As we’re cruising toward Christmas, this is yet another weekend filled to the gills with plenty of merriment including a holiday parade or two or three.
Events include a classic Lowcountry tradition (Holiday Parade of Boats), holiday markets and other festive things that are perfect for all ages.
Now, if only we can get the weather to cooperate.
Last weekend saw a lot of rain, to the point that the downtown Charleston Christmas Parade was postponed until next Sunday, December 16th. This weekend looks to be rather wet as well. But look at it this way – at least if you’re in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals, you’ll be warm and dry. Parts further north (the Upstate and especially North Carolina) are staring down the barrel of a potentially huge snowstorm. Temps there will be right around freezing, and the forecast includes freezing rain and ice in parts. That’s when people start losing electricity, and what sounded like a winter wonderland quickly turns into a giant, cold hassle.
So count your blessings. Charleston is a very nice place to be, for a myriad of reasons.
Holiday markets happening now
Tomorrow – Saturday, December 8th – is the 19th annual Mount Pleasant Holiday Farmers Market & Craft Show. It takes place on the site of the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market Pavilion by Moultrie Middle School on Coleman Boulevard. The market will take place from 11:00 till 4:00, likely before the rain comes in. Local craftspeople will sell their wares, and there’ll be plenty of edible goodies available for purchase. It’s a great place to pick up a locally-made souvenir from your stay in Charleston.
This holiday market is especially convenient to the Isle of Palms. Just head over to Sullivan’s Island, then take the Ben Sawyer Drawbridge to Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. It will be on your left.
There’s also a great holiday market option downtown, happening both Saturday and Sunday.
The famous Charleston Farmers Market has technically finished for its regular season. But fret not, for the next couple of weekends they’re having their special Holiday Market in Marion Square, the site of the normal downtown market. It’ll go on from 9:00 until 3:00 (Dec. 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th) and will feature more great gift options and gourmet food. There will also be live holiday music and free visits with Santa.
A couple different kinds of holiday parade this weekend
Then Saturday night is the ever-popular (and quintessentially Lowcountry) Holiday Parade of Boats in Charleston Harbor. Ahoy and Ho Ho Ho for the 37th annual installment of this parade on H2O. Watch as folks sail or motor by in their brightly decorated and well-lit vessels.
It starts about 5:30 p.m. and should last till about 8:00 p.m. Boats will start out around Fort Sumter, head up the Cooper River under the Ravenel Bridge, head back under the bridge and down the peninsula, around the Battery, up the Ashley River, and end near the Coast Guard Station. Good viewing spots include the Battery or Waterfront Park downtown. There will be a special catered and ticketed viewing party sponsored by the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston at the Charleston Maritime Center starting at 5:00 p.m. Read all about it here.
On Sunday night, it’s the 23rd annual Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade and Tree Lighting. The fun kicks off at Moultrie Middle School (645 Coleman Boulevard) at 5:30 p.m. with the lighting of the big tree and fireworks. The parade will follow at approx. 5:45. The route starts at Mill Street, then heads south on Coleman Boulevard to the intersection of Patriots Point Road and West Coleman Blvd. FYI, the parade route has been deemed a “No Drone Zone” for safety reasons.
It’ll contain more than 100 groups and will feature lighted floats, marching bands, antique cars, Santa riding on a fire engine, and more. You can vote for your favorite float —- #VoteTheFloatMP.
Here’s the scoop.
Honestly, there are about 38 other things going on this weekend near our SC vacation rentals, including Chanukah on the Square on Sunday. Here’s a breakdown from the Post & Courier.
So enjoy a holiday parade or market this weekend, you’ll have your pick. Or just hang out in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals and write Christmas cards, listen to carols and the sound of the ocean. If you’re not here now but would like to be, just give EP a call.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
On the heels of last month’s Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble, get set for another holiday-themed fun run happening this weekend, the ever-popular Reindeer Run. More about that in a minute.
As I covered in that last blog, this past weekend was filled with tree lightings and parades. They were set for various venues around the Lowcountry, all within easy driving (or even walking) distance of the Isle of Palms.
Weather and schedules
Alas, the weather was a bit uncooperative, as rains put a damper on certain events.
Saturday’s Isle of Palms Street Festival and Tree Lighting went on as scheduled. The free carnival rides were spinning, including a big Ferris wheel on Ocean Boulevard near Front Beach.
Sunday’s events didn’t fare quite as well. Out of an abundance of caution, the powers-that-be decided to postpone the downtown Charleston Christmas Parade. It’s been rescheduled for Sunday, December 16th.
The parade specs will stay the same. It will start at 3:00 p.m. near Colonial Lake, travel up Broad Street to King Street, then on up to Marion Square. If you’re in one of our beach rentals Charleston that weekend, it’s worth a trip to the peninsula. After all, Santa will be there.
The tree lighting ceremony was skipped due to the weather. But fear not, they lighted the tree and Marion Square anyway, just without the official hoopla.
Free parking when heading downtown
I’ve covered this before, and I’ll cover it again. The City of Charleston is offering a nice holiday gift of two hours of free parking in one of several downtown parking garages. Of course a visit to the Isle of Palms isn’t complete without a trip to the historic peninsula. This helps out.
Run, Run Rudolph!
This coming Saturday morning, December 8th, is the 28th annual Reindeer Run and Walk.
There will be cash prizes, creative costumes, kids and dogs. Unlike the Turkey Day Run Gobble Wobble, strollers and dogs are not only allowed, but actually encouraged. It tends to relax the scene a bit when you throw babies and canines into the mix. It also ups the cuteness factor, bigtime. There’s also free beer and a big afterparty for those 21 and over.
The Reindeer Run is a 5K (3.1 miles) through the streets of the lower peninsula of downtown Charleston. It’s quite a scenic route. It’s just the thing to get you in the mood for Christmas and is well suited for all fitness levels.
They give awards for kids 6 & under and adults up to 99 and beyond. You are encouraged to dress in your best holiday costumes to win fabulous prizes. Categories include: Adult Individual, Child Individual, Group and Dog.
More specs on the Reindeer Run
Runners start at 9:00 a.m., walkers at 9:05 a.m. The race/walk begins and also ends at the corner of East Bay and Queen Streets.
The Reindeer Run also happens to be a terrific fundraiser for MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and is sponsored by Half-Moon Outfitters. Over the years they’ve raised over $1,000,000 for the hospital. Last year alone it was $50,000. Here’s more about the event from Count on 2.
Here’s the official website, with registration info: http://www.reindeerrun.org/
So check it out if you’re so inclined. And when you are looking for beach houses near Charleston, just call EP.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger