The 6th Annual ChristmasVille - Rock Hill's four-day Christmas-a-palooza - gets under way today with all the old favorites and some new, high-flying attractions.
South Carolina's event of the year for the fourth year in a row, which runs through Sunday, features more than 60 activities - none more special than tonight's Lighting of the Village, the traditional opening ceremonies.
Back this year are horse-drawn carriage rides, the Reindeer Romp 5K, the Jingle Bell parade, the gingerbread house contest, the ice-skating rink and a snow village - 20 tons of snow.
New activities include a 40-foot Ferris wheel as part of the Winter Carnival. The carnival will have inflatable slides, rides and games for children, a bungee jump and holiday characters. A $5 wristband is for all rides including the Ferris wheel. Otherwise, tickets are $3.
When to go?
Today and Friday - Activities get started at 9 a.m. and run throughout the day and into the evening.
Saturday - Some activities start at 7 a.m., but most of the fun begins after 8:30 a.m. and runs throughout the day and into the night.
Sunday - Go to church or sleep in, then head downtown at noon for the final day.
Where to go
Downtown - Most activities are within a block or two of Main Street - Center for the Arts, Old Town Amphitheater, Gettys Art Center.
On campus - Winthrop University is hosting several events, mainly involving the arts.
What to bring
Some cash - For certain activities, food and drink and if you plan to buy anything from arts and crafts to books.
The whole family - There's something for everyone, young and old alike.
A light jacket - Daytime highs should be in the upper 50s and 60s.
A heavier jacket - Evening temps could get down closer to freezing.
What not to bring
An umbrella - Forecast calls for no rain - but plenty of the cold white stuff in the Snow Village!
Streets closed for parade
Several streets will be closed for Friday's Rock Hill Christmas Parade at 6:30 p.m. in downtown.
Oakland Avenue from Cherry Road to Stewart Avenue will be closed to the general public from 2 p.m. until after the parade. The municipal lot between Elizabeth Lane and Saluda Street will be closed all day except for CATS Park and Ride patrons. Additionally, Saluda Street between Main and Black streets will close at 5:45 p.m. as well as Main Street from Elizabeth to Confederate avenues.
The parade's route will begin at Oakland and Stewart avenues, continue down Oakland Avenue, turn right on to White Street, left through the parking lot near Wells Fargo, left onto Main Street and end at the parking lot between Elizabeth Lane and Saluda Street.
Here's what's happening on the opening day at ChristmasVille:
Gingerbread House Contest and Silent Auction, Center for the Arts, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Name the Gnome Contest, Center for the Arts, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Vernon Grant Exhibit and Outdoor Art Festival, Center for the Arts, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Vernon Grant's Santas/People's Choice Contest, Center for the Arts, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Angels Among Us Angel Tree, 147 E. Main St., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Gnome Tree, Center for the Arts, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Main Street Children's Museum Celebrates ChristmasVille, 133 E. Main St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Winthrop University Silent Art Auction, Gallery Up, Gettys Art Center, 201 E. Main St., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Winthrop University Galleries Artist Talk with Paul Martyka, Rutledge Building, Winthrop University, 11 a.m.
Miniature Dollhouse and Room-box Display, Gettys Art Center, 201 E. Main St., 4-8 p.m.
Elves in the Shelves, York County Library, 4-6 p.m.
Telephone Calls to Santa, Comporium Telephone Museum, 117 Elk Ave., 5-8 p.m.
Deck the Hall Holiday Concert, Old Town Amphitheater, 6-7 p.m.
The Lighting of the Village Opening Ceremonies, Main Street, 7-8 p.m.
York County High School Art Show Reception, Center for the Arts, 8-9 p.m.
Vernon Grant Santas Exhibit Public Reception, Center for the Arts, 8-9 p.m.
Holiday Sing-A-Long, McHale's on Main, 8-9 p.m.