Inaugural Tinsel Trot exceeded all expectationsArea poised to begin Christmas celebration

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dan Brown/Independent The Celebrate the Season Holiday Driving Tour 2013 offered about a thousand running and walking enthusiasts a “Sneaker Preview” of this year’s light display in the Tinsel Trot fun run.

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Santee Cooper’s Tinsel Trot fun run, the new and unofficial start to Celebrate the Season, gave about 1,000 running and exterior Yule Tide illumination enthusiasts a “Sneaker Preview” to this year’s display.

“This so far exceeded even our most generous expectations,” said Brad Sale, Environmental Education Coordinator with Old Santee Canal Park and coordinator of the Tinsel Trot fun run. “We expected about 200 entries in this year’s Tinsel Trot and this turned out to be a very pleasant and at the same time terrifying surprise.”

This family-friendly event featured a special guest appearance from Santa Claus, glow necklaces for all runners and walkers, and a costume contest.

All proceeds from the Tinsel Trot will be donated to local charities in conjunction with those raised through Celebrate the Season.

The weather held off for the fun run though the rain did wreak some havoc on a few of the light displays along the two-mile course between Old Santee Canal Park and Santee Cooper’s Moncks Corner headquarters.

Sale said they approached this year’s Tinsel Trot as the first of many, just like the Celebrate the Seasons, which the fun run previewed, beginning its third year on Friday.

“This was our first attempt and we went into this knowing it wasn’t going to be a one-time thing,” Sale said. “The sign-up was beyond overwhelming and next year we’ll know to recruit more volunteers.”

The Tinsel Trot fun run kicked off the Christmas season, which swings into high gear this week and next with the Celebrate the Season Holiday Driving Tour kicking off on Friday at Old Santee Canal Park and running through Dec. 31.

On Dec. 7, Moncks Corner officially rings in the holiday season with Photos with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Town Depot, and on Sunday, Dec. 8 with the town’s annual Christmas parade and tree lighting, beginning on Main Street at 3:30 p.m. and culminating with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree and lights display ceremony in Unity Park at approximately 5:15 p.m. following the completion of the parade.

For information contact the Depot 899-4708 or mcdepot@homesc.com.

Cypress Gardens brings back its family-favorite holiday lineup with Santa in the Swamp on Dec. 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

At 11 a.m., Santa Claus will arrive by boat on the black water swamp – an experience that only happens here in the Lowcountry. Santa will visit and take photos with both children and pets. Enjoy an assortment of live holiday music, vendors with handcrafted gifts, crafts and activities for the kids, and all of the attractions Cypress Gardens has to offer. Park admission is $10.00 with children 12 and admitted free.

On Dec. 15, Cypress Gardens presents Scrooge’s Christmas Tea,” from 4 to 8 p.m.

Pamela Ward and the Art and Soul Players will create an elegant Christmas tea and entertain the audience with a live rendition of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. The evening will conclude with a torch lit boat ride on the black water cypress swamp. Reservations are required for this special engagement. Tickets are $35 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling (843) 553-0515.

“Our holiday themed events are becoming quite popular, attracting visitors from across the Lowcountry and beyond,” said Heather Graham, Manager of Cypress Gardens. “We offer memorable and enjoyable ‘experiences’ that literally cannot be duplicated anywhere else.”

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