With Thanksgiving past and the Christmas season officially here, the Greenville area is gearing up for an assortment of holiday festivities.

To start the Christmas season, downtown Greenville will host its annual Poinsettia Christmas Parade.

A tradition for many years, the parade consists of approximately 90 floats as well as other activities.

The event will begin at
6 p.m. Saturday Dec. 5 and will start from the fork of Main and Augusta streets.

For students who want to enjoy an outing downtown, Greenville will host its annual Ice on Main, the only open-air rink of its kind in South Carolina.

The rink opened to the public on Nov. 20, and it will remain open through Jan. 18. Sponsored by the United Community Bank, the rink provides ice skates with the price of the ticket. Tickets cost  $10 for adults.

The rink is open Monday afternoon through Thursday 2 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For those who enjoy the fine arts, the Peace Center Concert Hall will be hosting the Greenville Symphony Orchestra as they perform  Tchaikovski’s The Nutcracker.

The shows run from Dec. 11 through Dec.13. Tickets start at $15.

Also, the Greenville Little Theatre will present the old favorite,  A Christmas Carol.

Adrian Hall’s interpretation of this beloved tradition will be certain to leave audiences entertained.

The show will run Dec. 11 through 20, and tickets are $20 for students 18 and younger and $28 for ages 19 and over.

Furman University will host a concert at the McAlister Auditorium, featuring the Greenville Chorale performing various holiday selections.

The performance will also include a special piece by the Blue Ridge High School Concert Choir.

The event will take place Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m., and tickets will start at $15.

Students who want to spend the evening enjoying festive Christmas decorations can go to Roper Mountain Holiday Lights.

The light show includes large displays for cars to drive through as well as a Winter Wonderland that offers lights, food and handmade Christmas cards.

Not only will students be able to enjoy a delightful evening of lights and fun, but they’ll also be giving to a worthy charity.

The proceeds collected from the light shows are returned to the community in the form of education and aid to other projects.

The lights will remain open from Nov. 26 through Dec. 30.

The price of admission is $10 per car during the week and $15 on the weekends.

For students who want to find unique gifts for friends and family, the Indie Craft Parade will offer a collection of local artists.

From handmade jewelry and cards to fine art and clothing, the annual craft fair offers a wide variety of unique gifts that are certain to please friends and family.

The fair will take place on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. at the Kroc Center. Admission is $1.

Three campus societies will also be getting involved in the community this year.

According to Matt Wells, a senior cross-cultural service major, the Cavaliers, Bandits and Duskies are organizing the Giving Tree as an outreach for the holiday season.

The brother and sister societies are collecting gifts for children who might not otherwise receive them.

Students interested in participating can pick up a child’s name from one of the trees in The Den or the dining common and leave the gift beneath the tree for delivery.