musical performance from the cast of "Singin' in the Rain."

The event also will feature children's activities such as face painting, crafts and photo opportunities with Santa.

For details, visit

Then coming up next week, the Dove Street Festival of Lights will hold its "Official Public Lighting" at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Shelter Cove Towne Centre, 40 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island.

This year's festival includes a 30-foot-tall tree on display in an area behind the Shelter Cove Community Park fountain.

In addition to an appearance by Santa, the event will feature the Hilton Head Island High School marching band and school chorus, Hilton Head Fire & Rescue, magician Gary Maurer, Cappy the Clown and Morgan's Mommy's Face Painting.

The festival runs from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 2 at the center and will feature nightly entertainment and more than 75,000 lights.

Proceeds raised from the festival go to the Hilton Head Island Recreation Association, The Deep Well Project and Programs for Exceptional People.

For a complete schedule of entertainment or to make an online donation, visit

Then, an event in Jasper County may have people thinking they're seeing snow.

The 8th annual Blizzard at Blue Heron Nature Trail is from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 at the trail at 321 Bailey Lane, Ridgeland.

The benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County will feature two snow areas, bounce houses, a bonfire, holiday light display along the trail and a visit from Santa.

New to the festivities this year will be train rides and arts and crafts.

In addition to photo opportunities with Santa, kids can take photos with a few "Frozen" special guests. Parents and guardians should bring their own cameras or smart phones.

Admission is $10; children younger than 1 get in free.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information, call 843-645-2323 or visit

Santa will also make an appearance at Bluffton's Town Hall Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The event will feature the Michael C. Riley Elementary School Chorus and is at 5 p.m. Dec. 4 at 20 Bridge St.

Santa will make another appearance at the town's annual Christmas parade at 10 a.m. Dec. 5.

The parade will begin at Town Hall at Pritchard and Bridge streets and will end at Red Cedar Elementary School, 10 Box Elder St.

Rumor has it that Santa will also make an appearance at the City of Beaufort's Tree Lighting Ceremony, part of the city's 30th annual "A Night on the Town."

The event is from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4.

Shops in downtown Beaufort stay open late. Entertainment for the ceremony will be provided by community schools and churches.

The event will be followed by the city's "Light Up the Night" boat parade at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5, with the best views at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. And the Beaufort Christmas Parade is at 3 p.m. Dec. 6 through the streets of downtown Beaufort.

For details, visit

Also next week, Bloom at Belfair will host a "Pictures with Santa" event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5 at the independent-living village at 60 Oak Forest Road, Bluffton.

Families are invited. To attend, contact Susan Roberts at 843-815-2338 or email

Finally, the Sheldon community will usher in the holiday season with its Lighting of the Sheldon Christmas Tree.

The lighting is at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Sheldon Post Office, 21 Paige Point Road.

Follow reporter Mindy Lucas on Twitter at