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December 2021 Happenings

Heritage Library Events

Colonial Christmas
Tour Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7, to learn about what Christmas was like during the Colonial Era on Hilton Head Island. Meet living history characters and hear from them what holidays were like in the past. Cost $5 per adult, children are free. At the intersection of Mathews Drive, Folly Field Road and U.S. 278.

A Soldier’s Holiday
Tour Fort Mitchel, a Civil War era fort, from 4-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 9, and learn about what the holidays were like for the soldiers serving here during the Civil War. $5 per adult, children are free. Located in Hilton Head Plantation at 65 Skull Creek Drive. Gates passes are available.

Walking Tour – Historic Corridor

Set for 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 11, this 2 1/2-mile walk starts and ends at Mitchelville and includes Queen Chapel AME Church, Cherry Hill School, Ft. Howell and Mitchelville Freedom Park. Participants should wear comfortable shoes, bring water and be prepared to walk 2 1/2 miles. Free and open to everyone, registration is required. 226 Beach City

Historic Sites Open House
Set for 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, visitors will step back in time with Hilton Head Island’s rich cultural history on full display as they enjoy each site at their leisure. The sites chosen show the different eras of Hilton Head history. Hear stories of our past from docents and living history characters, learn about the holidays on Hilton Head from the Colonial Period through Reconstruction and the many Gullah traditions that make our island such a special place. Don’t forget the Camellia Gardens and other wonderful sites at the Coastal Discovery Museum. Free and open to everyone, registration is required.

Festivals & fun
Drive-through holiday light display
Get in the holiday spirit with a drive-through experience of lights December 4-6 at Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park. Begins at dusk each night. Free and open to everyone, registration is requested. 226 Beach City Road.

Christmas Village in South Beach
The Salty Dog will have thousands of lights illuminating the waterfront in South Beach now through January 1. Each Saturday until Christmas the Dog also will offer a complimentary s’mores and hot cocoa bar from 3-6 p.m., a fireside holiday happy hour from 4-6 p.m., and Santa will visit from 3-3:30 p.m. on his floating sleigh.

HHI Jingle Jingle 5K
The Hilton Head Island Bridge Run and The Hilton Head Jingle Jingle Run are now one great race. The 5K and 10K will be held at 8 a.m. December 24, starting and finishing at Crossings Park. An awards ceremony will feature refreshments, music and door prizes. For more information and to register, visit

Other great holiday light displays:
Shelter Cove Towne Centre Harbour Town Shelter Cove Harbour Hilton Head Fire & Rescue Station 3 Jim and Carolyn Neely’s house, Port Royal Reilley’s Grill & Bar Coligny Plaza The Village at Wexford Island Recreation Center

Arborwood Lights, Arbormeade Circle Cahill’s Market The Promenade The Sharman Family Light Show, Neligh Lane

Brendlen’s Lowcountry Christmas, Driggers Lane

Cadd Family Lights, Springfield Road

Bay Street Waterfront Park Mink Point Boulevard

Sparkles & Spirits
The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce’s Sparkles & Spirits Holiday Soiree & Silent Auction will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, at Burnt Church Distillery.From great getaways to self-care and other great items, the holiday silent auction (Dec. 1-13) is a one-stop-shop for your holiday gifts. Your ticket gets you a flight of spirits from Burnt Church Distillery and food from SERG Restaurant Group. Find more information and purchase tickets at

Art shows, plays & performances

The Sounds of Christmas
Join the Hilton Head Choral Society at its holiday concert to celebrate the joy and magic of the season with traditional tunes and carols for the Old Country and New World. The concert takes place at 7 p.m. December 10.

MLK Rocks
The MLK Committee pays tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 8, with the first-ever music extravaganza, entitled MLK Rocks. The performance will feature five local soloists and the MLK Community Choir, made up of more than 20 churches. Music will include Lowcountry Gospel, Blues, Motown and American Standards. Tickets are $20 per person and available at

Meet award-winning author Alex Kershaw. Enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres as Kershaw talks about the 1944 World War II “Champagne Campaign.” It followed the Rhone River going through the finest wine region of France and about some of the heroes who were a part of it, like Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in US history. Proceeds go to First Tee- Lowcountry. Attendance is limited to the first 60 people. Tickets are $75 available at

Elf the Musical
Elf the Musical will be running at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina from December 8 through January 2. Tickets can be purchased online at

Thirty-one accomplished artists from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia join forces for a special art exhibition at University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts in Beaufort. The name of the exhibit — “Visual Conversations: Our Voices” — is inspired by how the artist engages with materials and media “to speak or to mirror a feeling that swells from within,” says artist Penny Beesley who coordinated the show, which runs through December 13.

Lean Ensemble
Art will be playing at Lean Ensemble Theatre on December 9-19. One of Marc’s best friends, Serge, has just bought a very expensive painting. To Marc, the painting is a joke, but Serge insists Marc doesn’t have the proper standard to judge the work. Another friend, Ivan, allows himself to be pulled into this disagreement. Lines are drawn, and these old friends square off over the canvas. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, they border on destroying their friendships.

Local markets

Bluffton Farmers Market
Every Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. the Bluffton Farmers Market will be open at 71 Green Street. Vendors include 7th Heaven Spices, Clark & Sons Farm, Palmetto Pops, Myers Family Farms, Sprout Momma and Tuten Farms, just to name a few. Check out the market’s Facebook page or text FARMER to 484848 for updates.

Bluffton Artisan Market
The Bluffton Artisan Market will take place from noon to 5 p.m. December 12 at Burnt Church Distillery. Enjoy live music, food trucks and local makers.

Maritime Marketplace
Shop for holiday gifts at Port Royal Sound Foundation’s Maritime Marketplace from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. December 4. A few of the vendors include Main Street Pottery, Meg’s Sweet Treats and Barb’s Boards. For more information, visit The Port Royal Sound Foundation Facebook page.


Holiday open house at Forsythe
Join the team at Forsythe Jewelers for its annual Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. December 8. Browse from a large selection of top brand jewelry designers including Roberto Coin, Marco Bicego, David Yurman, Lagos, Gabriel & Co., Sethi Couture, Jude Frances, Gurhan and more. Shop MacKenzie-Childs holiday decor and housewares in a fun and festive atmosphere. Enjoy complimentary gift wrapping with your purchase.

Enlightening conversations

Friday Speaker Series: A Year of Turmoil
The World Affairs Council of Hilton Head’s Friday Speaker Series “A Year of Turmoil” continues with a strong roster of upcoming speakers. Purchase tickets at

Dec. 3: Nury Turkel, “The Future of the Uyghurs”
Jan. 7: Farah Pandith, “How We Win: Countering Extremism Together Here & Abroad”
Jan. 21: Mona Yacoubian: “The Arc of Crises in the Levant: Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq Post-ISIS”

Evening Speaker Series
The WACHH Evening Speaker Series takes place at 6 p.m. at SoundWaves. Tickets can be purchased online at and include light appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages.

Jan. 11: J. Michael Williamson, “Right Whale: Our Coastal Visitors”
Feb. 8: Margaret Coker, “Spies and Allies”
March 8: Dr. William Patterson, “The Role of Foreign Assistance in U.S. Foreign Policy”