Let’s Celebrate the Season!
Every city and region has its own unique events and celebrations that take place during the holidays, and Charleston is no exception. Whether you’ve lived here for decades or are a relative newcomer, chances are you plan to take part in at least one of Charleston’s signature events during the season.
Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 5K
For more than 100 years, Lowcountry families have been kicking off their Thanksgiving festivities by participating in this competitive 5K event, either as a runner, walker or cheerleader on the sidelines. Each year more than 8,000 participants come out to this downtown Charleston event, which begins and ends in Marion Square.
Holiday Festival of Lights
Now in its 32nd year, the Charleston Holiday Festival of Lights takes place in James Island County Park from November through January. A three-mile driving tour features festive holiday displays made from a total of approximately two million shimmering lights, along with holiday train rides, an enchanted walking trail, a Victorian carousel, visits with Santa, marshmallow roasting, concessions and more.
Festival of Trees
Experience the joy of the season at the Visitor Center on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston, where you can check out 25 themed and decorated trees and 16 wreaths, all decorated in honor or in memory of someone who has battled cancer. Visitors can bid on trees and wreaths online to support Dragon Boat Charleston. The Charleston Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30am to 5:00pm, and the event is free.
African American Spirituals Concert at Drayton Hall
Performed in the round in the Education Center at Drayton Hall, this traditional Charleston holiday concert is a rare opportunity to experience music that could have been heard centuries ago in the surrounding fields and praise houses. Prior to the concert, guests will enjoy a reception featuring wassail – an historic and traditional holiday libation of Charleston.
A Traditional Christmas at Boone Hall
Each year the historic home and grounds at Boone Hall are decorated with beautiful Christmas decorations of every kind around every corner. You’ll find fresh Christmas trees adorned with locally-made ornaments, loads of poinsettias, magnolia wreaths and garland, and mantle and table arrangements designed with natural plants and items grown on and foraged from the surrounding property. It’s a great way to get a taste of what a true Charleston Christmas looks like.
Chanukah in the Square
The Jewish Federation of Charleston hosts this annual event at Marion Square in downtown Charleston. Join in the festivities on December 4th starting at 4:30 pm. There will be live music by the Jewish Choral Society, jump castles, face painting, craft tables, latkes and donuts, and more!
Communities throughout the region hold annual holiday parades in December to celebrate the season. Among the largest and most popular are the downtown Charleston Holiday Parade (12/5), Mt. Pleasant Christmas Light Parade (12/12), and the Holiday Parade of Boats in Charleston Harbor (12/11).