Saturday's inaugural Christmas at Patriot Hall will fill the entire facility, including the Sumter County Gallery of Art, the auditorium, the lobby and even part of the grounds. The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. event was created when Sumter County Cultural Commission Director Melanie Colclough saw a need to support small businesses and bring the community together in a fun way to celebrate the holiday season.
There will be music, food, pictures with Santa Claus and lots of shopping with at least 40 vendors, who will be selling ornaments, clothes, wreaths, jewelry, doll houses, books, baked goods, confectionary, cheeses and much more, Colclough said.
She and the Sumter Artists' Guild, represented by Laura Cardello, and the gallery's director, Karen Watson, are coordinating their Saturday events for a much more comprehensive Christmas celebration.
The guild will hold its 7th-annual Holiday Mart, sponsored by the gallery, which will also be offering its annual Young's pecan sale.
Cardello said 16 local artists will be offering unique works suitable for Christmas giving to others or for yourself.
"It's a good chance to get gifts unlike anything else," she said. "You don't have to worry about giving anyone something they already have, and you'll be helping local artists and the gallery at the same time."
A portion of the Holiday Mart sales will benefit the gallery.
Artists participating offer a wide genre of works at various prices. They include several award winners. Artists are watercolorist Carole Carberry; stained glass artist Don Carberry, who will also offer his signature ornaments; Connie Brennan with her angels and other works in several genres; Laura Cardello, ceramics, flow art paintings, ornaments; Genevieve Rath, fine watercolors; Jim Wade, paintings, sculpture; J Michael McGuirt, abstract acrylic paintings; Terry Newman, paintings; Dennis Snell, oil paintings; Denise L. Greer, collage; Jeanine Moore, small functional pottery; Jeanine Jacildone, paintings; Truman Duggins, woodworking items; Ray Davenport family selling his prints; Amanda Cox, paintings, silk indigo scarves; and Myra Barton, graphite drawings.
The small business vendors will also be offering their products for the full six hours of Christmas at Patriot Hall, and food trucks, including With These Hands, will be open on the grounds. Inside the auditorium, shoppers can enjoy music from Caroline Mack and Friends, the Lakewood High School Choir, Sumter Civic Chorale and jazz and pop band After Dark.
"Santa Claus will be at the very back of the Patriot Hall stage to talk with kids and pose for photographs with him," Colclough said.
She said she's hoping for a large crowd, so that Christmas at Patriot Hall can become an annual event.
Admission is free to the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Christmas at Patriot Hall, 135 Haynsworth St. For more information, call (803) 436-2260.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Shopping, Sumter Artists' Guild Holiday Mart and Small Businesses
Noon to 4 p.m. - Photos with Santa
10:30 a.m. - Caroline Mack & Friends
Noon - Lakewood High School Choir and Sumter Civic Chorale
2 p.m. - After Dark jazz band