(Posted Nov. 26, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The South Charleston Community Club blends the tried-and-true with fun-and-new each time it hosts Christmas in South Charleston.
“We have a lot of tradition–23 years of tradition–and we add a little more detail each year,” said Jennifer McKee, Community Club president and Christmas in South Charleston chairperson.
This year’s celebration takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 throughout downtown South Charleston. New features this year include a wreath and poinsettia sale at town hall, music broadcast in front of the Luckey Block, and a new downtown location for the cinnamon roll truck. Elf Village has moved to VC Studio, a more centralized location, and includes a photo booth this year.
“We have more vendors than ever,” McKee added. “Last year, we got our feet wet with two vendor locations (First Presbyterian Church and Gilbert’s Youth Center). Both are completely full this year.”
Event organizers are once again asking residents and businesses along routes 41 and 42 in town to decorate their windows, houses and/or yards with white lights for White Light the Village. This year, Journey of Faith Church is offering to help anyone along those routes with putting up lights. Call (937) 206-8520.
The Community Club’s longstanding raffle is back with a grand prize of $500 in cash. Dozens of other prizes are up for grabs, including cash, gift certificates, and merchant services. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased at various locations in advance or the night of the drawing until 7:45 p.m. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 15 N. Chillicothe St. Participants do not need to be present to win.
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 South Charleston hot spots around town include:
Charleston Pharmacy, 127 S. Chillicothe–Christmas train display; book giveaway (two per child);
South Charleston Post Office, 125 S. Chillicothe St.–Mail a letter to Santa in a specially marked mailbox;
Shoemaker’s Grocery, 111 S. Chillicothe St.–Children can stop by for a passport stamp; prizes for the first 200 children;
Security National Bank, 102 S. Chillicothe St.–Hot chocolate and cookies inside, dulcimer music outside;
Gilbert’s Youth Center, 65 S. Chillicothe St.–Vendors and crafters; see the newly remodeled space where Young Life hosts events;
Chillicothe Street Pizza, 54 S. Chillicothe St.–Enter a drawing to win one or two extra-large, two-topping pizzas;
Catholic Parish Hall, 31 S. Chillicothe St.–Sandwiches, soups, chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes, pie, and drinks, for eat-in or takeout, 4-7 p.m.; restrooms available;
First Presbyterian Church, 15 N. Chillicothe St.–Vendors and crafters; a reading of the Christmas story at 6 p.m., live nativity (weather permitting), and caroling;
All In Flavor, 9 S. Chillicothe St.–Offering drinks, sweet treats and more;
Small Town Roots Hair & Tanning Salon, 11 S. Chillicothe St.–Popcorn and a coloring contest for children ages 0-10;
VC Studio, 15 S. Chillicothe St.–Children can visit Elf Village to decorate a cookie, fish in the North Pole Pond, and take a picture in a photo booth, (sponsored by Village Hair Designs & Spa);
Village Chic/Village Cup, 17 S. Chillicothe St.–Free shots of coffee, gift basket drawing, and candy canes for children who stop by with their passports;
Cinnamon Roll Truck, on South Chillicothe Street–Back by popular demand;
United Methodist Church, 15 E. Jamestown–Cookie walk, pick out cookies for Santa;
Houston Library, 5 W. Jamestown St.–Between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., visit the library for Dino-mite Christmas, have your picture taken with a T-rex and make a dinosaur ornament to take home;
Corner of Jamestown and Chillicothe streets–Bonfire and raffle to support the Madison Township Emergency Services Association’s breakfast with Santa; Christian Brothers Meat Co. serving up barbecue and homemade sides; Diamond Dogs mobile hot dog cart serving up hot dogs, mac and cheese, and chili; wagon rides, 6-8 p.m. (donation of one non-perishable food item per person per ride requested);
The Purple Monkey–25 W. Mound St.–Serving dinner, pizza and ice cream;
South Charleston Town Hall, 35 S. Chillicothe St.–Visit with Santa, bring your own camera for photos; Heritage Commission selling ornaments and commemorative crystal bells, plus a silent auction featuring items donated from the estate of Suzanne Howsman; wreath and poinsettia sale (wreaths available in two sizes for $25 and $30, add a bow for $3-$5, foil-wrapped poinsettias are $12);
Southeastern High School, 195 E. Jamestown St.–School band and choir performance at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.
Raffle and Children’s Passport drawing at Presbyterian Church, 15 N. Chillicothe St.–8 p.m., entrants need not be present to win.
Christmas in South Charleston is the primary fundraiser for the South Charleston Community Club, which funds and maintains Community Park.