The holidays have arrived, and the giving spirit is as contagious as the common cold.
Columbia plays host to a variety of events and fundraisers that can help even the grumpiest of Scrooges find joy. Here, five ideas to help make the season bright for those in need.
For music lovers: Palmetto Christmas
Enjoy live music, food, drinks and have a chance at winning a prize while helping spread Christmas cheer to children and families in need.
Palmetto Christmas is set for 6-11 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23, at The Music Farm, 1022 Senate St. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 a couple, available at www.palmettochristmas.com. Attendees who bring a toy donation will be entered in a raffle. Funds raised and toys collected will benefit Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.
Those who want to help earlier in the month also can attend a Parmalee concert at the Music Farm.
Parmalee, best known for its No. 1 song “Carolina,” will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13. Blue Pickups, a Columbia-based Southern country rock band, will open. Tickets for the concert are $18 and available through musicfarm.com.
Ticket sales from the concert will benefit Palmetto Christmas.
For the environment: Sustainable Holiday Celebration
From those who value eating and shopping locally to those who simply want to browse gifts and eat delicious food, one holiday event features it all.
Sustainable Midlands is hosting a Sustainable Holiday Celebration 4:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, at 701 Whaley.
More than 40 local artists and craftsmen will have merchandise available for sale. The event also will feature food tastings from Whole Foods, Rosso Trattoria, Bourbon, Spotted Salamander, Midlands and The Oak Table. The Whig will provide a cash bar.
Event organizers are suggesting a $5 donation to support Sustainable Midlands, which organizes programs that educate, advocate and celebrate balanced solutions for the community.
For shoppers: Junior League of Columbia Holiday Market
The Junior League of Columbia is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its popular Holiday Market.
The market is a multiday shopping extravaganza, set this year for Wednesday through Sunday, Dec. 2-6, at the S.C. State Fairgrounds. Proceeds help raise awareness of local charitable initiatives supported by the group.
The event will feature vendors selling items ranging from jewelry and clothing to fishing gear and cigars. Special events throughout the run of the market include a preview party, silent auctions and an opportunity for children and families to spend an evening with Santa and his elves in their pajamas.
The success of the annual event has helped the Junior League of Columbia raise $2 million for the community in the past 30 years.
General admission is $8, parking will cost $5 per vehicle, and special events will have an additional cost. For tickets, times and information, visit www.jlcolumbia.org.
For athletes: Big Little Run
One upcoming event encourages physical fitness for adults and children while celebrating the special bond between mentors and mentees.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia is hosting The Big Little Run at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 at Sims Park, 3500 Duncan St. Register at www.strictlyrunning.com.
The event, formerly known as the Bow Tie Run, is a family-friendly, a 1-mile fun run and walk, and a timed 5K run. The 1-miler will feature a children’s costume contest, so those interested can break out and reuse their best Halloween costumes.
The race route, which starts and ends in the park, will show off some of Columbia’s historical residences while featuring the nonprofit’s partnerships in the community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters assists children facing adversity by matching them with mentors.
For the elderly: Share the Love
Senior Resources is hosting its “Share the Love” holiday card campaign, which helps provide holiday meals to seniors in need.
Donors can make a $5 gift to Senior Resources’ meal programs in honor or in memory of a loved one throughout November and December. Each card provides a meal for a local senior. Senior Resources will send a card to the person honored informing them of the gift made in their name.
Those interested can order cards online at www.tinyurl.com/HolidayCard2015 or by mail or in person at Senior Resources, 2817 Millwood Ave., Columbia, SC 29205.