SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The 2020 holiday season will look a bit different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but local organizers are still finding ways to celebrate.
The Centers for Disease Control is advising avoiding large gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving. Learn more about low, medium, and high risk activities, here.
Check out the list below to see what events are in store in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry this year.
Savannah Boat Parade of Lights
The annual boat parade returns on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. Bring a chair and blankets and watch over 40 boats as they parade the Savannah River wrapped in lights and holiday decorations.
Parade judges will be stationed in Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Plant Riverside District and a firework show will end the evening with a bang.
The parade can be viewed from Rousakis Plaza on River Street for free, or with a $5 parking pass, paradegoers can visit the Savannah Convention Center’s riverwalk to watch.
Savannah Riverboat Cruises will also be welcoming guests onboard, offering a close view of the parade. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Greenbriar Children’s Center, a nonprofit that focuses on child development, welfare and family preservation.
Bluffton Christmas Market
A two-day Christmas market will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 27-28 in the Southern Barrel parking lot in Buckwalter Plaza in Bluffton.
The open-air shopping event will feature live music and local makers.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to support local makers and engage with the creative community,” said Katie Silva, founder of Lowcountry Made, the organization sponsoring the events. “We insist that everyone – vendors and attendees – wear masks and practice other social distancing best practices.”
Savannah Christmas Market Plant Riverside District
From Nov. 27 to Jan. 3, Kessler Collection’s Plant Riverside District will host a variety of events as part of the hotel’s Christmas market. From a tree lighting ceremony to photos with Santa, there is something for everyone coming up.
PRD Christmas market events include:
- Savannah Christmas Market
- Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks Show
- Kid’s Corner
- Photos with Santa
- Christmas donation days
To see a complete schedule of PRD Christmas Market events, CLICK HERE.
Tybee Post Theater holiday movies
The Post kicks off its screenings of a collection of holiday movies over Thanksgiving weekend and will continue through Christmas.
Movies shown include “A Christmas Story,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Scrooged,” and more.
Movies will be shown twice a day at 3 and 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Sundays, the Post will show only family-friendly films. Showings begin on Nov. 27 with “It’s A Wonderful Life,” followed by “The Santa Clause” on Nov. 29.
Face masks are required while not eating or drinking inside the theater, and other COVID-19 precautions will be followed. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.
Town of Bluffton “Reverse” Christmas Parade
The Town of Bluffton will host its annual Bluffton Christmas parade as a “reverse” parade, Saturday, Dec. 5, as a way to keep its holiday traditions alive while incorporating COVID-19 safety precautions.
Parade floats will be stationary on May River Road, and parade spectators will drive by. All participants will be spaced out at a safe distance, and no candy will be thrown out.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon. On the evening before, Dec. 4, the Town will livestream the annual tree lighting on Facebook.
WSAV’s Holiday Hope
For two decades, WSAV has teamed with The Salvation Army of Savannah to collect toys for more than 7,000 children in our Georgia communities. And this year, we’re once again partnering with Bluffton Self-Help to serve South Carolinians.
From Monday, Nov. 30 through Monday, Dec. 14, we will have boxes at participating Walmart locations, making it easy to drop off an unwrapped toy.
Our Holiday Hope Finale Toy Collection event will take place Monday, Dec. 14 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Grayson Stadium. Stop by, drop off a gift and say “hi” to the team!
Society of Bluffton Artists’ 8th Annual Holiday Boutique
From Nov. 19 to Dec. 19, handmade gifts will be for sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Creative Arts, located at 8 Church Street in Bluffton.
A sneak peak event is set for 4-8 p.m. on Nov. 19, where shoppers can enter to win prizes. Everything from jewelry and glassware to paintings and floral arrangements created by local artists will be available.
Tybee Polar Plunge
One of Tybee Island’s coolest events is going virtual this year.
Instead of running side-by-side into the cold ocean waters on New Years Day, Friday, Jan. 1, Tybee Polar Plunge organizers are asking participants to spread out and take the dive anywhere on the beach at noon.
Those who take the plunge are asked to share a video or photo in a new Facebook Group, where organizers will choose winners of several categories.
Participants must register online or by calling the Tybee Post Theater office at 912-472-4790, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the theater.
“The Gullah Christmas Wish”
The Gullah Kinfolk Traveling Theatre performs “The Gullah Christmas Wish” live each year. Due to COVID-19, the production has been pre-recorded this year and will premiere on Dec. 1 at the Highway 21 drive-in theater in Beaufort.
Tickets are $30 per vehicle. Gates and shopping at the marketplace begin at 5:30 p.m. and the movie begins at 7 p.m.
To purchase tickets, click here.
Drive-thru holiday lights at Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park
The annual holiday lights event is themed “Season’s Greetings from Around the World” this year. It is set for Dec. 5-7 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park (229 Beach City Road on Hilton Head Island).
All attendees will be required to stay in their vehicles and wear a mask if their car does not have windows. The event is free and donations will be accepted.
Shop Local and Dine About at Shelter Cove Towne Centre
The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island (WAHHI) is hosting its annual shopping and luncheon event on Dec. 8.
Beginning at 10 a.m., attendees can shop from local stores, several of which will donate a percentage of sales to WAHHI. WAHHI members will receive discounts from select stores. There will be artists creating “live paintings,” live holiday music from the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and a photo opportunity with Mrs. Claus.
Attendees are asked to bring a wrapped children’s toy for the Difference Makers annual holiday toy drive benefitting The Children’s Center and Bluffton Self Help.
WAHHI has reserved in-person dining at local restaurants for lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. To learn more, click here.
Hilton Head’s Santa and Sirens
Santa will be touring the neighborhoods with Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue December 1-4 and December 7-11.
Check out Santa’s Hilton Head route HERE!