The Lakeside High School band marches in Christmas parade Sunday. Photo by Maxwell Shaffer
The Lakeside High School band marches in Christmas parade Sunday. Photo by Maxwell Shaffer

Christmas spirit comes to Columbia County

The holiday season has arrived, and on Dec. 4, families came out to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas in Columbia County at the Evans Towne Center Park

“It’s a time of getting together with family, neighbors and people in the community,” said Robert Hevia with Simply Becky’s Bakery, one of the vendors taking part.  “Lifting up the Christmas spirit with everyone in the community is really what Christmas is all about.”

Master Shims World Class Tae Kwon Do took part in Sunday’s parade Photo by Maxwell Shaffer

Christmas in Columbia County had lots to offer those attending including food trucks, ice-skating, pictures with Santa, a holiday market, tree lighting ceremony and a parade, but people had their favorites.

“I love the Christmas parade,” said Marion Broadway, “I love this event and everything that it has to offer, but I think the main attraction that people come to see is the parade.”

The Christmas parade brought together businesses, families and schools in Columbia County with 100 entries including festively decorated floats, high school marching bands, martial arts studios, dance groups and even Miss Augusta. Thousands of people attended lining the streets to catch a glimpse.

“My family and I come out every year just to watch the parade,” said Tyler Collier. “The Christmas parade in Columbia County is like a tradition for our family, and personally, it is my favorite thing to do during Christmas time.”

Sophia McDaniel laughs and smiles with joy as she sits with Santa. Photo by Maxwell Shaffer

Many people enjoyed the parade and braced for the cold air, but that didn’t stop the crowds from having any less fun. Isabella Hamilton, 11, was having the time of her life.

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“The ice-skating was so much fun, and I enjoyed being able to skate with all my friends who came,” said Hamilton, “I also enjoyed trying some foods at the food trucks that were there, especially the frozen hot cocoa from Captain Jack’s Ice Shack.”

Isabella Hamilton skates at Evans Towne Center Park Sunday. Photo by Maxwell Shaffer

A fireworks’ display and a tree lighting ceremony capped the night with crowd cheering as the pyrotechnics burst in the sky above.

“The fireworks were something of beauty and just simply magical,” said Bethany Mixon. “The tree lighting ceremony was breathtaking as the lights turned on and the whole crowd applauded with joy.”

Columbia County’s Christmas Tree. Photo by Maxwell Shaffer

The Christmas tree plays several musical tracks and the lights are choreographed with the music.

Maxwell Shaffer is an Augusta University student.

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