Festive events will ring in holiday season near Pawleys Island
From parades and home tours to light displays and live music performances, Pawleys Island and the surrounding area offers a variety of events during the holiday season.
Holiday events start in November and continue through Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce said there is something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season.
“Children of all ages will be able to find activities and events on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast® this holiday season,” Stevens said. “We hope everyone will be inspired to share the magic of the holidays with others.”
Following is a listing of these family-fun holiday events, presented in chronological order:
Pawleys Christmas Festival at Downtown Pawleys (formerly the Island Shops)
Saturday, Nov. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m.
The public is invited to the Downtown Pawleys shopping area for the Pawleys Christmas Festival on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 2 to 5 p.m. The festival will include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas cookie decorating, ornament crafting, letters to Santa, local youth entertainment and more. This is a family-friendly community event. Follow Downtown Pawleys on Facebook and Instagram for all event details.
Treasured Holiday Memories exhibit at Brookgreen Gardens
Friday, Nov. 24, to Monday, Jan. 1
The theme of this traditional holiday exhibit at Brookgreen Gardens in the Rosen Galleries is trains, trees, toys, and treasured memories of holiday seasons past. Christmas trees, period ornaments, and vintage toys present the Victorian era through the 1980s. Lionel, American Flyer, and Bachmann trains chug through landscapes designed and built by department staff. A miniature amusement park evokes the views and sounds of landmarks from the past. Miniature lighted houses present magical displays from Dickens Village to Snow Village, to other Department 56 themes. These historic vignettes wrap the old and the new in holiday warmth.
New this year are views inspired by “Jurassic Park,” along with favorites inspired by “Thomas and Friends,” “The Polar Express,” “Hogwarts,” and “Toy Story.” Also returning are “Amusement Park and Pavilion,” evoking the views and sounds of the historic Myrtle Beach Pavilion, and 1950s vintage trains from a private collector.
Outdoors, during Nights of a Thousand Candles, you will find a G-scale train display on the lawn in front of the pool in the Jewell Plaza. The “Station and Roundhouse” and “Old West Town”will return in an expanded layout. Beautiful holiday lights will illuminate the sculpture “Egrets” by Babette Bloch in the center of the G-scale train display. Trains will run only during Nights of a Thousand Candles.
This exhibit is free with garden admission. For more information, visit www.brookgreen.org.
Nights of a Thousand Candles Preview Benefit
Friday, Nov. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Brookgreen Gardens will hold its annual Nights of a Thousand Candles Preview Benefit on Friday, Nov. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. Each year Brookgreen Gardens reaches hundreds of students and families with educational programming focused on history, the environment, and the arts. Its school programming is correlated to state and national standards, and receives outstanding reviews from teachers who support the efficacy of the hands-on activities in support of their curriculum goals.
The Nights of a Thousand Candles Preview Benefit ticket enables Brookgreen to grow its educational initiatives and encourage lifelong learning. There will be a limited number of tickets, costing $150 each. The ticket price includes wine, beer and other beverages, and heavy hors d’oeuvres, which will be stationed throughout the gardens. For more information, visit www.brookgreen.org.
Nights of a Thousand Candles
Saturday, Nov. 25, to Sunday, Dec. 31, from 4 to 9 p.m.
The Nights of a Thousand Candles goes into full swing beginning Saturday, Nov. 25, as Brookgreen Gardens comes to life amid the soft glow of more than 2,800 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights in the evenings, from 4 to 9 p.m. on select dates Nov. 25 to Dec. 31. Walk the garden pathways with a warm cup of cider, cocoa, or wine. Experience the sounds of holiday music, carolers singing, and celebrate the season with family and friends! Dates for the event in 2023 are: Nov. 25-26, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Dec. 6-10, 13-17, and Dec. 27-31. Nights of a Thousand Candles has been named “Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina” by Travel+Leisure Magazine and was the winner of the 2018 Charles A. Bundy award for excellence in tourism from South Carolina Parks Recreation and Tourism.
USA Today/10 Best has placed it in the running to be named Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights in America for five years in a row. It is competing against 19 other events for the designation. The contest is decided by public vote. To vote for Nights of a Thousand Candles, click here.
Admission for Nights of a Thousand Candles is $30 for adults and $14 for children (members) and $35 for adults and $17 for children (non-members). Due to strict capacity limits, tickets must be pre-purchased. No drive-ups please. Also available for pre-purchase this year is The Sparkle and Fun Package add-on. For $10 more, this package includes a glass of sparkling wine or cider, and holographic glasses to make the lights even more festive. Special rates are available for groups of 15 or more arriving together. For ticket information, call 844-271-3410, or visit the website at www.brookgreen.org.
Photos with Santa at the Gullah Museum in Georgetown
Saturday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon to 2 p.m.
The Gullah Museum in downtown Georgetown will host two days of events during this holiday season, on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon to 2 p.m. Bring your camera and take a free photo with Santa. For more information, click here. The Gullah Museum is located at 123 King Street in Georgetown.
Holiday Events at the Kaminski House Museum in Georgetown
Friday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 30
The Kaminski House Museum in historic Georgetown will host several holiday events, starting with a Holiday Designer’s Showcase opening on Monday, Nov. 6 and running through Saturday, Dec. 30. Visit the Kaminski House to see all of the glitz and glamour of the holidays as created by local interior designers and home decor specialists. The holiday guided tours will be Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children ages 6-17. A Holiday Market with baked goods and holiday gifts, as well as a Holiday Village for the kids, will be held on Friday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Light Up the Lawn on Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. There will also be special Candlelight Tours on Thursday, Dec. 7, and Thursday, Dec. 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 each for members, $15 for non-members. There will also be a Family Night and Holiday Trolley event on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. tickets are $10 for adults and children under 12 get in free. The Kaminski House Museum is located at 1003 Front Street in Georgetown. Contact the Museum at 843-546-7706 or visit KaminskiMuseum.org for more details.
Christmas with Friends of Atalaya in Huntington Beach State Park
Saturday, Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Friends of Huntington Beach State Park will hold its annual Atalaya Holiday Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5, plus park admission. There will be craft vendors, baked goods, and entertainment throughout the day. Atalaya will be decorated for the holidays. All proceeds will go toward Friends projects for the park. The Pawleys Island Concert Band will perform at 11 a.m., and the group’s jazz band will perform at 1:30 p.m. Huntington Beach State Park is located at 16148 Ocean Highway, just south of Murrells Inlet. For information, visit https://southcarolinaparks.com/huntington-beach, or call the park at (843) 237-4440.
Murrells Inlet Christmas Tree Lighting
Saturday, Dec. 2, from 4 to 7 p.m.
This is another family-friendly event all centered around the lighting of the official Murrells Inlet Christmas tree on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. Attendees will be able to enjoy hot cocoa, music, and a chance for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The tree-lighting ceremony, sponsored by Murrells Inlet 2020, will be held at Morse Park, toward the south end of the Inlet. Admission is free.
Elf Extravaganza Kringle Krawl in Georgetown
Saturday, Dec. 2, from 4 to 9 p.m.
Adults can join the fun on the Candyland Christmas Kringle Krawl from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. The party starts at Baxter’s Brewhouse Inn and then participants will “Krawl” to different bars and restaurants on historic Front Street in Georgetown. Tickets are $10. There will be drawings for prizes and giveaways along the way. Come dressed in costume or just join in a fun night exploring Georgetown. Baxter’s Brewhouse Inn, a bed and breakfast, is located at 824 Prince St. For information, call (843) 997-4812.
Murrells Inlet Christmas Parade
Sunday, Dec. 3, from 3 to 5 p.m.
One day after the Christmas tree is lit in Murrells Inlet, the public is invited to the community’s annual Christmas parade and kickoff another holiday season. The parade, organized by Murrells Inlet 2020, a community organization. With local high school bands, community groups and businesses participating, this event promises lots of holiday spirit and a fun time. The parade will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, at the intersection of Highway 17 Business and Wilcox Avenue. It will run through the Marsh Walk business district and end at the intersection of Wachesaw Road. For information and registration, visit murrellsinletsc.com or call (843) 357-2007.
Yuletide Home Tour
Saturday, Dec. 9, 1 to 5 p.m.
The Friends of the Georgetown Library will present the Yuletide Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. Tour-decorated homes and churches throughout historic Georgetown will be open to the public for this special annual tour. Tickets, which are $20 per person for Friends members and $25 per person for non-members, are available at all branches of the Georgetown County Library System. For more information, visit the Friends of the Georgetown County Library Facebook page.
Ice Skating in Georgetown
Saturday, Dec. 9, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Ice skating has come to Georgetown! Come out and skate on a synthetic ice rink at Maritime Park in downtown Georgetown. Enjoy live music, holiday lights, hot chocolate and more! There will even be snow! This event is sponsored by the Georgetown Business Association.
Santa Crawl on the MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet
Saturday, Dec. 9, 5 to 10 p.m.
Another event for adults will be the MarshWalk’s annual Santa Crawl, set for Dec. 9, from 5 to 10 p.m. Starting at 5 p.m., participants can enjoy the delightful spirits with drinks from each restaurant on the MarshWalk while feasting on the unforgettable festive flavors with amazing dinner specials. Secret Santas will be strolling the MarshWalk looking for the best Christmas attire from 6 to 9 p.m. Be a Scrooge, Grinch, Santa, or perhaps an elf. Register between 5pm-7pm to be eligible to win prizes. Winners will be announced at 9:30 p.m. and must be present to win. Located in the heart of the historic fishing village of Murrells Inlet, the MarshWalk is a half-mile-long boardwalk along a natural saltwater estuary. The MarshWalk Group includes the following restaurants: Bovine’s, Wahoo’s Fish House, Drunken Jacks, Creek Ratz, Dead Dog Saloon, The Claw House, The Wicked Tuna, and Mojo’s. For more information visit www.marshwalk.com or call the MarshWalk answering service at (843) 497-3450.
Historic Georgetown Christmas Parade
Saturday, Dec. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Featuring floats and entries from local nonprofit groups, school bands and sports teams, community businesses and more, the Georgetown Christmas Parade is set to go along Front Street in historic Georgetown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. Designed to spread holiday cheer and get everyone in the spirit of giving, the Christmas parade is an annual tradition in Georgetown. For information and to register to be part of the parade, click here.
*Postponed from the original date, Dec. 2, due to weather forecast for rain.
Georgetown Christmas Tree Lighting and Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Enjoy live entertainment, a lighted Boat Parade, and Georgetown’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. The Lighted Boat Parade will offer a display of holiday lights in the Georgetown Harbor along the Harborwalk. All boats in the parade will be lit up and many will play holiday music as they cruise by spectators. Prizes will be awarded for Best Crew and Best in Show.
*Postponed from the original date, Dec. 2, due to weather forecast for rain.
Tuba Christmas with the Pawleys Island Concert Band
Saturday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m.
The Pawleys Island Concert Band will present a Tuba Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Pawleys Island Community Church. Admission is free. Pawleys Island Community Church is located at 10304 Ocean Highway in Pawleys Island. For more information, click here.
The Annual Christmas Jam with Urban Jazz Guitarist at Winyah Auditorium
Saturday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m.
The Winyah Auditorium, a premier performing arts venue in downtown Georgetown, will present The Annual Christmas Jam with Urban Jazz Guitarist Terence Young at Winyah Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. For information, visit winyahauditorium.org or call the Winyah Auditorium at (843) 461-1342.
New Year’s Eve on the MarshWalk
Sunday, Dec. 31, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Ring in 2024 on the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk on Sunday, Dec. 31, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Each of the eight participating MarshWalk restaurants will feature festive drink and dinner specials, and live music. The MarshWalk group consists of the following restaurants: Bovine’s, Wahoo’s, Drunken Jack’s, Creek Ratz, Dead Dog Saloon, The Claw House, The Wicked Tuna, and Neptune Bistro and Raw Bar. For more information visit www.marshwalk.com or call the MarshWalk answering service at (843) 497-3450.
New Year’s Eve Masquerade at Local in Pawleys Island
Sunday, Dec. 31, from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Celebrate the New Year with a Masquerade event on Sunday, Dec. 31, from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Local Eat Drink Celebrate in Pawleys Island. For more information, click here. Local Eat Drink Celebrate is located at 10880 Ocean Highway, unit 21, in the Hammock Shops Village in Pawleys Island. For reservations, call (843) 314-0474.
Compiled by Clayton Stairs / tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce a