BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — The Town of Bluffton is celebrating the Christmas holiday a little early this year with its 51st annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting that will take place on December 3.

The event brings hundreds of visitors from across the Lowcountry as the Town of Bluffton shows off its Christmas spirit.

“The Town’s Christmas tree lighting, Santa’s workshop and movie night is the official kickoff to the holiday season, followed by the Bluffton Christmas Parade the next morning,” Mayor Lisa Sulka. “It is Bluffton’s way to usher in the holiday season complete with lights, music and getting together with your neighbors.

The Tree Lighting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 2, at Martin Family Park. The event will be followed by Santa’s Workshop at DuBois Park’s Pavilion. There will be a showing of the movie “The Grinch” which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Martin Family Park.

Don’t forget to bring your blankets or chairs so you can cozy up with friends and family during the film!

This parade, which has been a part of the Bluffton tradition for more than five decades, has grown alongside Bluffton’s booming population.

Here is the current list of rules if you would like to enter the parade.

Highlights of new parade rules:

  • Entries are first come, first serve – please note there is limit of 125 entries for the 2022 parade. It is advised to submit your application as soon as it is completed.
  • The Town is asking parade entrants to give a donation to the Bluffton Lutzie 43 Charitable Fund, in lieu of a parade entry fee. Your donation will help fund scholarships for Bluffton’s students as well as support the Town’s safe driving campaign, to reduce/eliminate vehicle causalities and fatalities in our Town.
  • The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, a non-profit organization, manages these funds and donations are tax-deductible.
  • Donating, in lieu of an entry fee, is an effort to streamline the application process and use the spirit of the Christmas Parade to help our neighbors remain safe year-around.
  • Throwing of candy or any item from parade vehicle or float is prohibited.
  • People are allowed to walk alongside the parade entry and distribute items to crowd. Please distribute candy/promotional items hand-to-hand by walking along the parade route next to the spectators. Spectators will not be allowed to run into the streets to grab items.
  • Deadline for parade applications is November 11, 2022. Note:  If you need a hardcopy application, they are available at Town Hall’s Front Desk (20 Bridge Street, Bluffton).

These holiday events are always held the first Friday and Saturday of December, rain or shine.

The event will only be canceled if the Town of Bluffton deems weather conditions as unsafe.