By BETTY LYNN COMPTON
Weekend Staff Writer
Houser decorated and bells are doing on this weekend as South Carolinas get ready for the Christmas holidays.
A number of seasonal attractions, including historical tours and traditional music programs, should go along way towards spreading Yule spirit across the state.
√ One of Columbia’s better known attractions each Christmas season is the Christmas music festival sponsored by the University of South Carolina Department of music. This year the colorful extravaganza will begin promptly at 8 PM December 7 in the Carolina Colosseum, says Dr. William Moody, department chairman.
Joe Pinner will act as master of ceremonies, while USC President James B. Holderman will be hosts for Carolina’s Christmas gift to the midlands. More than 500 USC students, representing every band, coral ensemble and orchestra on campus will participate. The USC dance company will add its talents to that lineup, as well as the Department of Media Arts, the Carolina Croquettes, twirlers and the Flag and Rifle Corps.
The music departments ensemble will perform many well-known Christmas carols. The USC media arts department will present a slideshow of artwork done by area fifth graders while the musicians perform, “Twas The Night Before Christmas.”
The USC horn ensemble will play pre-programmed music for about half an hour before the show starts. Admission and parking for the concert will be free and seats will be available on a first-come first serve basis.
A special guest from the North Pole is expected toward the end of the evening Moody said. The program should last about an hour.
√ The Columbia Chorale Society will present The Messiah Sunday at 4 PM at Shandon United Methodist Church. The chorus will sing under the direction of Guthrie Darr and features soloists Noreen Boyd-Leopard, soprano; Elizabeth Langley, alto David Quackenbush, tenor; and Donald Griggs, bass.
Admission to the concert is free, but contributions will be excepted to help defray production expenses.
√ Columbia’s museum houses – the Robert Mills House, the Hampton-Preston Mansion and the Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home – have been decorated with authentic 19th century trimmings and will be open for candlelight tours from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Dec 7-10. Admission is free. Parking is available for two dollars in the township auditorium light, using the Henderson Street entrance. Following the tours, the houses will be close through December 20 and also on December 24, 25 and January 1.
√ A parade in carolighting ceremony will usher in the Christmas season in Cayce-WEst Columbia this weekend. WIS-TV’s Joe Pinner will lead the parade Saturday at 10 AM down Knox Abbott Drive to 12th St. and Meeting. Festivities will resume Sunday at 5 PM for the 11th annual carolighting ceremony at Guignard Park in Cayce. The hourlong ceremony wil feature traditional holiday music church groups and handbell choirs and a Christmas message delivered by the Rev. Thom. C. Jones, pastor of Platt String United Methodist Church.
√ 600 gallons of catfish stew will be served at the annual Catfish Stomp in Elgin Saturday. The fun officially begins tonight at 6 o’clock with the Catfished Stomp Beauty Pageant at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School.
Saturday’s activities will start at 8 AM and include a craft show, a parade at 10 AM, children’s carnival, clogging performances, skydiving exhibitions and concerts. Hollywood stuntman and western singer Johnny Sanders, who doubled for Elvis Presley in Roustabout, will perform as an escape artist. Catfish stew will be served from 10:30 AM until it’s all sold out. A Catfish Stomp disco at Blaney Elementary School, site of most of the activities, will conclusion the festival. Admission to the dance is $2.
√ A Christmas craft show will be held Saturday and Sunday at the H. No. Weeks Activity Center in Aiken where shoppers can browse through 175 booths or items ranging from jewelry to calligraphy. Show hours will be 11 AM – 6 PM Saturday and noon-6 PM Sunday.
√ The Holiday Fair craft show will be held today and Saturday at Textile Hall in Greenville. The show will be open from 10 AM – 10 PM both days and admission and parking are free.
Exhibitors from seven states will be selling Christmas decorations, baked goods, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, wood crafts, macramé and needlework. The 11th annual fair is expected to attract more than 40,000 people.
√ Christmas decorations of Colonial America will be featured in candlelight was a historic Hanover House on the Clemson university campus December 7-8. The tours will be given each evening from 5 – 9. The public is invited to experience his old fashion Christmas at no charge. And ensemble from the Clemson University Chorus will perform during the tours.
√ Historic Pendleton’s 12th annual Christmas event will be held all day Saturday. Strolling carolers from Pendleton High and Middle Schools will sing around the towns shops and restaurants while craft sales and demonstrations are going on at the Pendleton District Historical and Recreational Commission. A special display of 30 original drawings from the new book, Historic Holidays: A Historical and Travel Guide Featuring Bed and Breakfast in Carolina Villages, will also be on view.
The S. C. Antique Toy Museum will have special seasonal displays and the Pendleton District Agricultural Museum will be open with new stock. Weather permitting, a tree-lighting ceremony will be held on the Village Green.
√ “A Ceremony of Carol Music With Harp,” by composer Benjamin Britton, will be performed by the Benedict College Concert Choir and guest harpist Elizabeth Roth of Charlotte on Sunday, 7:30 p.m. in Antisdel Chapel. The choir, directed by Levone Tobin, will also sing Margaret Bond’s ” The Ballad of the Brown King,” on the program of seasonal music.
√ Christmas at Cokesbury College will be held Saturday from 7-9 PM. THe Greenwood Artists’ Guild will display their work in the college’s art gallery and traditional decorations will be on view throughout the campus. Events will include a Christmas tree lighting, ornaments of the 1850s done by students in the Greenwood County schools and entertainment by cloggers and carolers. Admission is five dollars for adults, $2.50 for patrons and children 12 and under.
An open house will be held Sunday from 3 to 7 PM for the public to view the tree in College building. Donations may be made to a favorite children’s charity or to the college. School field trips are welcomed between December 6 – 17 by calling 374–3237 or 374–3215.
√ In Beaufort, the Adam-style Verdier House at 801 Bay St. will offer visitors a look at a Lowcountry Christmas from 11 am – 3 pm Dec. 6-10. Admission is $2 per person.