Community enjoys first Winter Wonderland event


Williamston’s first Winter Wonderland event was a huge success, drawing more than a thousand people, maybe as many as two thousand, and bringing smiles to people of all ages.
The event was a joint effort of Envision Williamston volunteers, the Town of Williamston, local churches, organizations and individuals.
In addition to the town’s traditional opening night ceremonies with Deck the Halls and lighting of the Christmas Park, Winter Wonderland included a new Holiday Market, town Christmas Tree lighting, a live nativity and expanded activities like a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by the mayor and the “Birth of Christ” story by local pastors.
It has been in the making for two years.
“Envision Williamston has been planning this event for the past couple of years and with the help and work of the Envision Williamston Committees and Envision Williamston Board Members, we finally saw our visions come to life,” said Envision Williamston Interim Director Roberta Hamby.
“This event could not have happened without the support and help of Mayor Rockey Burgess. He not only supported us, he also encouraged us and even rolled up his sleeves and jumped right in to help implement our ideas,” Hamby said. “It is so refreshing to have someone listen and want to help us succeed, which means our Town succeeds.”
Hamby offered a very special “thank you” to all of the local churches and Pastors, who so willingly and graciously participated in the event, from reading the Story of the Birth of Christ to bringing refreshments, “It was all so very appreciated. How very exciting that every person in attendance heard the story of the birth of our Savior and had an opportunity to see a Live Nativity. You were all instrumental in the success of this event.”
Joy Zapata organized the Holiday Market, which had 34 vendors offering a variety of holiday gifts and decorations. “Joy went above and beyond and did an amazing job with the Holiday Market,” Hamby said.
A number of other people were involved in making Winter Wonderland a success.
Town Worker Debbie Chapman, and Sheila Garren, worked tirelessly making the Deck The Halls look the best it has ever looked.
Dianne Lollis, with the Springwater Committee, always does a spectacular job with the Park Decorations.
First Citizens Bank provided the milk for Storytime with the Mayor and Envision Williamston provided the cookies.
Calvary Church provided the Live Nativity and also the Music for the Carolers.
Jill Thomason Cannon provided a special beautiful Solo.
The Palmetto Business Association provided free horse drawn carriage rides for the event. Unfortunately, only one of the two horse drawn carriages expected was available due to a health problem with one of the horses.
The Pelzer Light People came out to help celebrate.
Palmetto Properties Real Estate, Inc. furnished “snow” for the event.
James Robertson did a wonderful job planning the Candlelit Prayer to close out the night.
Hamby offered a very special thank you to honorary guests, local Mayors, for coming out and supporting the event.
“And, of course, the night wouldn’t have been a success without Santa and Mrs. Claus. Their smiles lighted up the whole night,” she said.
Hamby also thanked Jack Ellenburg for taking photos during the event and said MVPizza and other local restuarants were busy.
“It was a wonderful night and we are thrilled to have been a part of making such a special night for all the people in attendance. We have already started talking about what we can do next year to make it even better,” Hamby said. “Merry Christmas To All….”