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It’s beginning to look a lot like… Vista Lights!

The 32nd annual Vista Lights, the Congaree Vista’s signature open house, kicks off the holiday season on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, from 5-10 p.m. with artistic performances, live music, dancing, shopping, dining and the annual Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m.

Vista galleries, shops and restaurants will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and other Columbia City Council members. Attendees should gather around the stage and tree at Gervais and Lincoln Streets by 6:15 p.m.to see holiday music and dance performances, including:

  • 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.

New at Vista Lights 2017:

  • 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 Santaon 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.

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.

“We’re so excited about what our Vista Guild members and neighborhood shops, galleries, restaurants, retailers and businesses are doing this year to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday season,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “We have a great lineup of holiday entertainment and a fabulous show leading up to our annual tree lighting at 7 p.m. We’re encouraging everyone to stroll through the Vista taking advantage of special offers and discounts at our neighborhood’s businesses.”

After the tree lighting, Vista Lights attendees are encouraged to stay on and enjoy the Vista’s nightlife with specials in many of the bars and restaurants.

Mix and mingle and find Vista Lights-only specials with these participating businesses:

Shop (locally) ‘til you drop:

  • The Backpacker Quality Gear(1215 Wayne St.): Offering refreshments and 15 percent discounts on all regularly priced sportswear, jackets and footwear, as well as free gift wrapping. Open until 8:30 p.m.
  • Bella Bridesmaid (911 Lady St.): Don’t miss this pop-up shop with Steel Garden, a Five Points boutique.
  • Carol Saunders Gallery (1003 Gervais St.): Kick off the holiday season and visit the gallery full of holiday gifts and ornaments.
  • City Art (1224 Lincoln St.): Patricia Moore-Pastides will be selling and signing her new book. Vista Lights will also mark the opening reception for Laurie MacIntosh’s “Environmental Abstractions” exhibit. Cindy Saad will also show her handcrafted jewelry and Angel Allen will show her new ceramic works.
  • CPR Cell Phone Repair (506 Gervais St.): CPR Cell Phone Repair is offering $20 off all phone repairs over $100 and a $10 off any repair over $50.
  • DMR Fashion (617 Lady St.) Enjoy complimentary wine and beer  with a live DJ and enjoy 20 percent discounts storewide
  • Ellen Taylor Interiors (1012 Gervais St.): Offering refreshments and wine and exhibiting new paintings by Ellen Taylor Interiors artists. Also showing new furniture and accessories.
  • If ART (1223 Lincoln St.): Offering refreshments and featuring “Edward Rice: Corpus.”
  • Imagine This Boutique (717 Lady St., Ste. C). Enjoy light bites and wine with 10 percent discounts on select items. Open until 8:30 p.m.
  • Lewis+Clark (1001 Huger St.): Featuring “Frolic in the Frontier, Works in Progress,” by Dustin Farmsworth and Clark Ellefson’s studio and recent work including handmade lamps, chandeliers and robots. Check out StormWater Studios construction and listen to live music by Rohvi.
  • One Eared Cow Glass (1001 Huger St.): Watch artists in live glass-blowing demonstrations. Offering light snacks and refreshments and take in unique holiday decorations while local band, Rohvi, plays in the gallery. Free parking available.
  • River Runner Outdoor Center (905 Gervais St.): Offering 20 percent discounts on most merchandise.
  • Urban Outfitters (912 Gervais St.): Get your holiday shopping started early at Urban Outfitters.
  • Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 (808 Lady St.): Studio artists present new work for the last time at 808 Lady Stbefore the studio moves to Stormwater Studios.
  • Whit-Ash Furnishings (919 Gervais St.): Offering light refreshments and hot cider. Open until 8 p.m.

 Mix and mingle:

  • Aloft Hotel (823 Lady St.): Enjoy the fire on the Aloft porch with free hot chocolate and Carolina Cream Irish Cream and coffee by Six & Twenty Distillery while playing corn hole and giant Jenga.
  • Grace Outdoor (1201 Lincoln St.): Enjoy wine and enter to win a week of free advertisements on a digital billboard.
  • Regions Bank (1010 Gervais St.): Copper Horse Distilling will serve their Copper Cream Whiskey liqueur and USC’s Saint Thomas More Parish Choir will perform.
  • Studio Cellar (912 Lady St.): Offering freestyle painting and drinks at the bar as well as a hot cocoa bar and $5 ornament painting special.

Eat, drink and be merry:

  • Art Bar (1211 Park St.): Enjoy a festive indulgence of grilling, craft beer, cocktails, music and trivia.
  • Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln St.): Offering samples of Blue Marlin’s famous shrimp and grits under the Lincoln St. canopy and a specialty drinks and a photo booth in the private room.
  • Casual Pint (807 Gervais St.): Check out The Casual Pint’s new beer trailer in front of the store with $5 drafts and 10 percent discounts on growlers and t-shirts.
  • Cupcake (1213 Lincoln St.): Enjoy a special hot chocolate cupcake exclusively for Vista Lights.
  • Gervais & Vine (620 Gervais St.): Celebrating the release of Beaujolais Nouveau with $20 bottles of Henry Fessy Beaujolais, a French menu and live music.
  • Grill Marks (711 Gervais St.): Join Grill Marks in front of the restaurant for hot chocolate and chicken corn chowder. Also offering free coupons for free French fries with the purchase of a burger when dining in. Check out “Art in the Alley,” an exhibit of local artists’ work available for purchase.
  • Kaminsky’s (930 Gervais St.): Offering a variety of desserts, cupcakes and macaroons with apple cider.
  • Liberty (828 Gervais St.): Offering crab and artichoke dip, warm bleu cheese chips and Korean BBQ beef sliders with beer and wine on the street in front of the restaurant.
  • Longhorn Steakhouse (902 Gervais St.): Selling beer outdoors and offering free s’mores on Gervais Street at the fire pit as well as drink specials.
  • Mellow Mushroom (1009 Gervais St.): Offering four select draft beers, including the seasonal Highland Cold Mountain and selling $3 pizza slices and chicken caesar wraps.
  • The Oyster Bar(1123 Park St.): Live music by Etheridge & Kimpton beginning at 8 p.m.
  • Pearlz (936 Gervais St.): Offering $5 Crawfish pies and a Stella Artois station outside of the restaurant. Also serving wine.
  • SakiTumi (807 Gervais St.): Check out the annual “Gathering in the Alleyway.” Sample SakiTumi food and craft beer samples, and local artist Karl Larsen will also be painting a piece live in the alleyway. Beer, wine and sake also for sale.
  • SC Pedal Parlor (stationed on Lincoln St. during Vista Lights): Offering discount vouchers and free Pedal Parlor stadium cups and candy.

 Fun for all ages:

  • Cupcake (1213 Lincoln St.): Enjoy a special cupcake just for Vista Lights.
  • The Peanut Man (1215 Lincoln St.): Enjoy Christmas performances by Freeway Music students and free samples of chocolate while watching candies being made.

Revel and relax:

  • Columbia’s The Salon and Giftique(620 Gervais St.): Enjoy a pop-up LuLaRoe, Scentsy and LipSense party.
  • GlowOut Salon (1202 Park St.): Stop by for bubbly and bites, as well as a braid bar and holiday polish changes.
  • Occo (1218 Pulaski St.): Offering specialty cocktails, brow waxing, braid bar, polish changes and chair massages. Door prizes available for the first 100 guests.
  • Pura (807 Gervais St.): Offering discounts on microblading, Botox and dermal fillers, pigmented lesion removal, massages and facials as well as free brow sculpting and more.
  • Southeastern Esthetics Institute(823 Gervais St.): Offering Glo & Image swag bags for all guests, free makeup applications with lash strips, $30 mircrodermabrasion facials, $5 brow sculpting and $20 aromatherapy body scrubs.
  • Vista Tanning & Nail Salon (514 Gervais St.): Free mini manicures and free tans in the tanning bed. Offering $15 gel manicures and $15 mini facials and body scrubs. All can be paid for in advance and purchased to use later.

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.

Special thanks to Vista Lights 2017 sponsors including: Free Times, Carolina International Trucks, Stella Artois, City of Columbia, Experience Columbia SC, Garvin Design Group, 94.3 The Dude, ColaDaily.com, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Lafitte, Grace Outdoor, Arnold Companies, Hyatt Place, Eye on Gervais, Art Bar, City of Columbia Parking Services, River Runner Outdoor and the South Carolina State Museum.

To learn more about Vista Lights 2017 and keep up with the growing list of happenings, 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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