As soon as you return from your Thanksgiving weekend, it’s time to prepare and make plans for Bluffton’s debut of the Christmas season. While the Bluffton Christmas Parade has been a tradition for decades, don’t miss Friday and Sunday events, which bookend Bluffton’s annual parade. Residents, guests and business owners are encouraged to post their parade preparations and presentations on the town’s Facebook page (Town of Bluffton Government) and Twitter feed (Town of Bluffton).
Mayor Lisa Sulka also encourages all to bring canned goods to Town Hall for the December-long food drive. Donations will be distributed to local charities in January. Historically, local charities’ food banks are challenged January through March. Below is the schedule for Bluffton’s “Weekend of Lights.”
Friday Night (Dec. 6)
Town Hall Christmas Tree Lighting
Where: Town Hall/Outside
When: 5 p.m. – 6: 30 p.m.
· Announcement Bluffton Christmas Parade’s Grand Marshal
· Lighting of Town Hall’s Christmas Tree
· Musical performance by M.C. Riley Elementary School Student
· Santa Claus Appearance
· (Old Town Bluffton Merchants Society Also Hosts “Light Up the Night” in Old Town Bluffton 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. Free rides on the Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
Saturday (Dec. 7)
Bluffton Christmas Parade
Where: Old Town Bluffton
· 8: 00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Set up & Staging of Parade
· 11:00 a.m. Parade begins
Note: It’s time to register for the Bluffton Christmas Parade. If your organization hasn’t registered, please do so via the town’s website (www.townofbluffton.sc.gov). There is no cost to participate in the parade.
Note: Parade starts Pritchard and Bridge Streets and ends at Red Cedar Road; it’s approximately 3 miles long. The parade usually lasts 2.5 to three hours, rain or shine.
Sunday (Dec. 8)
4th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration
Where: Buckwalter Place
· 3: 45 p.m.: Gather at Station 300
· 4: 00 p.m.: Santa Claus Arrives in Fire Truck
· 4: 45 p.m.: Christmas Parade Awards Presented at Station 300
Awards Presented for: Best Performance, Best Float, Judges’ Choice, State of Mind, Fan Favorite (Online Voting)
· 5: 15 p.m.: Christmas Carols Performed by Red Cedar Elementary Choir
· 5: 30 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting in the Buckwalter Place Roundabout
Note: Free cookies, cupcakes and hot cocoa will be provided for this celebration. Sunday’s celebration is a joint event with the Town of Bluffton, Station 300 and Buckwalter Place.