The most wonderful time of the year has returned and communities across Horry County are prepping for the holiday season.
From parades to tree lighting ceremonies to visits from Santa, here is a list of holiday events throughout December around the county.
Conway’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. at 1019 4th Avenue. Santa will be visiting for photos following the ceremony.
The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off the 2021 Rivertown Christmas Celebration. During the first three Thursdays in December, locals and visitors will be treated to a variety of holiday-themed events.
On Thursday, Dec. 9, from 6-8 p.m., visitors can take a stroll through Downtown Conway and see living window displays at a variety of shops. Stop by 1019 4th Ave. to meet Santa before taking a carriage ride, starting at 4th Avenue and Laurel Street. Santa and carriage rides will be available the following Thursday as well. After a carriage ride, visitors can head to 200 Laurel St. to see Curtis the Camel. There will be live entertainment throughout the event with performances from the Conway High School Choral Program, Carolina Vocals and St. Paul’s Church Music Ministry.
Snowfall Park at Conway City Hall is Thursday, Dec. 16. The Christmas Cruise-In will also take place on Third Avenue.
Conway’s Christmas Parade is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, on Main Street. The parade starts on 16th Avenue before turning on Main Street where it will continue on, turning onto 3rd Avenue. The parade will then move to Laurel Street before making way down 4th Avenue and ending at 4th Avenue and Powell Street. For those who wish to participate, visit https://conwayscchamber.com/2021-conway-christmas-parade/.
The spectacle that is a Night of a Thousand Candles has returned to Brookgreen Gardens. Visitors can walk through the gardens, lit up by over 2,800 hand-lit candles. As visitors relax under the stars and the candles they can sip on cider, cocoa or wine. Night of a Thousand Candles is each Thursday through Sunday at Brookgreen Gardens, starting Thursday, Dec. 2. The final event is Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets for members are $25 for adults and $12 for children, ages 4 to 12. Tickets for non-members are $30 for adults and $15 for children.
A Hanukkah Menorah Lighting at Valor Memorial Park near The Market Common is set for Thursday, Dec. 2. Community members are welcome to join the local Jewish community at 5 p.m. to celebrate Hanukkah, which began on Sunday, Nov. 28, and lasts through Monday, Dec. 6. The Menorah Lighting is expected to begin at sundown,.
Broadway at the Beach invites all to come out Saturday, Dec. 4, for a Very Broadway Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and will happen along the exterior of the shopping mall with select merchants participating as well as outside guests.
For those who want to see a different kind of Christmas light show, the Pelicans Ballpark is hosting the Christmas Fireworks Extravaganza on Friday, Dec. 10, for a one-night only special event. Starting at 6 p.m., folks are invited to come to the ballpark and enjoy holiday-themed activities, such as Christmas-themed videos on the video board, arts and crafts and even photos with Santa himself. The photos will be made available for free on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ballpark. The event will conclude with a Christmas-themed fireworks show starting at 8 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket, but no chairs. Admission to the event is $10 for ages 13 & up, $5 for kids 12 & under and kids 2 & under get in for free.
The Carolina Opry Theater in Myrtle Beach welcomes back the Carolina Opry Christmas Special, also known as "The Christmas Show of the South." For a 36th season, Carolina Opry has brought enchanting holiday performances and this year's cast includes Moses Braxton and Delvin Choice from NBC's The Voice, clogging All That! as seen on NBC's America's Got Talent and Tangena Church. The cast is accompanied by the Calvin Gilmore Orchestra. The Carolina Opry Christmas Special runs regular evening shows starting at 7 p.m. and select matinees starting at 1 p.m. Purchasing tickets in advanced is highly encouraged as shows are expected to sell out. For a full schedule and tickets, visit https://thecarolinaopry.com/myrtle-beach-shows/christmas-special/.
On Friday, Nov. 26, the Myrtle Beach area introduced an outdoor ice skating rink at Burroughs and Chapin Pavilion Place as part of Winter Wonderland at The Beach, running until Jan. 2, 2022. The rink is open daily from 3-9 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends. The festival will be closed on Christmas Day.
Along with ice skating, holiday lights will be featured throughout the festival. The holiday lights will begin at 5 p.m. every night. Ice skating costs $20 with skate rental and $15 if you bring your own skates. For the holiday lights, it costs $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 through 12 and is free for those four and under. The festival is providing a $2 discount for those who purchase tickets for both holiday lights and skating. For more information, visit WinterWonderlandatTheBeach.com.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH
The North Myrtle Beach Christmas Parade is set for Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. Gather around Main Street with your family and friends to enjoy the lighted floats and units representing groups from all across the area. Groups interested in participating should contact Destination North Myrtle Beach.
The Great Christmas Light Show has returned to the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex. This year, the show features 30 new animated and holiday scenes, the lights bringing the scene to life. The drive through light show will feature over two million lights festively displayed along a two-mile drive throughout the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. Over 500 magical light displays, some up to 55-feet tall, have been custom made for this year’s show.
Following your drive through the enchanted light show, stop off at Santa’s Village for some hot chocolate and s’mores, take a look at the lights on the Santa Express Train Ride. Santa’s Village is currently only open Thursday through Sundays until Dec. 12. But starting Thursday, Dec. 16, Santa's Village will be open nightly until Thursday, Dec. 30. Santa's Village will be closed Christmas Day.
For vehicles with up to 15 guests, tickets for the Great Christmas Light Show are $15 per vehicle when Santa’s Village is closed and $20 per vehicle when Santa’s Village is open. For vehicles with 16 to 30 guests, it’s $30 per vehicle each night. Any vehicle with 31 or more guests is $60.
Gates open from 5:30 p.m. and the event ends at 9:30 p.m.
The Christmas spirit will arrive in Surfside on Saturday, Dec. 4, as the community will hold its annual tree lighting ceremony from 4-9 p.m. at Memorial Park at the corner of Surfside Drive and Willow Drive. Santa will be in attendance along with vendors, food and music for all to enjoy.
The following Saturday, Dec. 11, the Surfside Beach Christmas Parade will start at 2 p.m. The parade route is Ocean Boulevard from Melody Lane to Surfside Drive to Poplar Drive. There are typically over 100 entries in the yearly holiday parade, including floats and marching bands. For parade registration, contact Debbie Ellis at Town Hall or visit surfsidebeach.org.