Christmas parade

Santa Claus hitched a ride on top of a Hartsville Fire Department fire truck at last year's Hartsville Christmas Parade. This year's parade is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Dec. 14.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Hartsville residents can begin making plans to attend the many downtown holiday events that the city is hosting this Christmas season.

“The city of Hartsville is very excited about a new holiday season filled with events that our residents can get excited about as they prepare for the most wonderful time of the year,” said Samantha Altman, special event coordinator for the city of Hartsville.

The celebration begins on Thursday from 6 — 9 p.m. with the Downtown Holiday Open House and Centennial Tree Lighting. The highlight of this event will be the lighting of the official city Christmas tree by Mayor Mel Pennington in Centennial Park on the corner of East Carolina Avenue and Fifth Street at 6 p.m.

Stop by Centennial Park early, around 5:30 p.m., to hear the Hartsville High School Chorus perform holiday favorites.

Following the tree lighting, shoppers can jump-start the shopping season by checking out some of the Main Street Hartsville businesses that will be open until 9 p.m.

Visitors are also invited to stop by Hartsville City Hall to visit Santa Claus and warm up with hot chocolate and cookies sent to Hartsville by Mrs. Claus herself.

It will be easy to get into the holiday spirit by playing in the snow in Centennial Park or taking a horse drawn carriage ride around downtown.

Christmas on Carolina events will be held on Thursdays from Dec. 5 -19 from 6 — 8 p.m. Main Street Hartsville business will also stay open late on these dates for shoppers to enjoy extend shopping hours during the busy holiday season.

Also during these Thursday evenings, Camden Carriage Co. will be conducting carriage rides around downtown. These 25-minute carriage rides will be $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. They will pick up riders on East College Avenue.

The Hartsville Museum will be festively decorated again this year for its Simply Christmas event open Dec. 1 to Jan. 10. The main exhibit will be Santa’s Workshop, an exhibit that will give guests a peek inside of jolly St. Nick’s workshop. Admission is free. The Hartsville Museum is located at 222 N. Fifth St. and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Highlighting the list of Christmas activities will be the annual Hartsville Christmas Parade which will take place downtown on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m.

This community parade will feature Hartsville’s first responders, local businesses, marching bands, and dance troops.

Santa Claus, of course, will make his parade appearance, but before he does he will greet guests at the Hartsville Museum for free photo opportunities.

Applications to enter a unit in the parade are available online and are due by Nov. 22. Applications can be found, along with other important event information, at www.hartsvillefortheholidays.com.

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