Christmas displays bring festive air to Florence

December 23, 2018 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence residents were able to ring in the Christmas holiday by viewing several different light displays around the area.

Lights 4 Paws 2018, the Florence Festival of Lights and the third annual Downtown Music and Light show were in full display Saturday evening as hundreds of Florentines flocked to enjoy live performances, visit with Santa and see their favorite characters in light form.

Lights 4 Paws 2018, at 3251 Mears Drive, started in late November and runs today and Monday.

Lights 4 Paws is a quarter-mile walk-through trail light show with more than 300,000 lights, and stuffed animals for people to enjoy during the holiday season. Proceeds from the lights benefit the Florence Area Humane Society.

The lights will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 29, weather permitting, according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Returning to Florence this year was the Florence Festival of Lights on Hoffmeyer Road.

The festival offers motorists the opportunity to follow a planned course through Hoffmeyer Place to enjoy the sights and signs of extensive Christmas-themed light displays as well as an invitation to park and visit Santa’s Village.

More than 150 light displays will be set up along the streets lighting up the night in bright colors. They include Santa’s workshop, a tropical-themed area, Disney characters and a street devoted to a manger display.

In addition to the drive-thru light show, attendees were able to enjoy hot chocolate, popcorn, balloon animals and a variety of other Christmas activities in Santa’s village on selected nights. Proceeds from the event went to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Because of the threat of rain, the organization couldn’t open Santa’s Village Saturday night.

A swift drive across town, several residents enjoyed the third annual Downtown Music and Light show. The show consisted of a walk-through of lights synchronized to various Christmas tunes.

Ray Reich, downtown development manager, said the light display was a way to provide something for families to enjoy during Christmas time in downtown Florence.

“The light show is in its third year in downtown Florence,” Reich said. “Each year we add more to the display and this year the most significant addition is 30 foot tree that provides an impressive light show synchronized to Christmas music. The light and music show has been a wonderful way to draw families to downtown Florence. All through the year we have various festivals downtown and our music and light show combined with the Christmas Magic Festival held earlier in the month truly makes downtown a special place in our community.”

The show runs every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through New Year’s Day.