“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas. Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile…”
Jay Livingston and Ray Evans were living in New York City when they wrote those words in 1950, but the scene Friday night in Five Points could have inspired the same thoughts.
The Columbia neighborhood celebrated the holiday season with its annual A Starry Night event, hosted and organized by the Five Points Association. Businesses threw open their doors and extended their hours, offering discounts, sales and holiday treats for the shoppers strolling through the streets and enjoying the holiday fun.
Many began their tour at the Five Points Fountain, where Emerald’s Artistry offered free face painting and Tripp’s Fine Cleaners provided free hot cider as DJ Blake Arambula spun holiday favorites to keep spirits light.
Meanwhile, the Benedict Choral Group and the UNBOUND Dance Company roamed the neighborhood, offering mobile performances to entertain shoppers and those arriving for dinner in Five Points.
University of South Carolina First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides signed copies of her new book at Revente, and James D. McCallister did the same at Loose Lucy’s. For those inclined to do their own writing, Fit Columbia served up hot chocolate and provided all the materials for perfect letters to Santa, with guaranteed North Pole delivery in time to make the nice list.
Santa himself arrived to take gift requests in person at the Hootie and the Blowfish monument at the corner of Santee Avenue and Harden Street, and A Starry Night was only the beginning for the holiday fun in Five Points.
“A Starry Night is the best way to kick off your holiday shopping with so many discounts neighborhood-wide,” said Five Points Association Executive Director Amy Beth Franks. “If you weren’t able to join us tonight, please remember to shop local this holiday season and to help support the businesses that make this community so special.”
Fittingly, a child summed up the feelings of many in attendance Friday. “It reminds me of Christmas,” said 10-year-old Jasmine Beverly said, “and Christmas is the best.”