Get in the holiday spirit in downtown Charleston

      The City of Charleston preparing for the tree lighting ceremony. (Scott Garrand/WCIV)

      By Sonya

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- December is almost here and the City of Charleston wants to help residents and visitors get in the holiday spirit.

      Mayor Joe Riley held a short press conference Thursday talking about all the festivities this weekend, including a new option Saturday evening on King Street between Queen and Calhoun streets.

      "We have such a wonderful experience with Second Sunday.{} Why not do it the evening that we light the tree? So from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., you can walk down King Street," Riley said. "All the restaurants will be open, the shops will be open, lots of fun activities, so it should be a special time."

      Before the Saturday evening shopping on King Street, there is the 26th Annual City of Charleston Tree Lighting Ceremony.

      "The Christmas tree lighting that starts at 4:30 p.m. here in Marion Square is very special," Riley said. "All the songs that are sung, all the excited children, and their families are here, and then close to six o'clock all the sudden the tree is filled with lights and Santa Clause comes and it's just a magical time."

      Another option is to take the family to watch the Parade of Boats in the Charleston Harbor. The parade is also held on Saturday and will start in Mount Pleasant at 5 p.m. Viewing should be available from downtown Charleston around 6:30 p.m.

      The Charleston Christmas Parade is Sunday, Dec. 2, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The parade begins at the intersection of Calhoun and Meeting streets, and proceeds down King Street to Broad Street to Lockwood Boulevard.

      The Holiday Farmer's Market in Marion Square will have extended hours, too. From Dec. 5 to 20, the market will be open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

      To download a parking voucher for downtown, CLICK HERE.