In Scotland County, holiday events take center stage as downtown Laurinburg turns into a scene from a Hallmark movie. Volunteers dressed as elves decorate 100 Christmas trees placed throughout downtown,
In Scotland County, holiday events take center stage as downtown Laurinburg turns into a scene from a Hallmark movie. Volunteers dressed as elves decorate 100 Christmas trees placed throughout downtown, storefronts sparkle with lights, windows display seasonal scenes, and a robust calendar of festivities — from a Christmas tree lighting and parade with dancing Santas to a singing Christmas tree — encourage visitors and locals alike to celebrate the season.
“Each year, it gets bigger and bigger,” says Terry Parker, director of ’Tis the Season Laurinburg, the nonprofit organization behind the Christmas festivities. “On Friday and Saturday nights, traffic is backed up on Main Street because people are looking at the lights and storefront windows.”
It all kicked off in mid-November with Christmas on Main, an afternoon filled with Christmas music, food, arts and crafts vendors, downtown shops stocked with gifts, and an ice-skating rink open through New Year’s Day. But that’s just the beginning — discover three other merry ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Scotland County.
Scotland County provides events and festivals year-round. A mixture of cultural, community and history, many of these events take place in our historic downtown and at local venues. Come to Laurinburg, enjoy our festivals, and become part of our community!
Pose with the penguins: This holiday season, forget Rudolph: A cute colony of four-foot-tall (wooden) penguins will be calling Laurinburg home. Volunteers are transforming a lot on the corner of Main and Church streets downtown into a scene straight from the North Pole — stop and pose for a selfie with Santa’s sweet helpers, and just try not to grin.
“Penguins make people smile,” says ’Tis the Season volunteer Jeannie Pope.
Go walking in a winter wonderland: This season, the Laurinburg Winter Land Walk is back. Vignettes set up throughout the ’Tis the Season nonprofit Christmas store in downtown Laurinburg will feature different winter and holiday scenes from Candy Cane Lane. From colorful, oversized confections to a snow-covered forest of animatronic animals, multiple backdrops provide photo opportunities — and enthrall kids.
Light up the night: In past years, Laurinburg locals often traveled to bigger cities across the state to see Christmas lights — until ’Tis the Season and the Laurinburg Chamber of Commerce teamed up to host the Great Christmas Light Contest, a judged competition which features dozens of homes and neighborhoods decked out in sparkling lights. Now, entries are highlighted on a map, which can be found online, creating a spectacular light drive that locals — and now visitors — love all December long. Fill a travel mug with hot cocoa, turn up the Christmas tunes, and make the most of the holiday magic.
Be sure to check ’Tis the Season’s Facebook page as they continue to add events.
Be sure to come hungry to the Suds and Swine festival in downtown Laurinburg — you’ll be glad you did. This festival held by the Scotland County TDA, Rotary Club of Laurinburg, Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Laurinburg will feature 25 professional and 15-plus amateur teams of pitmasters as they test their skills on the smoker. “They’re called professional cook teams, and there’s a reason” says Shan Mize, one of the festival organizers and Vice President of the Rotary Club of Laurinburg. “They put a lot of time and effort into their craft.” Festivalgoers can reap the benefits of the competition and purchase barbecue made on-site. Aside from an abundance of food, the event will also serve a variety of craft beer (along with an amateur “garage” brewers’ competition on Friday night), host live music on both days, and have a play area set up for little ones throughout the festival. Proceeds from this event will support the Rotary Club of Laurinburg and their charities, including an exchange program where Scotland High School welcomes students from Laurinburg’s sister city, Oban, Scotland.