The city of Orangeburg will transform into a winter wonderland on Sunday, Nov. 18.
The celebration will begin with the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association’s traditional Christmas program, “It was a Holy Night,” at 6:30 p.m. at Stevenson Auditorium, followed by the lighting of Memorial Plaza at 7:45 p.m.
This year marks the city’s 20th annual program. DORA’s holiday program and the lighting ceremony are free and open to the public.
The evening will begin with the Christmas program featuring the Trinity United Methodist Church Male Chorus, the Orangeburg Civic Ballet and the Jarvis Brothers. Trinity UMC’s Music Director Michael Ellis will direct the program. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church’s the Rev. Gary Peterson will provide the holiday blessing.
“I hope many of you will turn out as we start the holiday season by lighting the tree in the square, and then on Monday night, when we open up the Children’s Garden Christmas and the Kids’ Walk,” Orangeburg Mayor Paul Miller said.
Hot chocolate will be served, and there will be snow on the square following the Stevenson program, he said.
Lighting the plaza this year will be DORA Executive Director Bernice Tribble and her husband, Don, executive director of the Orangeburg County Community of Character program. The Tribbles will be retiring from their respective posts in January. Both are Rotarians and members of St. Paul’s UMC.
Prior to coming to Orangeburg, Bernice Tribble served as director of the Bennettsville Arts Center. She served as director of the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center for three years before transitioning to DORA in 1996.
Don Tribble was in the automotive business for years before retiring almost eight years ago. He is co-founder of the Orangeburg Touchdown Club, has served as chairman of the city of Orangeburg Planning Commission and, as a leukemia survivor, was instrumental in beginning Orangeburg’s Relay for Life.
The Tribbles have three children and five grandchildren.
Children’s Garden Christmas and Kids’ Walk
The lighting of the Children’s Garden Christmas and Kids’ Walk at Edisto Memorial Gardens is set for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19.
Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg, and his wife, Wanda, will light the Children’s Garden Christmas, and Curt Campbell and his wife, Tamra, will light the Kids’ Walk.
A native of Orangeburg, Govan serves as the county attendance supervisor for all three Orangeburg Consolidated School Districts. He was first elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in November 1992, and currently serves on the House Education & Public Works Committee, State House Committee and House Rules Committee.
Wanda Govan is a career development facilitator at William J. Clark Middle School.
The Govans have four daughters and attend the Olive Grove Missionary Baptist Church, where they serve in ministerial positions.
Curt Campbell received the Main Street South Carolina Downtown Service Award for contributing to downtown revitalization efforts last year. His volunteer work extends beyond DORA to include active roles with the Orangeburg County Historical Society, Habitat for Humanity and Adopt-A-Highway, among other organizations. In 2009, he received the Austin Cunningham Award for community service from the Orangeburg County Community of Character, and he was named Orangeburg’s Citizen of the Year by the Kiwanis Club in 2010.
Tamra Campbell serves as a staff nurse in the same-day surgery unit at the Regional Medical Center.
The Campbells have a daughter and attend First Presbyterian Church.
Following the lighting ceremony, visitors can walk through the gardens and head to the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center, where they can enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and live music by the First Baptist Church Choir. The center will be open from 6 to 8 p.m., and the choir will perform from 6:30 to 7:30. While there, guests can check out and bid on entries in the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic’s Festival of Trees and Wreaths. Decorated wreaths, trees and baskets will be available by silent auction through 8 p.m. Nov. 19.
Riverside Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic at 5:30 p.m. Monday in preparation for the ceremony. It will reopen to one-way traffic at 8 p.m.
Traffic will be one-way on Riverside Drive through Edisto Memorial Gardens from Memorial Fountain on Russell Street toward the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center from 6 to 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 1. The Kids’ Walk is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.
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