ROCK HILL — This year's ChristmasVille festival will soar to new heights - literally - with an aerial angels show and a 40-foot Ferris wheel.
They are just some of the additions to ChristmasVille, the city of Rock Hill's annual holiday festival. For the fourth year in a row, the festival has been named S.C. Event of the Year.
ChristmasVille is five weeks away, and John Rinehart Sr., festival chairman, promised this year's event would be "better than ever."
"It's not just a win for the community," he said Tuesday in the Palmetto Room in downtown Rock Hill, as organizers gave people an early glimpse of the festival. "It's a win for York County, because it takes an entire community to put on such a spectacular event."
The sixth ChristmasVille will take place Dec. 1 through 4 and feature more than 60 activities with more sponsors than ever, said Allan Miller, president of the board of governors for the event.
"Every year, ChristmasVille is full of all kinds of excitement, and this year will be no exception," Miller said.
The festival theme, "Angels Among Us," will feature an aerial act at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 during the opening ceremonies of ChristmasVille - The Lighting of the Village. The theme also ties in with the event's nonprofit partner, Agape Senior Foundation.
"We will truly bring to life the theme of ChristmasVille - Angels Among Us," said foundation representative Lisa Livingston.
For $10, people can name an angel ornament in someone's memory. The proceeds will benefit seniors and hospice patients in financial need.
People also will be able to send a message in a Vernon Grant GI Joe Christmas card to troops overseas for just $1. Volunteers will collect the cards and take care of shipping.
While ChristmasVille will feature such favorites as horse-drawn carriage rides, the Reindeer Romp 5K, the Jingle Bell parade, a gingerbread house contest, the ice-skating rink and the snow village, there are several additions, including:
A 40-foot Ferris wheel as part of the Winter Carnival. The carnival will have multiple inflatable slides, rides and games for children, a bungee jump and holiday characters. A $5 wristband guarantees all rides including the Ferris wheel. Otherwise, tickets are $3.
The Dickens Ball will take people back in time with ballroom dancing and refreshments and a cash bar. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the city's Economic and Urban Development office at City Hall, Studio 1 Talent or First Citizens Bank on East Main Street.
Pony rides for free.
Display of hand-crafted miniature dollhouses. For $1 that goes to a children's charity, people can vote on their favorite.
David's Magic Show with live doves, bunnies and a monkey.
Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix, which boasts a skateboarding Bassett hound.
ChristmasVille 2011 is "an opportunity for you to get out and enjoy yourself," Miller said.
For information on events, visit www.christmasvillerockhill.com.
Nicole E. Smith 803-329-4068