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Rock Hill’s ChristmasVille begins Thursday, here's the full schedule

Santa Claus reads to students from Northside School of the Arts as ChristmasVille 2014 got under way with the Lighting of the Village opening ceremony on Main Street.
Santa Claus reads to students from Northside School of the Arts as ChristmasVille 2014 got under way with the Lighting of the Village opening ceremony on Main Street. Special to The Herald

Santa Claus is coming to town – and sticking around – to mark the 10th anniversary of ChristmasVille, Rock Hill’s four-day festival, which gets under way on Thursday.

Instead of a midday hello and goodbye, Santa will arrive downtown Thursday evening, as part of the opening ceremonies at Fountain Park, then walk to enjoy cookies and cocoa with children and Mrs. Claus at First Presbyterian Church, 234 E. Main St. The new event, free of charge, is promoted as a time where wish lists are shared and photos with Santa are taken.

ChristmasVille features more than 65 events in four days, among them a large artwork display of Santa Claus through the art of the late Vernon Grant, who called Rock Hill home. While Grant is best known for his creation of “Snap, Crackle and Pop” for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, he insisted his favorite subject to illustrate was Santa Claus.

“This annual celebration is reminiscent of opening a storybook and stepping inside,” said Mikki Rentschler, this year’s ChristmasVille chairwoman. “It is a simpler time filled with music, merriment and festive folks brimming with good cheer.”

To mark the 10th anniversary and this year’s theme of “A Decade of Reflections,” ChristmasVille is displaying more than 100 Grant Santas at four locations, the Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., the Gettys Center, 201 E. Main St., the City Hall Rotunda, 144 E. Black St., and the Courtroom Gallery of the Gettys Center, 201 E. Main St.

The entertainment stages host a variety of music, dance, theater and magic acts.

New events include a Grant the Gnome scavenger hunt and the VIG Club, or Very Important Gnome Club, to gain exclusive festival access. Cost is $30 per child. For adults, there is a scotch and brandy tasting on Saturday evening.

A luncheon on Thursday features Melody Carlson, an award-winning Christian author who writes children’s, teen and adult fiction. She has published more than 200 books and sold more than five million. Tickets are $20 and are for sale at the York County Visitors’ Center, 452 S. Anderson Road.

The festival to celebrate the Christmas season plays off Grant’s whimsical illustrations, creating an old-timey feel with strolling Dickens carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides and the transformation of downtown into a winter village.

“Once again, Old Town Rock Hill will come alive as a charming, picturesque holiday village and outdoor art festival,” Rentschler said.

The 50-foot-by-85-foot real ice skating rink adjacent to Fountain Park is typically a draw, as is the Jingle Bell Parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus that takes place at 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Other favorite activities are Friday evening’s Christmas parade, dubbed “Light the Night,” a gingerbread house display, spirited 5K run or walk, dog costume contest and artisan market. ChristmasVille closes with a bang during the grand finale music and fireworks display on Sunday.

The Old Town Association in partnership with the Culture and Heritage Museums of York County organizes the festival.

A full list of activities:

Thursday

▪ Cookies and Cocoa with Santa, First Presbyterian Church, 234 E. Main St., 7:30 to 9 p.m.

▪ Deck the Hall Holiday Concert, Old Town Amphitheater at City Hall, 144 E. Black St., 6 to 7 p.m.

▪ Elves in the Shelves, York County Library, 138 E. Black St., 4 to 6 p.m.

▪ Founders Holiday Ice Rink, adjacent to Fountain Park, 205 Saluda St., 4 to 9 p.m.

▪ Gingerbread House Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ LEGO Design Contest for ages 5 to 99, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Main Street Children’s Museum Celebrates ChristmasVille, 133 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Merchandise at ChristmasVille, Main Street Children’s Museum, 133 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

▪ Name the Gnome Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Opening Ceremonies and Santa’s Arrival, Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., 7 to 7:30 p.m.

▪ Pottery Sale, Gettys Building, 201 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Santa’s Mailbox, Corner of Main Street and Elk Avenue, all day

▪ Vernon Grant Exhibit and Outdoor Art Festival, Dalton and Perimeter Galleries, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Exhibit and Public Reception, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Gallery Walk, Gettys Building, 121 E. Main St., Gettys Building, 201 E. Main St., City Hall Rotunda, 144 E. Black St., 7 to 9 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Santa Images, People’s Choice Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ York County High School Art Show Reception, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday

▪ Artisan and Craft Market, Caldwell and East Main streets, noon to 7 p.m.

▪ Author Luncheon with Melody Carlson, The City Club, 140 E. Main St., noon to 2 p.m.

▪ Candy Cane Wreath Adult Craft, York County Library, 138 E. Black St., 1 to 2:30 p.m.

▪ Carousel, Saluda and Main streets at Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., 5 to 9 p.m.

▪ Chocolate and Wine Tasting, Gettys Building, 201 E. Main St., 5 to 7 p.m.

▪ Ferris Wheel, Saluda and Main streets at Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., 5 to 9 a.m.

▪ Food Court, 113 Main St. parking lot, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

▪ Founders Holiday Ice Rink, Fountain Park, 205 Saluda St., 4 to 10 p.m.

▪ Gettys Center Gallery of Fine Arts, 201 E. Main St., noon to 7 p.m.

▪ Gingerbread House Contest and Display, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ LEGO Design Contest for Ages 5 to 99, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Main Street Children’s Museum Celebrates ChristmasVille, 133 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Merchandise at ChristmasVille, Main Street Children’s Museum, 133 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

▪ Name the Gnome Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Pottery Sale, Gettys Building, 201 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Rock Hill Christmas Parade, Oakland Avenue, Main Street, White Street, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

▪ Santa’s Mailbox, Corner of Main Street and Elk Avenue, all day

▪ Souper Supper, Episcopal Church of our Savior, 144 Caldwell St., 5 p.m. start

▪ Taste of Christmas Cookie Walk – 5th Anniversary, First Presbyterian Church, 234 E. Main St., 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Exhibit and Outdoor Art Festival, Dalton and Perimeter Galleries, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Gallery Walk, Gettys Building, 121 E. Main St., Gettys Building, 201 E. Main St., City Hall Rotunda, 144 E. Black St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Santa Images, People’s Choice Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Victorian Tea and Sugar Plum Boutique, Woman’s Club of Rock Hill, Historic Armstrong Mauldin House 607 Aiken Ave., noon

▪ Winthrop University Holiday Pottery Sale, Rutledge Building, 701 Oakland Ave., noon to 6 p.m.

▪ Winthrop University Tree Lighting, Front Lawn of Tillman Hall, 6 p.m.

▪ York County High School Art Exhibition, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday

▪ Artisan and Craft Market, Caldwell and East Main streets, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Carousel, Saluda and Main streets at Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Children’s Christmas Tea with Mrs. Claus, Woman’s Club of Rock Hill, Historic Armstrong-Mauldin House, 607 Aiken Ave., 11:30 a.m.

▪ #ComfortandJoy at the Comporium Telephone Museum, 117 Elk Ave., 1 to 4 p.m.

▪ Entertainment on ChristmasVille Stages, Fountain Park Stage at Black and Saluda streets, Grand Finale Stage adjacent to 113 E. Main St., Fireworks Show, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

▪ Ferris Wheel, Saluda and Main streets at Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., 5 to 9 a.m.

▪ Food Court, 113 Main St. parking lot, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Founders Holiday Ice Rink, Fountain Park, 205 Saluda St., 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

▪ Gettys Center Gallery of Fine Arts, 201 E. Main St. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ “Get Your Antlers On” Creative Antler Contest, Fountain Park stage, Black Street at Saluda Street and Elizabeth Lane, 7 to 9 a.m.

▪ Gingerbread House Contest and Display, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Giving Trees, Gettys Art Center, 201 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

▪ Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, 300 E. Main St. at Fountain Park, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Jingle Bell Parade, departs from Santa’s Workshop, 135 E. Main St., 1 p.m., 4 p.m.

▪ LEGO Design Contest for Ages 5 to 99, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Main Street Children’s Museum Celebrates ChristmasVille, 133 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Marshmallow Roast, Adjacent to Founders Park Ice Skating Rink, 205 Saluda St., 1 to 4 p.m.

▪ Mascots and Roving Entertainment, Main Street, all day

▪ Merchandise at ChristmasVille, Main Street Children’s Museum, 133 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

▪ Name the Gnome Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Pancake Breakfast with the Gnomes, First Presbyterian Church, 234 E. Main St., 7 a.m.

▪ Pony Rides, grassy area next to Black Street parking lot, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

▪ Pottery Celebration and Sale, Rock Hill Pottery Center, Gettys Center, 201 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

▪ Reindeer Romp 5K Run/Walk, Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., 6:30 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. start

▪ Rock Wall, Main Street near Dave Lyle Boulevard, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Santa’s Toy Workshop, Palmetto Room, 135 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

▪ Scotch and Bourbon Tasting, Gettys Art Center, 201 E. Main St., 3 to 6 p.m.

▪ Story with Santa at Glencairn Garden, 725 Crest St., 11:30 a.m.

▪ Strolling Carolers, Main Street, all day

▪ Taste of Christmas Cookie Walk, First Presbyterian Church, 234 E. Main St., 7 to 11 a.m.

▪ Trackless Train Rides, adjacent to 113 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Trolley Tours in Historic Old Town, East Main Street at Oakland Avenue, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Exhibit and Outdoor Art Festival, Dalton and Perimeter Galleries, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Gallery Walk, Gettys Building, 121 E. Main St., Gettys Building, 201 E. Main St., City Hall Rotunda, 144 E. Black St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Vernon Grant Santa Images, People’s Choice Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

▪ Walking Tour of Historic Downtown, meet in front of Wells Fargo at 113 E. Main St., 11 a.m. to noon

▪ Where is Grant the Gnome?, ChristmasVille information booths on Main Street, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Winter Carnival, Main Street near Dave Lyle Boulevard, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ York County High School Art Exhibition, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday

▪ Artisan and Craft Market, Caldwell and East Main streets, Noon to 5 p.m.

▪ Carousel, Saluda and Main streets at Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., Noon to 4:30 p.m.

▪ #ComfortandJoy at the Comporium Telephone Museum, 117 Elk Ave., 1 to 4 p.m.

▪ Entertainment on ChristmasVille Stages, Fountain Park Stage at Black and Saluda streets, Grand Finale Stage adjacent to 113 E. Main St., Fireworks Show, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

▪ Ferris Wheel, Saluda and Main streets at Fountain Park, 300 E. Main St., Noon to 4:30 p.m.

▪ Food Court, 113 Main St. parking lot, Noon to 5 p.m.

▪ Founders Holiday Ice Rink, Fountain Park, 205 Saluda St., Noon to 5 p.m.

▪ Friends of the York County Library Holiday Book Sale, York County Library, 138 E. Black St., 3:30 to 5 p.m.

▪ Gettys Center Gallery of Fine Arts, 201 E. Main St., Noon to 5 p.m.

▪ Giving Trees, Gettys Art Center, 201 E. Main St., Noon to 4 p.m.

▪ Grand Finale with Program and Fireworks, stage near 113 E. Main St., 5 p.m.

▪ Holiday Hounds Costume Contest and Promenade, grassy area adjacent to 113 E. Main St., 2:30 p.m.

▪ Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, 300 E. Main St. at Fountain Park, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

▪ Ice Sculpture Demonstration, Main Street, 1 p.m.

▪ Jingle Bell Parade, departs from Santa’s Workshop at 135 E. Main St., 3 p.m.

▪ LEGO Design Contest for Ages 5 to 99, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., Noon to 4 p.m.

▪ Main Street Children’s Museum Celebrates ChristmasVille, 133 E. Main St., 1 to 5 p.m.

▪ Marshmallow Roast, Adjacent to Founders Park Ice Skating Rink, 205 Saluda St., 1 to 4 p.m.

▪ Mascots and Roving Entertainment, Main Street, all day

▪ Merchandise at ChristmasVille, Main Street Children’s Museum, 133 E. Main St., Noon to 5 p.m.

▪ Name the Gnome Contest, Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., Noon to 5 p.m.

▪ Rock Wall, Main Street near Dave Lyle Boulevard, Noon to 4:30 p.m.

▪ Santa’s Toy Workshop, Palmetto Room, 135 E. Main St., Noon to 4:30 p.m.

▪ Trackless Train Rides, Adjacent to 113 E. Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

▪ Trolley Tours in Historic Old Town, East Main Street at Oakland Avenue, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For details and the most up-to-date schedule, go to christmasvillerockhill.com.

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