Subscribe for 17¢ / day

The air is starting to chill and nights in Orangeburg are becoming a little more magical with the twinkling of lights. Christmas is on its way.

The big day inched a little closer Sunday afternoon as hundreds of families filled Russell Street’s sidewalks for the 2017 Orangeburg County Christmas Parade.

Keneisha Lawton has three little ones that she is excited to celebrate with.

“We get to be with family, friends, eat good food, listen to the good Christmas music,” Lawton said.

She said they will visit the lights in the Edisto Memorial Gardens as they do every year with their family.

Her daughters Kemyra and Kayla Lawton are excited about the presents from Santa.

“Santa always gives us toys!” Kemyra said. She’s also happy that her family gets to celebrate together.

Her sister Kayla, who’s going to be happy to be out of school, said they want Baby Alive toys.

Grandmother Ella Lawton said she is happy that she will be able to “enjoy the grandkids and have time off of work.”

Brothers Jhamari Harris, 11, and Mark Harris, 10, said their favorite part of this season is giving back, being with family and eating.

On Christmas morning, Mark said he loves the feeling of “opening presents and not knowing what it is inside them.”

“I want Michael Jordan shoes and an iPad!” he said with a grin to his mom.

Jhamaris said, “I want an iPhone 6, a hover board and some Jordans!”

“I am excited about my kids, giving them presents and just being a blessing,” their mother Sandra Harris said, trying not to spoil any surprises.

She said most of all, she enjoys the feeling during the Christmas season and being able to be with family.

Javonna Lewis said her favorite part of the holiday season is “the joy, of course Jesus Christ’s birth, family and love.”

Her daughter, Eiliyah Lewis, a pre-kindergartener, said she really hopes Santa brings her “a Barbie doll, a Barbie camper and Barbies!”

Madison Ryant said, “I’m happy because you get to celebrate!”

“Everybody comes together and celebrates and you’re all together,” she said.

Her father, Kelvin Ryant, said he just hopes “that everyone remembers the reason for the season, Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.”

Echoing those sentiments was Lavern Harrison, who said, “It’s one of the best holidays of the season, which represents Jesus Christ.”

Cassidy Harrison, 4, is excited for the toys, fun and being out of school.

Tiffany Brooks said, “I like to celebrate Jesus.”

Brooks said her favorite part during this time of year is that family bonds seem to get stronger.

“We always are close but we get closer,” she said.

Her son Zion Brooks said he doesn’t know why, but he just loves Christmas.

For Christmas, Zion said “me and my cousin want skateboards!”

Keyonna Rowe, a fourth-grade student at Felton Laboratory School, said she wants an American girl doll because “I can do their hair.”

She is glad for family and time off from school.

Her mother, Charlene Coppage, said, “It’s the time when my family and everybody gets together and celebrates.”

With two children and birthdays that fall around this time of year, she said the holidays get busy for her family.

This year’s parade was hosted by the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Jimmy Jones Toyota of Orangeburg.

The parade’s grand marshals were the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities linemen.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5516.


Government Reporter

John Mack is a 2016 graduate of Claflin University. He is an Orangeburg native.

Load comments