Enjoy the Living Christmas Story, Morris College Christmas concert and more


The holiday season has begun, and here are a few events within a short drive of Sumter. To have your event included, please send your information to pressrelease@theitem.com.

Join the journey at Trinity United Methodist Church, 226 W. Liberty St., when the church presents its Living Christmas Story: A Drive-Thru Bethlehem Experience from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 7-9.

Morris College's free chorale Christmas concert will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in the Neal-Jones Auditorium of Morris. The concert will begin with a candlelight procession of the Christmas carol titled, "What Child is This?" Featured in this year's celebration is one of Sumter's noted and distinguished pianists, Anne Dave, who has devoted her professional career to music and the arts. Dave will accompany the chorale as they perform the Baroque choral arrangement of "Gloria" written by Antonio Lucio Vivaldi. The concert will also feature the following performances: a string solo by Lorne Lee, interim chair and instructor of music in the Division of General Studies; a piano solo by Shawn L. Hair; and Herbert Johnson will sing "Sweet Little Jesus Boy." The Morris College Chorale is directed by Johnson, an assistant professor, and accompanied by Hair, an instructor. Other pieces to be performed are selections by Schubert, The Pentatonix, the spiritual "Have You Seen the Baby?" and gospel arrangements by Norman Hutchins.

Sumter Little Theatre will present "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" Friday-Sunday, Dec. 7-9, at 14 Mood Ave. This hilarious Christmas play tells the story of Grace Bradley, who is struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant when she is faced with having to cast the Herdman kids, who are possibly the worst kids in history. Tickets: $20 adults; $15 student/senior/military. Call (803) 775-2150 or visit www.sumterlittletheatrecom

While you are out viewing the holiday lights, don't forget to add the Swan Lake Fantasy of Lights to your list. Open nightly through Dec. 31, the lights are on from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit www.sumtersc.gov/fantasy-of-lights

Central Christmas Trees is back for the second year. Through Dec. 17, Central Carolina Technical College will be displaying approximately 20 Christmas trees for public viewing and voting. Stop by the college during normal operating hours to tour the trees and get in the holiday spirit. You can also vote for your favorite tree by visiting CCTC's Facebook page. The winner will be announced at the college's annual Christmas luncheon.

Downtown Florence will hold its first Downtown Christmas Magic celebration 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, on the 100 block of West Evans Street in Florence. Bring the whole family out to kick off the season with free hot cocoa and s'mores stations, live holiday entertainment, a gingerbread house contest, an ugly sweater contest, the Jingle and Mingle kids area filled with crafts and games, a Santa Claus meet and greet, holiday gift market and more.

Breakfast with Santa, presented by Sumter County Recreation and Parks, will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 155 Haynsworth St. Tickets are $10 per person and are on sale through Dec. 3. Event will include breakfast, crafts and holiday activities. Call (803) 436-2249, email lchambers@sumtercountysc.org or visit www.sumtercounty.org

The Town of Mayesville's annual Christmas parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8. Line-up will begin at 10 a.m. with the parade beginning at 11 a.m. Call Nancy Williams at (803) 453-5037 or Jeanie Jefferson at (803) 495-8181 for information.

Support small businesses and celebrate the holiday season at the annual Christmas at Patriot Hall 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. There will be music, food, vendors and lots of shopping. Take pictures with Santa from noon to 4 p.m.

The Sumter County Museum's annual Carolina Backcountry Christmas will be held 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 122 N. Washington St. Experience Christmas in the year 1800 as costumed interpreters demonstrate blacksmithing, spinning and weaving and other traditional skills of the early 19th century. This free event will feature chestnuts roasting over an open fire and cider and cookies in the log cabin.

The Holiday Parade of Lights, the only "nighttime" parade in the Midlands, will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, in front of the Cayce Municipal Complex, 1800 12th St., and proceed down 12th to 12th Street and Highway 1 in West Columbia. There will be floats, bands, animals, fire trucks and more.

The Santee Christmas Parade will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Santee Town Hall. Call Joanie Pinter at (803) 854-2152, extension 203, for details.

The Evening Optimist Club will host Breakfast with Santa from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Sonic Drive-In, 2022 McCrays Mill Road. Regular breakfast items will be available for purchase with a special pancake breakfast also available. Be sure to bring your camera. Pictures with Santa are free, but donations to the Optimist International Foundation are welcomed.

The Nutcracker will be presented by the Dance Place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Wood Auditorium, Camden. Cost is $15 per adult and $10 per child. Call (803) 425-7676 or visit http://fineartscenter.org

The most popular and talked about Christmas parade in South Carolina, the Boykin Christmas Parade, will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Thousands of spectators are drawn to Boykin each year for this unique parade. Call (803) 424-4731.

The Camden Community Concert Band Holiday Show will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Camden High School.

The Vance Christmas Parade will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, in the town of Vance. Call (803) 492-3114 for details.

The Branchville Christmas Parade will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16. Call (803) 274-8820 for details.