7 Can’t-Miss Holiday Events in Savannah
Savannah, Tybee’s mainland neighbor, is a beautiful place to visit year-round, but the Hostess City really comes to life during the holiday season. Southern charm, Christmas cheer and enviably warmer weather converge to create a wintertime atmosphere like none other. The famous Historic District glitters with garland and twinkling lights, and hospitable homes are fragrant with aromas of freshly-baked treats, conifer trees and potpourri. The pervasive holiday spirit is further amplified by the variety of festivities taking place over the coming weeks. If you’re going to be in the Lowcountry during December, take advantage of Savannah’s season’s greetings. Mark your calendars for the city’s top events of the holiday season.
A Christmas Tradition
“A Christmas Tradition” at the historic Savannah Theatre is definitely a Christmas tradition in Savannah. The much-celebrated show runs Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Eve every year, bringing gifts of song, dance and lighthearted comedy to theatre patrons. Enjoy live performances of your favorite holiday music from the multi-talented cast amid dazzling Christmas décor. This festive show is a must-see for your holiday spent in Savannah.
Hosted annually at the picturesque Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, the 2016 Savannah Harbor Holiday Series is well underway. Visitors can look forward to a variety of Christmas-themed fests, feasts and functions running now through New Year’s Eve. A holiday concert courtesy of the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, a special breakfast with Santa and the first annual Holiday Hickory Golf Classic are just a sample of the many wonderful events taking place at the Westin this time around.
Savannah’s Lighted Christmas Parade
This weekend on the iconic River Street, the Savannah Waterfront Association will host the annual Christmas on the River weekend extravaganza. Kicking off on December 2nd, this fun holiday festival is a celebration of Christmas cheer. Live music and performances, great food, fireworks and artisanal gifts from local vendors will be a part of the festivities. The headline event of the weekend is definitely Savannah’s Lighted Christmas Parade. Taking place on December 3 at 5:30 pm, this annual parade marks the official arrival of St. Nick into the city of Southern hospitality. Santa couldn’t receive a warmer welcome!
Savannah Santa Train
The Georgia State Railroad Museum is offering an educational holiday opportunity the whole family will love. Join Kris Kringle himself aboard the Savannah Santa Train on Saturday, December 10 from 8 am to 5 pm. This family-friendly event will feature craft-making, face-painting, several hands-on learning activities, Christmas-themed treats from local vendors and special gifts from Santa. In addition to a fun ride on Santa’s locomotive, kids will participate in STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts & mathematics – learning to understand how a chimney functions. They will celebrate other cultures at the ‘Holidays Around the World’ station. And they can look forward to a Toy Soldiers Training segment. This fun-filled event will keep the kids, and their parents, engaged and excited.
Holiday Tour of Homes
The Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Holiday Tour of Homes is also taking place on Saturday the 10th. Now in its 42nd year, this annual tour showcases 8 of the Historic District’s most beautiful private homes as well as two museum houses in spectacular holiday adornment. Tours will run throughout the day from 11 am to 4 pm. This exclusive tour only comes around once a year. Don’t miss out on your chance to see Savannah’s most ornate homes shine.
Every year at Christmastime the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra partners with the Savannah Children’s Choir to present the Family Holiday Pops. This awe-inspiring performance combines talented musicianship and angelic vocals in an event that resonates with peace, joy and goodwill. The two performances – one matinee and one evening – will be held at the Johnny Mercer Theatre on Saturday, December 17. If beautiful music is a must on your Christmas list, this one’s for you.
Up the Cup New Year’s Eve Countdown
The final can’t-miss event of the holiday season in Savannah is the 4th annual ‘Up the Cup’ Countdown. Unlike any typical ball drop New Year’s celebration, the city literally raises a toast to 2017 at ‘Up the Cup’. The six-foot tall to-go cup – a Savannah treasure – will make its glorious ascent during the final moments of 2016. Immediately after, the city will kick off 2017 with a bang; bright, beautiful fireworks will explode across the sky in a stunning display over the Savannah River. Head to Rousakis Riverfront Plaza on New Year’s Eve at 8 pm to start your 2017 off Savannah-style.
About the Author:
Chantel Baul is a Savannah native with a knack for writing and an ever-growing curiosity. She received her BA in English and Professional Communications from Armstrong State University, and when she’s not writing she’s serving the country as a US Army Reserve Officer. She’s an NPR nerd/foodie with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and fun.