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Mix and Mingle, Wine, Dine and Shop at Annual Vista Lights

Entertainment, a Tree Lighting, Special Offers and More as the Vista Guild Lights Up the Midlands Holiday Season


COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 27, 2016) – The 31st annual Vista Lights, the Congaree Vista’s signature open house, kicks off the holiday season on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, from 5-10 p.m. with artistic performances, live music, dancing, shopping, dining and the annual Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m. 

More than 90 galleries, shops and restaurants will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures vl2015_weblogobefore the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson., of Fort Jackson. Attendees should gather around the stage and tree at Gervais and Lincoln Streets by 6:30 p.m. to see holiday music and dance performances, including:

·      Trustus Theatre

·      The Dance Floor

·      Columbia City Ballet

·      Oraki Dance Company

·      Unbound Dance Company

·      Unleashed Hip Hop Company

·      Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet Bon Bons


Following the 7 p.m. tree lighting, The Reggie Sullivan Band will play throughout the evening. The 282nd Army Band Victory Brass Quintet will also perform and roam throughout the Vista all evening, as will the Carillon Carolers and other musicians.


More in store at Vista Lights 2016:

·      Members of the military and Fort Jackson and their families are invited to a VIP area outside of Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln Street) to enjoy complimentary light refreshments during Vista Lights from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

·      The Vista Guild will offer wristbands to Vista Lights attendees who are 21 and older to purchase beer, which will be for sale in the Whit-Ash parking lot off of Gervais Street between Lincoln and Park streets from 5 – 9:30 p.m. On tap for the evening are $5 drafts, including Stella Artois, Bud Light, Palmetto Huger Street IPA and Conquest Medusa Stout.

·      Emerald Artistry will offer free face painting for children at the corner of Lincoln and Gervais near Starbuck’s. 

vista lights 2016Throughout 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:


New Vista Hot Spots:

·      52 inc (504 ½ Gervais St.): Enjoy hot apple cider and play classic video games at this design and

Vista Lights in Columbia, SC - November 2013 - by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford

Vista Lights in Columbia, SC – November 2013 – by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford

development studio that builds apps for iOS, Android and the web.

·      Casual Pint (807 Gervais St.): All merchandise and six packs offered at 15 percent discount in the store. Outside grab koozies and craft beers for $4 at this new Vista beer emporium.

·      City Bar (700 Gervais St.): Offering $1.75 domestic beers, $2 off all liquors and liquor drinks and $2 off all entrees and small plates.

·      CPR (506 Gervais St.): CPR Cell Phone Repair is offering $20 off all phone repairs over $100 and a 20 percent discount on all merchandise.

·      Grill Marks (711 Gervais St.): Offering a special treat with the purchase off the menu at the Vista’s burger hot spot.

·      Palmetto Twist (1225 Lincoln St.): Offering photos with Santa from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. and sales on a wide variety of monogrammed and custom-monogrammed gift items.

·      Sandler’s Diamonds and Time (1231 Lincoln St.) Pick up a special timeless piece of jewelry to ring in the holidays at the Vista’s fine jeweler. Offering discount pricing on select jewelry. WVOC/WCOS will broadcast live from the store.

·      SC Pedal Parlor (stationed on Lincoln St. during Vista Lights): Offering discount vouchers and free candy.

·      SC Pride (931-D Senate Street): Offering beer and wine and good times with a featured DJ at this Pride in the City event.

 vista lights 2

Shop (locally) ‘til you drop:

·      BP Skinner Clothiers (1003 Gervais St.): Offering special holiday discounts in-store.

·      Carol Saunders Gallery (1003 Gervais St.): Kick off the holiday season and visit the gallery full of holiday gifts and ornaments. Featuring artwork by Columbia native Eileen Blyth.

·      City Art (1224 Lincoln St.): Featuring Susan Lenz’s “Building in Stitches,” which celebrates its opening in the main gallery. Cindi Saad will also showcase her original handmade jewelry. Other gallery spaces will be open, as will the art supply store.

·      The Backpacker Quality Gear (1215 Wayne St.): Offering refreshments and 15 percent discounts on all regularly priced merchandise as well as free gift wrapping. Open until 8:30 p.m.

·      Ellen Taylor Interiors (1012 Gervais St.): Offering refreshments and exhibiting new paintings by Ellen Taylor Interiors artists. Also showing new furniture and accessories.

·      Eye on Gervais (1219 Lincoln St.): Offering light refreshments and a trunk show plus 20 percent off all frames and lenses.

·      If ART (1223 Lincoln St.): Offering refreshments and featuring works by Mark Flowers: “Washing the Dust.” Flowers lives near Asheville, N.C. and is a native of Greenville, S.C.

·      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 Clark Ellefson’s studio and recent work including handmade modern lighting and robots. Serving refreshments and craft beer and wine.

·      One Eared Cow Glass (1001 Huger St.): Watch artists in live glass-blowing demonstrations. Offering light snacks and refreshments.

·      River Runner Outdoor Center (905 Gervais St.): River Runner is the new Hobie Kayak retailer for Columbia. These special kayaks will be on display outside and inside the shop. Take this opportunity to sit in the kayak and pedal drive the unit.

·      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.

·      Whit-Ash Furnishings (919 Gervais St.): Offering light refreshments and hot cider.


Mix and mingle:

·      ByFarr (504 ½ Gervais St.): Will offer letterpress demonstrations, Christmas stationery sales and

Vista Lights in Columbia, SC - November 2013 - by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford

Vista Lights in Columbia, SC – November 2013 – by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford

free parking. Offering an open air market in the grass lot facing Huger Street with several food vendors and live music.

·      The Dance Floor (717 Lady St.): Serving refreshments and offering a free class sampler including shag and line dancing from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Class packages will be offered at a 20 percent discount. Visitors will be entered to win free classes.

·      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.): Serving light hors d’oeuvres and live painting by resident artists with local entertainment.


Eat, drink and be merry:

·      Art Bar (1211 Park St.): Enjoy an extended happy hour until 8 p.m. with a 25 percent discount at this eclectic party spot. Local craft beers available and stick around after Vista Lights for “Useless Trivia” with host Parthenon John. Rest your feet and charge your phone with one of our “Chargbots.”

·      Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln St.): Offering samples of Blue Marlin’s famous shrimp and grits under the Lincoln St. canopy and a special VIP area for military families from 5:30 – 8 p.m. The private room will be open with a cash bar.

·      Carolina Ale House (708 Lady St.) Enjoy live music and great holiday drinks on the rooftop.

·      Kaminsky’s (930 Gervais St.): Offering assorted cupcakes, various sweet treats and wine.

·      Liberty (828 Gervais St.): Enjoy discounted menu prices and hang out with beer trucks, food, coffee

Vista Lights in Columbia, SC - November 2013 - by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford

Vista Lights in Columbia, SC – November 2013 – by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford

and hot chocolate outside.

·      Longhorn Steakhouse (902 Gervais St.): Selling beer and wine outdoors and offering free hot chocolate and s’mores on Gervais Street at the fire pit.

·      Mellow Mushroom (1009 Gervais St.): Meet Mel and have a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza and beer by the glass.

·      Oyster Bar (1123 Park St.): Live music by Etheridge & Kimpland.

·      Pearlz (936 Gervais St.): Offering shrimp sliders and house chips on the street in front of the restaurant.

·      SakiTumi (807 Gervais St.): Check out the annual “Gathering in the Alleyway.” Draft beer and wine to sample and purchase. Sample SakiTumi food and a local artist will also be painting a piece for onlookers.


Fun for all ages:

·      Cupcake (1213 Lincoln St.): Enjoy a special cupcake just for Vista Lights.

·      The Peanut Man (1215 Lincoln St.): Offering free warm praline samples, discounts on holiday gift orders and live music. Children under age 12 can decorate ornaments for $2. Preview holiday trays, gift baskets and more.


Revel and relax:

·      Columbia’s The Salon and Giftique (620 Gervais St.): Enjoy 15 percent discounts in the Giftique, vista lights 3on products and future beauty appointments booked that night

·      Glowout Salon (1202 Park St.): Stop by for bubbly and bites.

·      Pura (807 Gervais St.): Offering discounts on Botox and microdermabrasion treatments, free chair massages and hand chemical peels. Also offering discounts on holiday gift cards and free swag bags.

·      Southeastern Esthetics Institute (823 Gervais St.): Offering $20 skin rejuvenation facials with a free microdermabrasion or chemical peel and swag bags with free gift cards.

·      Studio O2 (801 Gervais St.): Check out what Studio O2 offers and get free samples of Topper’s Rhum.


Free parking is available in Vista garages at 820 Washington Street and behind the Hilton Hotel. Gervais Street, from Assembly to Gadsden, will close to automobile traffic at 6 p.m. and reopen at 10 p.m.


Special thanks to Vista Lights 2016 sponsors including: Bacardi, Grey Goose Vodka, City of Columbia, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Carolina International Trucks, Stella Artois, Grace Outdoor, Sowell Gray, Lewis + Clark, Garvin Designs, Capital Waste Services, Research Planning, Inc., Whit-Ash Furnishings and Southeastern Esthetics Institute. Thanks to 701 Whaley, River Runner Outdoor Center, The Casual Pint, Carolina Ale House, Lorick Office Products, NAI Avant, McCrory Construction, Arnold Companies, Hyatt Place, Cohn Construction Services, South State Bank and Kali Render State Farm.


To learn more about Vista Lights 2016 and keep up with the growing list of happenings, visit www.VistaColumbia.com. Follow @VistaGuild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #VistaLights16 or e-mail info@VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946.

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