LAKE WYLIE — The lake will light up Dec. 14 with one of the Lake Wylie community’s most popular events, the 25th annual “Lights on the Lake” Holiday Boat Parade.
The parade begins at 6:30 p.m., and the route spans both sides of the Buster Boyd Bridge. Best viewing is from the deck at T-Bones and the Buster Boyd Access Area.
Boats will meet at T-Bones on the Lake docks by 6 p.m. for line-up. A meeting of the boat captains will be held at the same time.
Awards will be presented to the participant with the most creative lighting display. There will be first-, second- and third-place winners.
Early registration costs $20 and must be received by Dec. 12. Late or same-day registration is $25.
Checks can be mailed with registration form to Boat Parade, Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 5233, Lake Wylie, SC 29710.
Here are a few other holiday activities to keep you occupied in and around Lake Wylie:
Every year around the end of November, a forest of fresh Fraser fir trees appears at the entrance to Camp Thunderbird. They’re Christmas trees of course, brought there by the River Hills Lions Club, along with wreaths and bows.
The prices are reasonable, delivery is free, and the proceeds go the Lions Club Charities,which typically nets about $7,000 from sales.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, the River Hills Lions will throw open the doors of the Camp Thunderbird dining hall, and for a small cost invite the community in for a pancake breakfast. But the real hero isn’t pancakes, it’s a visit from Father Christmas, and pony rides, and other activities just for kids.
Holidays at the Garden
The organic rhythms of nature and abundant fascinations come together to create a new holiday harmony this year at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden – just across the state line from Lake Wylie – during Holidays at the Garden, which runs through Dec. 31.
Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors 60 and over, and $6 for children 4-12. Members receive half-price admission.
Hours are noon to 9 p.m., with lights on at 5 p.m. nightly. The Garden opens at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and is closed on Christmas.
The Garden’s annual holiday display allows guests to explore a natural wonderland. The contemporary yet elegant lighting display will brighten the holidays while the fire pit will temper the cold of winter as families roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
Guests also can enjoy a 30-foot-tall Fraser fir, one of the largest live, cut Christmas trees on display in the area. It will be encircled by a 1:7 scale Christmas train.
Visitors can still enjoy favorites such as:
• The 16-foot tall Orchid Tree made of more than 300 live orchids. Children can visit Santa or make a nature-based craft with Mom or Dad.
• Santa will be at the Garden Thursday through Sunday and the week before Christmas through Dec. 23.
• Warm up in the Orchid Conservatory, reveling in colorful and blooming tropical plants while enjoying a new Garden-scale model train display.
• Metrolina Model Railroaders will return with a train display based on Southern Railway’s Saluda Mountain Grade, the steepest mainline grade in the country, which is located in the mountains of North Carolina.
• On the Four Season’s lawn, guests can enjoy live entertainment Thursday through Sunday featuring a cappella groups, gospel groups, jazz ensembles, hand bell choirs and more. For a complete schedule of events, go to dsbg.org/events.php.
• Southern Breezes will offer carriage rides through a portion of the display Thursday through Sunday, for an additional fee (weather permitting).
• The Garden Store will offer a selection of nature-based décor and gifts that feature locally produced and handmade items. Guests can also purchase s’mores kits.
• Holiday extras include Santa’s Workshop on Dec. 7 and 14, Holiday Tea on Dec. 1 and 8, and Sparkle New Year’s Eve on Dec 31. For details and advance registration information go to dsbg.org.