Holidays creep up with few early events this weekend

The Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park officially opens Friday with elaborate light displays and a range of activities for the whole family.

The holidays are just around the corner — the corner being Thanksgiving — but some of us just can’t wait that long. So, a few festivities are comin’ to town a little early to get a jump start on the holiday spirit this weekend.

The Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park kicks off its 26th year with a grand opening celebration Friday. The three-mile driving tour through some of the most elaborate light displays in the Lowcountry is a tradition for many local families, and offers a range of different activities from marshmallow roasting, train rides through the park and an old-fashion carousel. The opening ceremony will feature live entertainment from Lowcountry Power Brass and an awards presentation for the gingerbread house-building competition. The festival will continue daily at dark through Jan. 3. Admission for one vehicle carrying up to 15 passengers is $15. For more information, visit www.holidayfestivaloflights.com or call (843) 795-4386

You can also get a few things marked off the wish lists this weekend at the Charleston Holiday Market at the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. The three-day showcase of specialty crafts, gourmet foods, jewelry and other spirited creations is a giant one-stop shop for unique gifts. Plus, Santa will be there to visit with kids and pose for photos. Three-day passes are $8 for adults and $1 for kids. The market runs 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

On Saturday, women can make their way to the What Women Want Expo, a free showcase of fashion and other feminine goods held at the same venue.

For more information on the Holiday Market and the What Women Want Expo, visit www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail

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