HARTSVILLE, SC – The City of Hartsville Christmas Tree has received a bigger and bigger welcome ceremony in recent years, and 2015 will bring together the greatest event yet when dance groups, singers, and the members of the local band the Lizardmen take part in the annual City of Hartsville Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, Dec. 4, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The Tree Lighting is moving this year from its former home in Burry Park to Centennial Park, the downtown park located at Fifth Street and Carolina Avenue, where the City Christmas Tree will replace the metal snowflake tree that residents have seen at the park in recent years.
The evening will kick off with many hometown dance groups and vocal performers. The City parking lot behind Centennial Park, closest to First Citizens Bank, will have a portion closed off beginning at noon as a stage for the event is installed. Participating groups will range from Hartsville High School’s Freshman Select Choir to Brenda Cranford School of Dance, Dance World, Fierce Dance Academy, KFA Dance and Gymnastics as well as MOVE Dance Academy.
The ceremony will also feature remarks from Mayor Mel Pennington and the Rev. Steve Winburn before the Christmas Tree is lit. The City’s Santa Claus mailbox will also be unveiled and remain at the site of the tree during the Christmas season, allowing children to submit their letters to Santa and receive responses. After the lighting and photo opportunities with Santa, the self-described Swamp-Jazz Fusion band, the Lizardmen, will take the stage for a holiday music concert.
The Tree Lighting does not mark the end of the City of Hartsville’s Christmas events for the season, as the grand community tradition of the Hartsville Christmas Parade will arrive a week and a day later on Saturday, Dec. 12, beginning on South Fifth Street at 10:30 a.m.