Parades, tree lightings, markets, plays, shopping and more ahead

FAIRFIELD COUNTY – While shopping Fairfield stores is already in full swing, the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce is upping the game with its annual Shop Fairfield First program that starts Friday, Dec. 6..

Participating merchants in downtown Ridgeway and Winnsboro will receive signup slips to be filled out by the customer when making a purchase of $20 or more. Every Friday until Christmas the slips will be collected and a name will be drawn from them for a gift certificate for $25 that can be used at any local business.

Week one extends from Dec. 6 – 13 with the drawing on Dec. 13.  Week two extends from Dec. 14 – 20 with the drawing on Dec. 20.

Merchants wishing to participate are asked to call the Chamber office (803-635-4242) by Friday, Dec. 6.

And besides the shopping, there are many holiday events from now until Christmas morning.

The Fairfield County Museum opens its doors for the museum’s annual holiday gathering from 4 – 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6. The afternoon will include several musical groups entertaining and leading the gathering in traditional Christmas carols. The museum’s rooms will be decked with a splendid array of natural greenery decorations provided by members of Fairfield’s various garden clubs. In the grand dining room, a table will feature a spread of refreshment delicacies. The event is free. The museum is located at 231 S. Congress St., Winnsboro.

Down the road in Ridgeway, Christmas on the Ridge gets into full swing at 5 p.m. with the town’s tree lighting at the Century House where Geiger Elementary students will lead the community in caroling. Santa will arrive at The Century House about 5:30 p.m. and will spend the next hour hearing children’s wishes.

Free carriage rides will be offered from The Century House from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Shops will be open until 7 p.m. stocked with merchandise and specials for the holidays. And the First Friday art show will be on display from 5 – 8 p.m. at 115 Palmer St.

Also on Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14, Pine Tree Playhouse in Winnsboro will present The Christmas Story on stage at 8 p.m. and again on Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. Seats are $10 each. Seats can be reserved by calling 803-635-6847. The Playhouse is located at 230 S. Congress St., Winnsboro.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, United Fairfield will unveil the 2020 Fairfield County Legacy Calendar at Carolina Events Center, 1126 US Highway 321 Bypass, Winnsboro.  The dinner will begin at 6 p.m.

The next day, Sunday Dec. 8, from 1 – 4 p.m., the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office will partner with the Recreation Department and other community groups for a free holiday celebration with raffle prizes, and cookie making.

Later that same day (Sunday afternoon), Dec. 8, the Winnsboro Christmas parade will head down Congress Street in downtown Winnsboro starting at 5 p.m., followed by a visit with Santa (at the town clock) and free hot chocolate for everyone. The evening will culminate in the town’s tree lighting.

The next Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Winnsboro Holiday Market will host many holiday vendors offering last minute Christmas gifts and unique holiday decorations in the new Market building at 117 E. Washington Street behind the clock.