Palmetto Parent 2010 December Issue : Page 18

Holiday Lights on the River Holiday Lights on the River, the annual drive-through lights exhibit at Saluda Shoals Park, continues to grow into a varied event designed to appeal to all ages and interests. And this year, visitors are not confined to their cars. “We’ve had a lot of people ask over the years if there is a place where they can get out and walk,” said Lori Shaffer, Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission spokesperson. “We restored a wetland and put a boardwalk over it. So this year, all of our woodland critters (light displays) will be down there in the wetland and they can see the lights up close.” Visitors also will be able to take a hayride down to the Wetland Wonderland Walking Trail and walk along the Saluda Shoals Wetland Preserve. Those who prefer to drive through the two-mile loop of ani-mated light displays will still find plenty to see, but for the more adventurous, the Winter Wonder Ride returns. The attraction debuted last year and it was a big hit, according to Shaffer. “It’s a downhill tubing experience,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun — like snow tubing but without the snow.” Instead, riders tube down a surface similar to that used by skiers for summer training. Riders must be at least 42 inches tall to ride alone, but smaller children are allowed to ride with their parents. In the week prior to Christmas, the park also hosts Nights of Wonder, including horse drawn carriage, train and hay rides, visits with Santa, marshmallow roasts and a craft room where children can make gifts for others. “That is the busiest time,” Shaffer said. If you go: Holiday Lights on the River is 6 – 10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. The cost is $10 per car, $20 per 15-passenger van and $35 per bus. Other activities are in addition to lights admission. The Wetland Wonderland Walking Trail is open nightly. The cost, including a hayride, is $1 each. Winter Wonder Ride is open 6 – 10 p.m. Dec. 3 – 4, 10 – 11 and 17 – 23. The cost is $2 each per ride. Nights of Wonder activities are open Dec. 17 – 23. The cost for Nights of Wonder activities are $1 – $5 each. For details, call 772-1228 or visit ROBERT CLARK PHOTOGRAPHY The Snow Queen The Columbia Marionette Theatre is bringing Hans Chris-tian Anderson’s classic, “The Snow Queen,” to life in a most unique way. “It’s a brand new show,” Cooper Hill, the theatre’s business and marketing manager said. “Jason Laramee, one of our pup-peteers, wrote a script from the classic fairytale.” No detail is spared, with the “actors” and scenes all spring-ing from the minds of local artists. “Lyon Hill, our artistic director, is making the puppets,” Hill said. “When we make a new show, everything is made in house — the puppets, the sets, everything.” The seasons and their rhythms play a vital role in the story, one that is reflected in the theatre’s production. “It will be a very original kind of set,” Hill said. “It’s going to be a magical setting, a forest that changes with the seasons. Each of the seasons has a princess or witch that controls the season. The winter queen is evil and wants to be all powerful — she wants winter to rule the seasons.” The production is a break from the traditional Christmas events, but it is still designed to appeal to families. “The cool thing about this show is that it isn’t the typical Santa Claus theme,” Hill said. “It embraces all of winter. You can feel the warmth of your family with you.” Hill said the show’s imagery reflects an appreciation for the warmth of family. And she said new visitors may be sur-prised by what they find in this original production. “This is actually an art form and kids just really love to be a part of that,” she said. “With the winter theme and the crystals and snow, it’s going to have a magical feeling.” If you go: “The Snow Queen” is presented at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18 and at 10 a.m. Dec. 20 and 27. Admis-sion is $5 each. For more information, visit www.cmtpuppet. org. December 2010 18 Palmetto Parent

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