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Beaufort will celebrate the start of the holiday season with events tonight through Sunday in downtown, and drivers should be aware of road closures.
Night on the Town, Light Up the Night and the Christmas parade are annual events whose organizers include Main Street Beaufort, USA, the Beaufort Lions Club and the Beaufort Sail and Power Squadron.
NIGHT ON THE TOWN
The event, which includes the Christmas tree lighting, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight in the downtown shopping district and the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Stores will remain open late, with many offering specials and food and drink for customers.
The Parris Island Marine Corps Band will perform, and Santa is expected.
The city's new Christmas tree, at Freedom Mall by the Beaufort Downtown Marina, is being decorated for the first time since it was planted Nov. 1. The previous tree had to be removed because of disease.
Roads will be closed from 4:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. Closures include parts of Port Republic, Scott, Charles, West and Bay streets. Scott Street will be blocked in front of Wells Fargo Advisers so drivers exiting the parking lot must turn right onto Scott.
Bay Street will be blocked between Charles and Carteret streets at 4:30 p.m. That will be extended to Newcastle Street at 5:30 p.m.
Charles Street Extension will be closed at 8 a.m., so a stage can be set up.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
The Light up the Night boat parade will be Saturday on the Beaufort River along the seawall of Waterfront Park. Dozens of boats are expected to participate, and they will make three passes by the seawall. Boats start arriving at 5 p.m., with the parade officially starting at 5:30.
THE CHRISTMAS PARADE
The parade will start at 3 p.m. Sunday. The route follows Adventure, Boundary, Carteret and Bay streets, all of which will be closed to traffic until the parade has disbanded.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.