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Vista Lights to kick off holiday season in Columbia next week

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Staff Report
Published Nov. 13, 2015

Vista Lights returns next Thursday night, with more than 80 shops, restaurants and salons ready to open their doors to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Columbia holiday event.

vista lights image
Several Vista businesses will be offering shopping discounts, as well as complimentary food and beverages, during the 30th annual event. (Photo/Provided)
Set for Nov. 19 from 5 to 9 p.m., the annual event will be highlighted by the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier Jr., of Fort Jackson. Attendees should gather around the tree stage at Gervais and Lincoln streets by 6:30 p.m. to see and hear performances before the tree lighting, which will include a special tree topper designed and made by Vista artist Clark Ellefson.

“We’re so excited about what our Vista Guild members and neighborhood shops, galleries, restaurants, retailers and businesses are doing this year to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday season,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild.

“We have a great lineup of holiday entertainment and a fabulous show leading up to our annual tree lighting at 7 p.m. We’re encouraging everyone to stroll through the Vista taking advantage of special offers and discounts at our neighborhood’s businesses.”

Military members and their families are invited to a VIP area outside of Blue Marlin this year for complimentary hors d’oeuvres. In addition, the Vista Guild will be offering wristbands to attendees 21 and older to purchase beer, which will be sold in the Whit-Ash parking lot off Gervais Street between Lincoln and Park streets. It will also sell $2 hot chocolate in the same lot.

Harvest Hope will be accepting canned good and donations for flood relief victims at Gervais and Lincoln streets.

Several Vista businesses will be offering shopping discounts as well as complimentary food and beverages. Attendees are encouraged to stroll through the area to find these deals, as well as check out the area art galleries, restaurants and bars.

Before the tree lighting, participants will be able to enjoy music and entertainment from the Trustus Theatre, St. Peter’s Catholic School Choir, The Dance Flood, Oraki Dance Company, Unbound Dance Company, Unleashed Hip Hop Company and the Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet Bon Bons. Following the lighting, children can come on stage and have pictures taken with Disney character Elsa.

Music will also be played throughout the evening by the Mark Rapp Jazz Quartet and the 282nd Army Band Victory Brass Quintet.

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