(Posted Nov. 30, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“I tell my friends from out of town that if they want to feel like they’re in the middle of a Hallmark movie, they should come to Christmas in South Charleston,” said Jennifer McKee, chair of this year’s event, set for 4-8 p.m. Dec. 5.
“People are in and out of businesses, music is playing, there are lights and decorations, treats and activities. The businesses reach out to the community, and the community is really good about reaching back.”
The South Charleston Community Club presents the annual event, now in its 22nd year. Along with tried and true traditions, many new features are part of this year’s festivities, including expanded vendor spaces.
Previously, crafters, sellers of handmade items, and other small business owners set up shop at First Presbyterian Church. This year, they’ll also be at Gilbert’s Youth Center.
“We’re in a growth period, and we’re trying to fill in all over town,” McKee said.
The Community Club also is trying something new with decorating. They are asking residents and businesses on routes 41 and 42, which intersect, to decorate their windows, houses and/or yards with white lights for White Light the Village.
“If we get a lot of participation, we want to send a drone up to see if the lights form a cross,” McKee said.
The Community Club’s longstanding raffle is back with its biggest grand prize ever–$500 in cash. More than 65 other prizes are up for grabs, as well, including cash, gift certificates, and merchant services. The drawing is set for 8 p.m. during Christmas in the Village. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased in advance at Village Cup or the night of the drawing at various locations.
Children have a chance to win cash prizes, too, through “village passport.” Participants visit as many businesses as possible to have their passports stamped, then turn the passports in at First Presbyterian Church where a drawing will be held. One boy and one girl will win $50 each. Passports will be available at participating businesses.
Santa is the star of a parade that steps off at 5:30 p.m. from Journey of Faith Church and travels to Sunrise Co-op. Afterwards, Santa will spend the rest of the evening at town hall listening to children’s wishes and posing for photos.
Other Christmas in the Village hotspots include:
- Charleston Pharmacy, 127 S. Chillicothe–Christmas train display; book giveaway (two per child);
- South Charleston Post Office, 125 S. Chillicothe–Write and send a letter to Santa (stationery provided) or bring your own;
- Shoemaker’s Grocery, 111 S. Chillicothe–Play bean bag toss in the parking lot; prizes for the first 200 children;
- Security National Bank, 102 S. Chillicothe–Hot chocolate and cookies inside, dulcimer music outside;
- Gilbert’s Youth Center, 65 S. Chillicothe–Vendors and crafters; restrooms available;
- Chillicothe Street Pizza, 54 S. Chillicothe St.–Enter a drawing to win one or two extra-large, two-topping pizzas; outdoor music provided by American Legion Post 176;
- Catholic Parish Hall, 31 S. Chillicothe–Sandwiches, soups and pie for eat-in or takeout, 4-7 p.m.; restrooms available;
- First Presbyterian Church, 15 N. Chillicothe–Vendors and crafters; a reading of the Christmas story at 5 p.m. followed a live nativity (weather permitting) and caroling;
- Village Chic/Village Cup, 17 S. Chillicothe–Free shots of coffee, gift basket drawing, and candy canes for children who stop by with their passports;
- All In Flavor, 9 S. Chillicothe–Open for supper with a limited menu, drinks and sweet treats;
- Small Town Roots Hair & Tanning Salon, 11 S. Chillicothe–Popcorn and coloring with Mrs. Claus; raffle drawing for children and a gift basket drawing for adults (tickets available for purchase during the event);
- United Methodist Church, 15 E. Jamestown–Cookie walk, pick out cookies for Santa;
- Houston Library, 5 W. Jamestown, 4:30, 5 and 6:30 p.m., Christmas carols from around the world, music and singing by the Arendt sisters (voice, harp, guitar, violin, mandolin and accordion); drawings for Christmas DVDs; tour the bookmobile and visit King Kandy from the Candy Land game;
- Corner of Jamestown and Chillicothe streets–Bonfire and raffle to support the Madison Township Emergency Services Association’s breakfast with Santa; purchase a s’mores kit and make s’mores by the fire with Dan Dean, self-proclaimed s’mores world champion; Kleinfelder Hots and Brats food truck; wagon rides, 6-8 p.m. (donation of one non-perishable food item per person per ride requested);
- Christian Brothers Meat Co., 109 N. Chillicothe St.–Food truck at the Polar Bar;
- Village Hair Designs & Spa, 164 N. Chillicothe–Decorate a cookie at Mrs. Claus’s Cookie Shop; Cinnamon Roll food truck in the parking lot;
- The Purple Monkey–25 W. Mound St.–Serving dinner, pizza and ice cream;
- South Charleston Town Hall, 35 S. Chillicothe–Visit with Santa, bring your own camera for photos, make-and-take snowman project for children;
- Southeastern High School, 195 E. Jamestown–School band and choir performance at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.
- Raffle and Children’s Passport drawing at Presbyterian Church, 15 N. Chillicothe–8 p.m., entrants need not be present to win.
Christmas in South Charleston is the main fundraiser for the South Charleston Community Club, which funds Community Park.