NEWBERRY — The Newberry community is invited to celebrate the official lighting of the Christmas Tree at Community Hall at 6:30 p.m. Friday and take home free homemade cookies, goody bags, candy canes and more from local organizations.
Main Street Lights, now in its ninth year, will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will include the lighting of the tree.
“It officially started in 2008 and then went through an overhaul in 2011 when the mayor asked for a local volunteer to come and see about raising some money to revamp the downtown decorations,” said Mary Alex Kopp, City of Newberry Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Events Coordinator.
The PRT department has tried to add a new aspect to the lights every year since 2011. The tree will hold well over 1,000 lights, so the tree has to be able to hold the lights and ornaments for the duration of the holidays.
In 2014, one of the biggest additions to Main Street Lights was the faux snow machines. This year, the snow machines will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Dec. 16 and Dec. 23.
“They look like vintage style lamp posts and we’ll run those the night of the Christmas Tree lighting and continue to run the machine on Friday nights in December leading up to Christmas,” Kopp said. “When we first had it, we called it Snowfall Nights. The second year we added Santa and he would take picture with kids and listen to their Christmas wishes.
“This year, we’ve actually partnered with The Chamber of Commerce and we’re calling it North Pole Nights, because we’ll have Santa and the Chamber plans on having Mrs. Claus telling Christmas stories on those nights as well,” she added.
Lights will be set up along Main Street, at Astwood Park, at the Christmas Tree and in Memorial Park, along with pre-lit garland that will be wrapped around intersections along Main Street.
Newberry College’s cheer and dance teams will be out with Scar (Newberry College mascot) handing out candy canes and stockings to kids while First Baptist Church will be handing out free popcorn, Newberry ARP will be handing out free cookies and the Art Center will be handing out cider and hot chocolate.
The Southern Victorian Society will be in full holiday period dress from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in front of the Christmas Tree before the sun sets and will perform Christmas carols for the crowd.
Gallman Elementary, the Newberry College Madrigals and Little Mountain Elementary will be in attendance singing classic holiday tunes and medleys to celebrate the lighting of the Christmas Tree.
Decorating of the Christmas tree is expected to be completed by Nov. 17.
The following streets will be closed from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday: Main Street from Coates to Nance, Boyce Street from College to McKibben, Caldwell Street from Harrington to Friend and McKibben from Boyce to Main.
Call 803-321-1015 for details or visit www.MainStreetLights.net for more information.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.