Holiday Magic

Holiday Magic in Historic Charleston

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs celebrates the holiday season each December with Holiday Magic in Historic Charleston, offering free, family-friendly activities, live performances and decorations all around town for everyone in the community to enjoy together.  Virtual Offerings to be Announced.

Chanukah in the Square: Sunday, November 28 at 4:00pm

*Family-friendly, Free, and No RSVP Required* Join us for the 14th annual Chanukah in the Square extravaganza, sponsored by the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Foundation and the City of Charleston. MORE INFO

Tree Lighting: Thursday, December 2 from 5:00-6:00pm, Marion Square

Please join Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg for the official Marion Square Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:00pm. The event, which is part of Illumination Charleston, an inaugural holiday celebration hosted in partnership between Explore Charleston, Southern Living and Historic Charleston Foundation, will begin with a musical performance by Charleston Symphony Brass leading up to the tree lighting at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to Thursday’s event, Illumination Charleston has introduced enhanced holiday décor, including displays in Marion Square, the Cistern Yard, Liberty Square, the Charleston Visitor Center and along King Street, which complement the city’s annual Holiday Magic in Historic Charleston programming.

To learn more about Illumination Charleston, please visit

Holiday Parade: Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 3:30pm

Come join the City of Charleston for this fun, high energy parade which will commence on Broad Street at Rutledge, travel North on Meeting Street, and conclude on Calhoun Street at Meeting Street. Participants include musical ensembles, clubs and organizations.

Charleston Holiday Market in Marion Square, 329 Meeting Street
December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19 from 9:00am-2:00pm

Head out to Marion Square for all of the Holiday Markets in December! Enjoy your favorite vendors from the regular season plus additional Holiday vendors, live music and so much more!!!

Holiday Magic Musical Pop-Up: December 11 at 5:00pm, Best Friend Train Museum, 36 John Street

Come hear the sounding joy of some of Charleston’s favorite musicians at this free program of intimate performances to celebrate the holiday season. The V-Tones of Charleston, Cameron Handel, Lauren Hall, and Joel Hamilton will fill the air with music at this family-friendly event with performances inside the Best Friend Train Museum and outdoors in the Camden Shed Alley. Mask requested inside. Social distancing encouraged.

Holiday Parade of Boats: December 11, 2021 at 5:30pm, Charleston Harbor

Join our lowcountry tradition at the Holiday Parade of boats. This display of lighted and festive boats proceeds from the Cooper River, through the Charleston Harbor and into the Ashley River. This is a family-friendly event is sure to become a holiday tradition for everyone. View the procession along Charleston’s waterfront or decorate your own boat and join the parade (application information below).

Happy New Year, Charleston!: Friday, December 31 from 5:00-10:00pm, Charleston Visitor Center, 375 Meeting Street

Come celebrate with your friends and neighbors at this family-friendly, non-alcohol event. We will have live music and entertainment as the evening progresses.

156th Annual Emancipation Proclamation Parade: Saturday, January 1, 2021 at 11:00am

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg announced that 2020 Olympic Silver Medalist Raven Saunders will be the Grand Marshal for the 156th Annual Emancipation Proclamation Parade in Charleston set for Saturday, January 1, 2022. MORE INFO

Enjoy 2 free hours of parking this holiday season from November 15, 2021 through January 1, 2022 in participating garages downtown Charleston!

Holiday Magic