This time of the year offers a special treat at area churches and worship centers, with special shows and programs to celebrate the holidays – from pageants and singing trees to live nativities and more.
We’ve pulled together five favorites.
Celebrating its 28th year, First Baptist Church of Columbia’s pageant features 400 children and adults, the church’s 200-person choir and a full orchestra. In addition to performing holiday favorites such as “Jingle Bells” and “Oh Holy Night,” the show includes drama, dancing and elaborate costumes and sets such as converting the stage into the town of Bethlehem.
7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12; and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 at First Baptist Church of Columbia, 1306 Hampton St. Free, but call (803) 217-3250 for tickets.
Washington Street United Methodist began its Sing-Along Messiah in 2002. Conducted by Lillian Quackenbush, Sing-Along Messiah is comprised of a 20-member professional orchestra and a core choir with singers from seven area churches and professional singing groups. The more than 600 people who attend are invited to join in the singing as participants rather than an audience.
7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21 at Washington Street United Methodist, 1401 Washington St. Free. (803) 622-0308
Singing Christmas Tree
This year will be the 25th anniversary of the 30-foot-tall Singing Christmas Tree at Shandon Baptist Church. The tree features 70,000 lights, more than 200 singers and an orchestra.
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11; 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13 at Shandon Baptist Church, 5250 Forest Drive. Free; print tickets at www.christmasatshandon.com.
Christmas at the Barn
Lexington Baptist Church once again host Christmas at the Barn at Harmon’s Tree Farm in Gilbert. The family-friendly event features live Christmas music, a nativity – complete with live animals – a bonfire, hot chocolate, s’mores and hayrides.
6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11-Saturday, Dec. 12 at Harmon’s Tree Farm, 3152 Augusta Road, Gilbert. Free. (803) 996-8802
Live Outdoor Nativity Drama
Living Springs Lutheran will host its 30-minute outdoor nativity dramatic presentation with live animals, characters and musical interludes. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs for the performances since it is not a walk-through or drive-through event. After the presentation, children can interact with the animals and characters. Hot chocolate and cider will be served.
7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19-Sunday, Dec. 20, at Living Springs Lutheran Church, 4224 Hard Scrabble Road. Free.