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WACH: Vista Lights kicks off the holiday season Thursday

Vista Lights 2017

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)-- Local artists, merchants and restaurants are going to be kicking off the holiday season Thursday, November 16 at the 32nd annual Vista Lights

There will be 80 shops and restaurants staying open late along with holiday music, dance performances, and of course the main event: the tree lighting with Mayor Setve Benjamin at 7 p.m.

If you want to see the holiday music and dance performances, gather around the stage and tree at Gervais and Lincoln Streets by 6:15 p.m.

Performances include:

Trustus Theatre

The Southern Strutt Dance Studio

Columbia City Jazz

Columbia City Ballet

Palmetto Performing Arts

Unbound Dance Company

• Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet Bon Bons

• Candice Pipkin

Following the 7 p.m. tree lighting, Prettier than Matt will play on stage from 7:30 – 8 p.m. and Soda City Brass Band will play from 8 – 9:45 p.m.

Prettier than Matt will be on Good Day Columbia Wednesday, November 15 at 7:15 a.m. and the Soda City Brass Band will perform on GDC Thursday, November 16 at 7:30 a.m.

New this year:

• The Vista Guild will offer wristbands to Vista Lights attendees who are 21 and older to purchase beer, which will be for sale on Lincoln Street at the corner of Gervais from 5 – 9:30 p.m. On tap for the evening are $5 drafts, including Stella Artois, Stella Cidre, Palmetto Espresso Porter and Catawba White Zombie.

• The Vista Guild will also debut its Kid’s Zone for Vista Lights 2017, with activities for children, face painting, balloon art and more on Lincoln Street. Additionally, Merry Marketplace, also on Lincoln Street, will feature vendors offering unique, locally crafted goods to kick off the holiday season.

• Parents and families can snap their own free photos of their kids while they visit with Santa on Lincoln Street near Peanut Man.

• Vista Lights attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to Harvest Hope and those in need this holiday season. Harvest Hope will accept donations on Lincoln Street near Blue Marlin.

Parking:

Free parking is available in City of Columbia garages at 820 Washington Street (behind Aloft Hotel) and on Park Street (beside) the Hilton Hotel), from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. Lincoln and Park Streets, between Lady and Senate Streets will be closed to automobile traffic at 5 p.m. Gervais Street, from Assembly to Gadsden, will close to automobile traffic at 6 p.m. All streets will reopen at 10 p.m.

Throughout the night, many businesses will offer complimentary beverages, hors d’oeuvres and shopping discounts. Vista Lights attendees are invited to stroll through the Vista’s art galleries and businesses, restaurants and bars on this festive evening.

For a full list of the vendors and events taking place throughout the night, visit www.VistaColumbia.com. Follow @VistaColumbiaSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #VistaLights17 or e-mail info@VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946.

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