NEWBERRY — If you’re looking for something to do during the coming holiday season, look no more: Here are the Top 10 things every Newberrian should do during the holiday season.
1. Light Up the Town at Main Street Lights: The annual Main Street Lights event will be held Nov. 18, starting at 6 p.m. when downtown will be transformed into a mini-festival.
The Southern Victorian Society will be dressed in full Victorian era replica dress and local organizations will be giving away candy canes, popcorn, cookies and more. Pre-lit garland has been added to Main Street intersections and old favorites like LED figures, faux snow machines, and ornament sculpture are back.
The Official Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Little Mountain Elementary and Gallman School choruses will perform and Robb Ellis from WISTV will lead the countdown. After the tree lighting, the Newberry College Madrigals will be singing Christmas tunes throughout downtown. At 7:30 p.m., Newberry Community Players will provide a free showing of “The Polar Express” at the Ritz Theater.
2. Shop Small Saturday: What better day to show support for local businesses than on national Small Business Saturday? On the Saturday following Thanksgiving everyone is encouraged to “shop small” at locally owned specialty stores, retailers, coffee shops, markets, restaurants, and more for a day to celebrate and support small business. If you snag a photo or two while you’re out supporting be sure to use the hashtag “#shopsmall” when posting to social media.
3. Travel to the North Pole: Experience the wonders of the North Pole in Newberry from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Friday in December through Dec. 23 when Santa will be in Memorial Park to hear Christmas wishes. The Newberry County Chamber of Commerce office in Community Hall will have Storytime with Mrs. Claus and a Christmas craft. Contact the City of Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism office at 803-321-1015 for more information.
4. Newberry Jaycees Christmas Parade: The annual Newberry Christmas Parade will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 3 in downtown Newberry. The parade starts at Calhoun Street and makes its way down Main Street to Nance, ending with Newberry’s Santa riding on top of one of the Newberry Fire Department’s best engines. Contact the Newberry Jaycees at 864-430-8607 or 803-530-2604 for more information.
5. Community Choir Christmas Finale: The Newberry Community Choir will present its annual Christmas performance at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 in the auditorium of Newberry Elementary School, 1829 Nance St. Admission is free. “We Believe” is expected to be the final performance of the Community Choir under the direction of Mary Ann D. Hayes. “I went back to some music that spoke his message to me, and hopefully in turn, it will speak to your heart as well,” Hayes said.
6. Tour of Homes: The Newberry County Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Tour of Homes is held Dec. 10 at some of Newberry’s finest historic homes. Homes include the home of Chris Kemper and Molly Fortune on Main Street, the Goeckner family home on Wallace Drive, the Hursey family home on Boundary Street, and Newberry Manor, a bed and breakfast on College Street. The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Newberry also will be on the tour in celebration of the advent season. Tickets can be bought by calling the Chamber at 803-276-4274.
7. Tuba Christmas: Newberry’s 16th annual “Tuba Christmas” will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Newberry College Alumni Music Center Recital Hall. Admission is free.
Tube Christmas was started and has been perpetuated by retired Newberry College professor Bill Long, and features tuba and euphonium players performing fun and familiar Christmas tunes to which you can sing along. Performers often include current Newberry College students, alumni, faculty past and present, local high schoolers, and even out of town visitors.
Tuba Christmas is an international event that takes place in most major cities around the United States. In South Carolina there are at least five known Tuba Christmas events with Newberry’s commonly being the largest. The Newberry Tuba Christmas typically brings in 50 performers.
A rehearsal will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 for those wanting to perform at Tuba Christmas. A $10 performance fee will be collected. Contact organizer John Fulmer at 803-924-8080 or Bill Long at 803-321-9004 for more information.
8. Get Crafty this Christmas: The Newberry Arts Center will host a painting party on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, and on Dec. 12, the Arts Center will host a painting party where guests will paint a wooden cutout of a Christmas ornament.
Parents looking to keep the kids busy while they make last minute Christmas purchases need look no further than Christmas Break Art Camp at NAC. Kids ages 5 to 12 can sign up to participate one day or every day of Christmas art camp for just $20 per day.
Camp days will run Dec. 19 through Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. Students who sign up for the entire week of camp will receive a $10 discount. Registration details for camp and painting parties can be found online at www.newberryartscenter.com or by calling 803-321-1015.
9. Christmas Eve Luminaries: Every year on Christmas Eve nearly eight blocks of Newberry’s Main Street is lit with the soft glowing light of luminaries. Along the sidewalks, in front of the historic homes that line the streets from Caldwell to Kinard, homeowners place matching white luminaries and light them at nightfall to welcome the eve of Christ’s birth.
10. A Newberry New Year’s Eve: What better way to celebrate the coming of the New Year than with food, dancing, and fireworks at the Newberry Opera House. Newberry native Reggie Deas and his band will be playing rhythm, beach, and jazz hits from the past to the present. The night will wrap up outside the Opera House with a big countdown to midnight when “the ball” is dropped from the clock tower and fireworks are set off over downtown, illuminating the night sky. Visit www.newberryoperahouse.com for more information.