Santa makes early appearance at annual Smith-Hazel Christmas ceremony
An intimate group of locals showed up Thursday evening to enjoy the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Smith-Hazel Recreation Center in downtown Aiken.
Delores Byrd, with Smith-Hazel, hosted the event, which has been a tradition for more than two decades.
Byrd said the Christmas tree lighting at Smith-Hazel as an event that is important for the community.
Attendees got to enjoy themselves Thursday by singing carols, snacking on cookies and winning small door prizes through a raffle.
Classic Christmas songs were sung as the Christmas tree was lit, and kids attending the event got a special surprise.
Santa came out with a big stocking-shaped bag full of candy, which he passed out to the children.
Aiken City Councilwoman Gayle Diggs was also in attendance. She sat with Santa for a picture and told him she wanted a new car for Christmas.