Christmas is right around the corner and the days leading up to it can be a great way to spend quality time with close family and friends.
For example, by maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask you could enjoy beautiful Christmas light displays from the comfort of your car and be comforted with the thought of keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are five suggestions for celebrating the holidays safely:
See neighborhood Christmas lights
The City of Spartanburg is hosting a contest to find out who has the best-decorated neighborhood for Christmas.
The “Merry and Bright, Sparkle City Lights” contest participants include the neighborhood associations of Forest Park, South Converse, Converse Heights, Woodland Heights, and Highland.
The neighborhood that is selected as the “Fan Favorite” will be announced on Monday, Dec. 21 at noon on the city’s Facebook page. You have until Sunday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. to cast your vote.
According to the Converse Heights Neighborhood Association’s Facebook page, these are the decorated streets to check out:
- Mills from Main Street to Sherwood Circle/Woodburn Road.
- Palmetto from Pine Street to where it circles into Otis.
- Otis from Pine street to where it circles into Palmetto.
- Norwood from Pine street to Connecticut Avenue.
- Glendalyn Ave from Mills down and around Glendalyn Circle Fairview extension.
I’m dreaming of a ‘White Christmas’
Every Wednesday at 2 p.m., the Upcountry History Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, brings White Christmas – The Exhibition, directly to computer screens.
For only $10, guests can enjoy docent-led tours of this exhibition dedicated to the iconic 1954 movie currently on display at the Greenville museum.
The elegance of original costumes worn by the movie’s stars, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, Vera-Ellen, and Danny Kaye, can be seen, while interesting behind-the-scenes stories during the filming of the movie are shared by museum docents.
Some of the memorabilia on display include the famous blue dresses worn by Clooney and Vera-Ellen when they sang “Sisters;” other costumes designed by legendary Oscar award-winning designer Edith Head; military uniforms worn by the stars during filming; and the sleigh seen gliding across the snow carrying cheery revelers as the movie ends.
White Christmas – The Exhibition is the first traveling exhibition – and the largest known White Christmas movie collection in the world – dedicated to the classic movie. It is comprised of items from the permanent collection at the Rosemary Clooney House Museum in Augusta, Kentucky.
These virtual tours will be offered each Wednesday through Jan. 30.
Please note, the museum adheres to a mandatory mask requirement for visitors ages 10 years and older.
The Upcountry History Museum is located at 540 Buncombe St., in Greenville. For more information, call 864-467-3100 or visit www.upcountryhistory.org.
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Holiday Sip ‘n Shop
Greer Station’s Holiday Sip ‘n Shop & Cookie Crawl will take place 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18. at 111 S, Main St. in historic downtown Greer.
There will be extended shopping hours, light refreshments, and a Holiday Cookie Crawl.
Holiday music will be performed by Natalie Foreverland.
Masks are recommended where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Enjoy a Celtic Christmas
The popular Ed Harrison Memorial Celtic Christmas program will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Hagood Mill Historic Site in Pickens.
The annual event pays tribute to the Scotch and Irish immigrants who brought their musical and cultural influences to the Appalachian region. It also honors Harrison, “a remarkably versatile musician, with a passion for playing multiple styles of roots music on a wide variety of instruments.”
Headlining the program this year will be Drop o’ the Pure, described as “a high-energy Celtic pub rock band, playing an array of covers from traditional to modern,’’ featuring guitars, accordion, mandolin, bass, fiddle, percussion, drums, uilleann pipes, and tin whistle. Also performing will be Marshall Goers and Lucy Allen, as well as Hot Foot Clogging Studios, offering an exhibition of Irish dance.
The Celtic Christmas program also will feature a variety of folklife and traditional- arts demonstrations. The Mill will be running, offering freshly ground grits, and there will be an artisan market for those last-minute gifts. Santa and Mrs. Claus also will be on hand.
The Heritage Pavilion will be closed in with tarps and will be heated with propane heaters. As always, visitors are encouraged to bring their own seating and enjoy the bonfire and s’mores.
Admission is $10 per person for ages 13 and up, and $5 per person for ages 2-12. There is no parking fee.
Visit with old St. Nick
While families are visiting Santa Claus at WestGate Mall this year, safety precautions will be taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visits with Santa Claus will be contactless and families will have to stay 6 feet away to ensure social distancing.
Santa will be available during these times:
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
9am – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Guests are asked to schedule their visit with Santa using the reservation platform on WestGate Mall’s website.
Walk-ups will be allowed during the first and last hour of the day, time permitting. All visitors must wear masks before, during, and after photos.
Please note: Santa takes a break to feed the reindeer from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday thru Saturday, and from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
COVID-19 Safety guidelines
While enjoying Christmas activities, remember to practice the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended safety measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
►Wear a mask.
► Practice social distancing of 6 feet.
► Wash your hands frequently and carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
► Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
Send your Christmas and holiday events to firstname.lastname@example.org.