• Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More than 60 light displays are used in this year’s Celebrate the Season. 

Santee Cooper’s second annual “Celebrate the Season” kicks into full swing during the month of December offering a bigger and better festival of lights display and a weekend old time holiday fair.
“This year it’s getting bigger and better with more light attractions and displays and the adding of events throughout December,” said Old Santee Canal Park manager Troy Diel. “This will be a great time for the kids.”
Last year’s inaugural Celebrate the Season raised more than $27,000 for local charities from more than 6,000 cars that passed through 53 light displays running the 1.5 mile course from Santee Cooper headquarters to Old Santee Canal Park. This holiday’s light festival will feature more than 60 light displays supported by 47 local sponsors.
“Community support is growing,” Diel said. “This is something we hope will become a longstanding holiday tradition for Berkeley County.”
Diel added that all funds raised during Celebrate the Season are channeled back through the community’s charities. “We want to keep the holiday spirit within the community and provide quality local family entertainment throughout the holiday season. Why go somewhere else when you can enjoy the holidays right here in Berkeley County?”
In keeping with the holiday spirit, all gate admissions from the festival will be donated to charities serving Berkeley County, making the event a gift that keeps on giving.
Gate admission is $5 per vehicle (up to 15 passengers). Gate proceeds will be donated to the Trident United Way for Berkeley County programs and the Berkeley County Museum.
All food sales will benefit local charities as well.
Diel said the ongoing theme for their festival of lights celebration is green.
“These are all energy efficient lights,” he said. “All lights used in the displays and decorations are energy-efficient LED lights, which are 90 percent more efficient than traditional lights.”
Celebrate the Season is powered by Santee Cooper Green Power, which is generated by South Carolina renewable resources such as landfill gas, solar and wind energy.
This weekend marks the kickoff of the park’s month long holiday celebration.
Friday night is Debi’s Kids Night. Admission to the light festival is free with the donation of a new unwrapped gift for Debi’s Kids – Salvation Army.
On Saturday, Santee Cooper’s Weekend Holiday Fair at Old Santee Canal Park begins its run through Christmas. Events include visits from Santa, a tour of Santa’s workshop, holiday decorations at the historic Stony Landing House, and life-sized Christmas cards drawn by local students. Also included are live music and holiday entertainment, festive food, drinks and crafts, marshmallow roasting pits and a children’s carousel.
The Weekend Holiday Fair runs every weekend, Friday-to-Sunday through Dec. 23.
Admission is included with the general $5 gate admission. For more information visit www.celebratetheseason.org.

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