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Lights radiated the joy and warmth of the Christmas season on Sunday during the City of Orangeburg’s annual tree lighting ceremony.

“The holiday season is in the air,” Orangeburg City Administrator Sidney Evering said.

This year, the downtown area and the Kids’ Walk and Children’s Garden Christmas lights at Edisto Memorial Gardens were turned on at the same time.

Flipping the light switch this year was Michael Delaney, market president of Orangeburg’s GrandSouth Bank, and his wife, Amy, who were joined by their two daughters, Campbell and Mary Legare.

“It was exciting for the mayor to even ask us. To me, the Christmas story and the story of Jesus’ birth is really about truth, love, hope and salvation. Growing up here in Orangeburg, that’s what I want for our community,” Delaney said.

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He continued, “Jesus was showing God’s love for us just like I’ve always felt that we need to be showing that love to each other. The Christmas season is just a celebration of that.

“To be able to able to participate with my family at the invitation of the mayor for our community is just something that I feel like is very special.”

The program included entertainment from the Fusion Dance Academy. They brought out Santa at the end of their performance.

The event included a brief reading of the Christmas story and the singing of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

“Let us always remember the reason for the season,” Evering said.

Hot chocolate was served during the event, which drew several families together.

Kendra Jones-Wright of Bamberg and her young children were among them.

“I have three nieces that dance with the dance group here, and I was invited. I think this is a great way to start off the Christmas season,” she said.

Jones-Wright said the event was something different.

“It’s something different, especially for Orangeburg. My two kids, who are 7 and 4, were ready to go. I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s go. I want to meet Santa, too,’” she said, smiling.

The Children’s Garden Christmas will be on display from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1, 2023. The Kids’ Walk will be on display from 5 to 9 p.m. during the same time. Admission is free.

Riverside Drive through Edisto Memorial Gardens will be limited to one-way traffic from the Lady Fountain on Russell Street to the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center daily from 5 to 10 p.m.

Santa will make more appearances in the city of Orangeburg.

Jolly old St. Nick will be at the Centennial Park gazebo in Edisto Memorial Gardens beginning from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25.

He will also be at the gazebo from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following days: Saturday, Dec. 3; Sunday, Dec. 4; Friday, Dec. 9; Friday, Dec. 16; Monday, Dec. 19; and Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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