Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative kicks off the area’s holiday season of lights and festivities with its annual treelight ceremony next week.
That celebration will be followed by the City of Pickens /Pickens Revitalization Association celebration of Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30. The Pickens Tree Lighting ceremony will be held that day at 6 p.m. at Legacy Square.
Easley’s Grand Illumination and Christmas Parade and Liberty’s holiday kickoff two weeks later Dec. 6 and 7.
The Pickens Christmas parade is Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.
The Blue Ridge Event
Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative will observe the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas season in the Pickens area with its annual tree-lighting ceremony, Nov. 26.
A tradition of more than 30 years, lighting of the giant evergreen on the cooperative’s front lawn at its West Main Street office at 5:15 p.m.
An ensemble of students from Albert R. Lewis Elementary School will perform some Christmas songs. The pastor of East Pickens Baptist Church, the Rev. Jamie Duncan, will then bring a brief Christmas message. Rounding out the evening, South Carolina’s reigning Teacher of the Year, Darleen Sutton, will press the button that will energize the tree’s many colorful lights.
At the conclusion of the program, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and cider will be served to all attendees. The public is cordially invited to come and be a part of this holiday event.
On Nov. 30, Pickens Revitalization Association acknowledges Small business Saturday with its Gift of Pickens program which sell gift certificates redeemable at participating Pickens businesses.
The effort helps keep local dollars local and show the strenght and importace of shopping locally.
“This retail promotion is under the management of the PRA and any businesses willing to participate and accept the Gift if Pickens can sign up,” said City Administrator, Katherine Hendricks. “We encourage other large employers to participate and tie the Gift of Pickens into a Christmas bonus. It is also a great idea for a Christmas gift.”
PRA’s Executive Director Allison Fowler said, “The Gift of Pickens program is an economic development tool designed to stimulate local shopping. A few of the reasons Pickens would like to continue a shop local initiative include the support of the community by keeping local dollars in the area, the support of locally owned businesses, to increase investments in the community by locally owned businesses, and to encourage local prosperity by improving the local economy.”
Pickens get the opportunity to showcase their businesses this holiday season by decorating their torefronts, store window or interior in the spirit of the season.
Christmas Lights is this year’s traditional theme. PRA will present a first, second and third place award. Judging will take place on Dec. 3 by three Pickens residents.
Winners will be announced and awards presented after the City of Pickens Christmas Parade by the City Christmas Tree on Dec. 13.
Easley’s Grand Illumination is set for Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. Leading up to that live music will be heard at Gazebo Park and City Hall in downtown. Music and horse-drawn carraige rides will be available beginning at 5 p.m.
The parade the next day will begin at 10 a.m at First Baptist Church. It will proceed to Main Street turning West then turning again at Robinsons Funeral Homes toward Easley United Methodisst Church for another turn toward the starting point.
The Easley events are sponsored by The Gilstrap Family Dealerships and Majesty Health and Rehab.
Liberty’s Treelighting Ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 Dec. 7 at pedestrian park at the end of Commerce Street, and the parade follows the next day at 3 p.m. downtown.