An expanded ice skating rink, a LEGO building contest and entertainment in the new Fountain Park add to the excitement of ChristmasVille, a four-day holiday festival that transforms downtown Rock Hill into a magical winter village, organizers say.
The 70-event festival known for having an old-timey feel with strolling Dickens carolers and horse-drawn carriage rides is scheduled for Dec. 4-7.
This year’s theme is “The Gift Goes On,” spotlighting local charities, with Jane Hayes at the helm as festival chairwoman. Organizers encourage festival-goers to give to others through:
• A Salvation Army kettle on Main Street.
• Bringing jars of peanut butter and jelly to the Christmas Jars’ author’s luncheon for Renew Our Community.
• Giving travel-size toiletries to the Lighting of the Village and grand finale for The Haven Men’s Shelter.
• Donating new children’s pajamas to the Pajamarama Party to benefit the Children’s Attention Home.
• Sharing new toys at Santa’s Workshop for Toys for Happiness.
“For many of the programs and activities, we have designed ways for you to become familiar with some of our nonprofits who do wonderful, much-needed services in our community,” said Hayes, a lifelong Rock Hill resident.
The festival, in its eighth year, includes a real 50- by 85-foot ice skating rink, a lighted parade, live entertainment and a gingerbread house display, shopping and holiday fun.
The event celebrates Christmas while showcasing the whimsical work of artist Vernon Grant, a Rock Hill native and creator of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” It is organized by the Old Town Association in partnership with the Culture and Heritage Museums of York County.
ChristmasVille begins with The Lighting of the Village at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Main Street and Elk Avenue. Winthrop University ChristmasVille RockHettes, the Northside Elementary School of the Arts and Zach Ludlum will entertain.
At 9 a.m. Dec. 6, the grand opening of Fountain Park will take place, and Dec. 7 features an ice sculpture demonstration by Travis Dale, a master carver.
Favorite activities – horse-drawn carriage rides, the Reindeer Romp 5K, the Jingle Bell parade, the gingerbread house contest and the ice-skating rink – return this year. Art, theater, dance and music is celebrated throughout the festival.
ChristmasVille closes with a bang during the grand finale music and fireworks display beginning at 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at the stage near 113 E. Main St.
A full list of activities:
Thursday, Dec. 4
Friday, Dec. 5
Saturday, Dec. 6
Sunday, Dec. 7