The annual Christmas parade begins at 3 p.m. Sunday downtown.
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It was more "Feliz Navidad" than "Silent Night" in downtown Beaufort Friday night as hundreds crowded Bay and adjoining streets for the annual Night On The Town to ring in the holiday season.
From a choir on the Verdier House steps, to dancers in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, to live music on Bay Street, to booths set up in on-street parking spaces, to the Christmas tree lighting and stores with doors flung wide-open for holiday and window shoppers, the historic downtown hummed with activity, song and good cheer.
Beaufort police blocked off Bay Street so pedestrians could stroll safely during the festivities, which started at 6 p.m.
"A lot of people say this is their favorite event," said LaNelle Fabian, executive director of Main Street Beaufort, USA, which organized the event. "It just gets you into the holiday spirit. And every corner you turn there's something going on."
Dick and Roberta Kinder, visiting from Wooster, Ohio, window shopped and strolled with daughter Laura Eggers of Beaufort.
"This is nice, I think you have a good crowd," Roberta Eggers said. "I'm impressed."
"We have an active Main Street (organization) but you guys are doing a heck of a job," her husband added.
Even without the snow that accompanies Christmas festivities up north, the couple said it felt like the holidays Friday night in Beaufort.
Beaufort resident Phil Nold, brought three of his children -- Rebecca, Quinten and Hally -- and their Great Dane, Samson, and said this year's celebration seemed busier than usual. Each child had $5 to spend in anyway they wanted, and the group headed to the Lollipop Shop before the official city Christmas tree lighting ceremony with Santa. The lighting was followed by a performance by the Parris Island Marine Corps Band.
"We like the Christmas tree lighting because it's bright and colorful and big," Hally Nold said.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.