Christmas carols are playing from every station on the radio. Everywhere you go, you hear Salvation Army bells ringing. And you find yourself mentally cataloging your cousins so that no one is left off your shopping list.
That’s right, the holiday season is here once again!
This year, create a new family tradition by piling everyone into the car to visit Celebrate The Season, an annual holiday lights driving tour in Moncks Corner that features dozens of twinkling light displays.
Now in its sixth year, Celebrate The Season is only $5 per vehicle, and all gate proceeds benefit charities serving Berkeley County. “We do this as a benefit and fundraiser for the community,” says spokesperson Nicole Aiello. “Last year we raised over $153,000 for local charities. That brings the total we’ve raised since 2011 to $562,000.”
Funds raised have gone to the Coastal Community Foundation's Giving Back to Berkeley Fund, the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center, the American Cancer Society, the Cypress Gardens Arts Foundation, the Palmetto Warrior Connection and the Home Community Fund.
If you can visit Celebrate The Season on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18, you’ll be able to visit a special Holiday Fair in addition the taking in the light display. “If you can make it, we encourage you to come out, give yourself some time to walk around and see what we have to offer,” Aiello says. “We encourage people to come with a holiday spirit and a sense of fun.”
Aiello shares these other tips for families:
- At the Holiday Fair, families can visit with Santa Claus, roast marshmallows and s’mores, see Santa’s workshop, purchase food and beverages and buy last-minute gifts made by local crafters at a community marketplace.
- Celebrate The Season’s Holiday Fair also features machine-generated snow. “This is rare for South Carolina,” Aiello says. “It’s amazing to see children stare up at the sky in the wonder of seeing snow and let it fall on them. It’s the first time that a lot of children have seen something like that happen.” This makes the Holiday Fair a great photo op for parents.
- The $5 general admission fee will get you in to the Holiday Fair and see Santa, but bring a little extra pocket change if you’d like to pick up a gift or do any other activities there. (An ATM is available.)
- Wear sensible shoes if you intend the visit the Holiday Fair, as there will be some walking around.
- You can loop through the driving tour as many times as you want on the night you purchase your ticket. To visit at a time when crowds are lower and you can make more loops, try stopping by on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights.
- Handicapped parking at the Holiday Fair is available for those who need it.
- Public restrooms are only available during weekends when the Holiday Fair is open.
Organized by Santee Cooper and Old Santee Canal Park and sponsored by the Berkeley Electric Cooperative, the light displays at Celebrate The Season are fully powered with homegrown renewable energy from Santee Cooper's Green Power program and exclusively use energy efficient LEDs.
If you plan to visit, the tour starts at the entrance to Santee Cooper at 1 Riverwood Dr. in Moncks Corner. The driving tour winds through Santee Cooper property and ends inside Old Santee Canal Park.
While the light displays are open seven nights a week starting Nov. 25, the Holiday Fair is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18. Although pets feel like part of the family, please leave furry friends at home during Holiday Fairs.
Celebrate The Season will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25. The final night of the light show is Dec. 30. If you have any more questions, call (843) 899-5200 or visit CelebrateTheSeason.org.