Hartsville to kick off holidays with downtown celebration
HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Downtown Hartsville will be bustling Thursday evening as visitors and residents enjoy a variety of holiday happenings.
Before the organized events begin, attendees can enjoy holiday tunes performed by the Hartsville High School chorus at 5:30 p.m.
The Centennial Tree Lighting ceremony in Centennial Park will kick off the night’s festivities at 6 p.m. with the first lighting of the city of Hartsville tree.
No matter the temperature, snow will be seen in Hartsville Thursday night. Attendees can enjoy some flurries at a large snow field with a free snow tubing slide in the parking lot between First Citizens Bank and Centennial Park. Jordan Braddock, marketing and events coordinator for the city, said this will be a highlight of the evening.
Pictures with Santa will take place in City Hall from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. While visiting with Santa, guests can sip on milk and nibble cookies.
To view downtown Hartsville’s holiday décor in style, attendees can enjoy a free carriage ride provided by Camden Carriage Company. Carriage rides will pick up guests on East College Avenune and take them through downtown on a 20- to 25-minute ride.
Braddock said many businesses will have discounts during the night, so attendees are encouraged to complete some Christmas shopping. Main Street Hartsville businesses will have extended shopping hours during this event.
For items not purchased, wish lists can be mailed to Santa at Santa’s mailbox in Centennial Park. Santa will reply to addressed letters until Dec. 20.
All events during Thursday’s holiday festivities will be free.
“We want to give people the opportunity to experience all these things,” Braddock said. “It increases our sense of community by offering these free items.”
Braddock said the city also holds the event to increase traffic downtown through tourism and shopping.
Parking can be found at all public parking lots, except the Centennial Park parking lot beside First Citizens Bank. This lot will be blocked off for the snow field during the Downtown Holiday Open House and Centennial Tree Lighting.
Events are made possible by donations and sponsorship from Sonoco, Hartsville Medical Associates, Alleyway Printing, Novolex and Hampton Inn & Suites.
Holiday fun will continue after Thursday with Christmas on Carolina evenings. Attendees can ride around downtown in carriages from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Thursday. Rides will be $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. Camden Carriage Company will accept both cash and credit cards.