Here in Beaufort, there is never a shortage of holiday cheer around this time, and this year is no different. It will take more than a pesky pandemic to lower Christmas spirit here in town, and as such, there are plenty of safe and fun activities to partake in (both in-person and virtually). Also, for those who don’t know, there will be free holiday parking at the downtown marina parking lot all the way through December 31, so get downtown and get shopping!
Until December 14, the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts and the city are sponsoring “Celebrate the Season,” a free outdoor exhibit showcasing holiday traditions from around the world. Come and see as community members, students, and faith groups craft beautiful representations of the customs integral to their holiday celebrations. This is a great opportunity to give you and your family a peek into some different cultures and showcase that no matter how different the details may be, we’re all a bit more similar than you’d expect!
First Friday is ON this holiday season! Tired of all your favorite stores in town closing as soon as the sun sets? Well, you’re in luck! Not only are select downtown merchants staying open until 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays until December 24, but The Downtown Beaufort Merchants Association is celebrating “Hometown Christmas” on December 4, with shops staying open until 9 p.m.
Neighborhoods, grab your lights, and get to work! This holiday season, we’re hosting a “Light Up the Town” challenge, where neighborhoods compete (for bragging rights) to see who can band together and create the most holly-jolly neighborhood in Beaufort. We hope to see families going on a drive from neighborhood to neighborhood to experience the (hopefully) breathtaking displays around the town.
Here’s a fun activity for the kids: “Holiday Under the Sea.” Look for decorated sea creature ornaments in Beaufort’s parks in this city-wide holiday scavenger hunt. Take a selfie with the ornaments, and then put them back where you found them, and tag the City of Beaufort on Facebook with #bftHolidayUnderTheSea, starting December 16 and running through New Year’s Day!
Are your children itching to get their letters to Santa? The city is here to help! There will be special mailboxes around town until December 18, and Beaufort will deliver the community’s letters directly to the North Pole for Santa to read! Mailboxes will be located on the lawn of City Hall (1911 Boundary St.), at Waterfront Park playground, and at City of Beaufort fire stations (Headquarters: 135 Ribaut Road; Station 2: 1120 Ribaut Road; Station 3: 1750 Ribaut Road; Station 4: 571 Robert Smalls Parkway). You can also E-Mail letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll forward them to Santa for you! Please be sure to include clear return addresses on both the E-Mails and physical letters. Videos of Santa reading the letters will be posted on Facebook starting December 19!
We also have something extra special planned this year. The team at the North pole has been working overtime to cheer everybody up in this unprecedented year, but we’ve managed to get Santa himself to set aside an hour for a Zoom with Beaufort’s kids! From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on December 19, have the opportunity to tell Santa exactly what you want for Christmas this year. A link will be shared on Facebook as the date draws more near!
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