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West Columbia marks beginning of holiday season with 13th annual Christmas Tree lighting

Joe Pinner, East Point Academy Dancers, several school music programs on hand for ceremony

West Columbia, SC (James Bowers) - For the thirteenth time, the city of West Columbia celebrated the beginning of the holiday season and accompanying festivities with its tree lighting ceremony at their city hall on 12th Street Friday evening. Attendees were entertained by several school musical ensembles, including the chorus from the Saluda River Academy for the Arts, the Northside Middle School chorus and orchestra, and the dance group from East Point Academy. East Point is a Mandarin Chinese immersion charter school, so their performance of a routine called the “Chinese Red Lantern Dance” was different and mesmerizing.

The ceremony featured remarks from local TV legend and proud West Columbian Joe Pinner. The winners of an essay contest held at area elementary schools read their winning works and Dr. Brad Bessent of the First Baptist Church of West Columbia delivered a message commemorating the holiday, followed by a prayer led by Grace Baptist Church’s Bill Erghdahl. The lighting of the trees was handled by the essay contest winners, as WIS-TV’s cameras were on hand to capture the illumination of the main Christmas trees and several other trees lining the perimeter of the city hall property.

Guests then moved inside to the New Brookland room where they were treated to some food from local eateries such as D’s wings and Zesto’s. City Hall had some prize winning artwork from local students on display that people could enjoy while they socialized.

The tree lighting ceremony is only the beginning of the holiday season for the Cayce-West Columbia area. The Cayce-West Columbia parade of lights is scheduled for next Saturday, December 9th. There are also a number of events in the city of Cayce, such as their Historical Museum’s Annual Holiday Open House, and the Town of Springdale's Christmas gala which are all planned for the communities west of the capital city. The quantity and quality of events in all these communities underscores just how much the holiday season means to members of the area and how they enjoy coming together as neighbors to enjoy one of the most beautiful and pleasant times of the year.

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