Lake City becomes ‘winter wonderland’ this weekend
LAKE CITY, S.C. – The Bean Market in Lake City has transformed into a winter wonderland. An ice rink has been installed in the venue and Shady Rogers, Lake City Creative Alliance special events manager, said that when people walk in, they should be able to see, feel and smell Christmastime.
Hometown Holidays in Lake City will feature more than 40 events throughout this weekend. Free ice skating is expected to be one of the main attractions.
Rogers, who calls himself Mr. Christmas, said that when he started working with the Creative Alliance, he knew he wanted to turn the Hometown Holidays event into something great. He said the ice rink was a perfect way to brand the event as a festival.
Free ice skating, hot chocolate and shopping will be featured at the Bean Market in Lake City from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and the skates are free.
“People can walk in there with nothing in their pocket,” Rogers said. “As long as they have their ID showing they’re 18, they can skate for free. If they’re under 18, they have to have a legal guardian present to sign a waiver for them. But other than that, completely free.”
The Lake City Creative Alliance has already had to increase the size of the ice rink because of the response it has been getting. This year’s turnout will determine the size of next year’s rink, Rogers said.
In addition to ice skating, Hometown Holidays will feature the annual Greater Lake City Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade and the city of Lake City Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Friday and make its way through downtown Lake City. Rogers said the tree-lighting ceremony will begin immediately after the parade. Lake City Mayor Lovith Anderson Jr. is expected to light the tree.
This year’s tree is the same as last year’s, but Rogers said seven blue Christmas trees will be placed around it to honor the law enforcement officers involved in an ambush in Florence on Oct. 3.
“Even in the Bean Market where the ice rink is, I have a special tree just for Farrah (Turner),” Rogers said. “We really want to have Farrah here with us. And that’s not just for marketing purposes. Farrah was from Lake City. She really embodied Lake City. She was Lake City.”
Florence County Deputy Farrah Turner was wounded in the shooting and died days later.
Holiday-themed events will be held each day this weekend. A full listing of events can be found at visitlakecitysc.com/hometownholidays.
Rogers said local merchants are the reason the Hometown Holidays festival came about.
“They (merchants) want to bring people in their shops. Even if they don’t buy anything, they want to get them in there,” Rogers said. “They want to fill the streets because it makes them feel good. It truly is a special experience for everyone.”