Laurens County, South Carolina – Christmas cheer spread across the county this past weekend, with large scale tree lighting ceremonies in Clinton on Thursday evening, in Laurens Friday evening and Laurens’ parade Saturday night.
In Clinton, Eastside Elementary first graders sang a series of Christmas songs from different countries and cheered when the lights of the large tree lit up behind them.
The children were invited to enjoy cocoa provided by the City of Clinton and Vestibule Coffee, and families enjoyed downtown carriage rides, with proceeds going to the city’s Community Cares utility fund.
In Laurens on Friday night, Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn and Santa Claus teamed up in the Pedestrian Plaza to turn on the lights of the city’s towering tree, and soon dozens of children on decorated bicycles and scooters were following Santa as he rode in a golf cart around the Historic Courthouse in what has become an annual Christmas Bicycle Parade.
Davidson Brass had also performed holiday tunes while numerous vendors sold their wares.
The threat of poor weather on Saturday never actually materialized, but forecasts had been severe enough to cause the postponement of the 9 a.m. Clinton parade until Saturday, Dec. 16, which will be followed by the Whitten Center parade at 10 a.m.
The Town of Gray Court had already opted to cancel its 2 p.m. parade and didn’t plan to reschedule it.
The City of Laurens and Main Street Laurens held its parade Saturday afternoon, which went off with mild temperatures and no rain, as did Joanna’s Christmas parade on Sunday afternoon.
This upcoming weekend there are plenty of Christmas activities to come.
This Saturday, Dec. 9, Hickory Tavern’s Country Christmas Parade begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by a celebration with food trucks, vendors and the Pickens Creek Band at the Hickory Tavern Fire Department.
Participating merchants in Clinton are holding a “Mingle and Jingle” from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14, featuring later than normal business hours, along with snacks and specials, as well as a pop-up shop at 103 West Main with local vendors.
Also on Dec. 14, the Clinton Public Library Branch will host Santa at 4 p.m. for library patrons, and then the jolly old elf will be at the main branch on West Main Street, Laurens at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
The City of Laurens is hosting Laurens Christmas Markets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday morning through Dec. 23.
Also on that final Saturday Axle Blue Carriage rides will offer downtown carriage rides all day.
Later on Saturday, Dec. 23, the City of Laurens will have two movie showings free of charge at the Capitol Theatre.
For younger children, “Polar Express” will show at 4 p.m., followed by “Scrooged” with Bill Murray at 7:30 p.m.