Lighting of the Christmas Park to kick off holidays

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The opening of the Christmas Park and Deck the Halls in Williamston will kick off the holidays this weekend, and over the next few weeks the calendar will be filled with local events to get you into the Holiday Spirit!
The lighting of Mineral Spring Park is scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m.
There will be special holiday music and Santa Claus will be arriving on the town’s antique 1936 Fire Engine and visiting with children in the Scout Hut.
The Christmas Park has been a holiday attraction in the upstate since 1958. It is a joint effort by local citizens and the town to convey the Christmas spirit through a unique collection of holiday lights and displays.
The lighting of the park will include the opening of Deck the Halls in Williamston’s Municipal Center. The annual event has become a holiday tradition for the town and features beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the main hallways of the Municipal Center.
It will be open to the public for viewing following the lighting of the park and during regular business hours through the holidays.
Hours for viewing trees will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through the holiday season.
The 15th annual Fork Shoals Christmas Parade will be the first of several area parades and will be held Sunday, November 25 at 3 p.m. in downtown Fork Shoals.
Last year, the parade, which is always held the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, had 60 entrants.
The parade will feature marching bands, dignitaries, beauty queens, impressive floats, horses, race cars and antique vehicles.
Greenville County Sheriff Brown will be spreading holiday cheer from the turret of a SWAT vehicle. State Representative Ashley Trantham will be driving her tractor, and Santa will be riding in a horse drawn carriage.
For information, contact Durant Ashmore at durantashmore@aol.com or 915-6337.
The West Pelzer Christmas Parade will be held at 4 pm on Saturday, December 1.
The parade will begin at the West Pelzer Fire Department and proceed down Main Street (Hwy. 8) through West Pelzer and onto Lebby Street in Pelzer and to the Saluda River. Awards will be given for the overall best float, as well as the religious and school categories.
Following the parade,several businesses will offer cookies.
The Piedmont Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, December 8, at 11 am.
Organized by The Bonnes Amies Club of Piedmont, the parade will begin at Rite Aid on Hwy. 86 and go to the First Baptist Church.
Milltown Players Executive Director Will Ragland will serve as Grand Marshal.
Parade entries are now being accepted. For information or registration, contact Kathy Hand, Chairman (864-607-2702), Paige Crawford (864-569-4364), or Maxie Freeman (864-845-6372).
Forms are also available at the Piedmont Fire Department.  Entry fee is $15 for individuals and $30 for clubs by December 1st.  Fees increase to $20 and $40 after the deadline.
The Williamston Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, December 8 at 3 p.m. The theme will be “Keep Christ in Christmas”.
The parade will begin at the traffic light at Hamilton St. and Greenville Dr. and will end at Calvary Baptist Church. There is no fee to enter the annual parade, but all entrants are encouraged to bring plenty of candy. Candy should be handed out by a walking crew, not thrown, organizers said.
No one will be allowed to dress as “Santa” and performances should be limited to one minute.
Sherrie Cole is the parade organizer. Registration will be held in advance by submitting an entry form to the Town of Williamston at PO Box 70, by FAX to 864-847-5910 or email to sherricole@charter.net.
Registration will also be held day of parade at the line up which will be held at Fort Hill Gas offices at 701 N. Hamilton St. between 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Registration forms are available at the Williamston Municipal Center or participants can call Town Hall at 847-7473 or Cole at 864-847-5501 or 864-353-2893 for information or registration. Registration forms are also available on the town website and facebook page.
“Santa Express”
Greenville & Western Railway Company, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Carolina Railway Service Corporation, will hold the Twelfth Annual “Santa Express” on Saturday, December 8.
Following Santa’s arrival at each stop, boys and girls will have an opportunity to step on board Santa’s caboose and tell Old Saint Nick what they want for Christmas. Each child will receive a sweet treat and Santa will draw tickets at every stop for special gifts from his magic gift bag.
Santa’s 2018 schedule will be (Arrival – Departure):
Honea Path – Hamby Road 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Belton – O’Neal Street 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Cheddar – Cheddar Road 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Williamston – Williams Street 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Pelzer – Lyman Street (old depot site) 4:45 PM – 7:15 PM
The Greenville & Western is partnering with the Belton Interfaith Ministerial Association (“BIMA”) and the Presbyterian Food Bank of Pelzer and Williamston (“PFB”) to collect food items.
Greenville & Western encourages those who attend this year’s Santa Express event to bring a donation of one or more non-perishable food items to the train.