COLUMBIA, S.C. — Thousands of families filled the State House grounds Sunday for the 56th annual Governor's Carolighting.
The event kicks off the holiday season with performances from schools around the state.
"Our daughter's singing in the Carolighting Choir from Lexington Elementary School," Derrick Dutton said.
"My husband’s active duty, so we don't get to have every holiday together, so this one's really nice," his wife Lisa Dutton added.
Among those to take the stage were performers with South Carolina State University, Morris College and Claflin University.
Miss South Carolina Jill Dudley also sang and even Santa stopped by to see the show.
"It's great," Sam Derrick, who attended, said. "We hadn't been able to get out for a couple of years because of COVID and (my wife) had some problems so we had to stay in, but now we're finally out. Finally had family over yesterday for the first time in two years."
The ceremony ended with the lighting of the state Christmas tree, a 35-foot tall Norway Spruce.
It was a highlight for the Rozier family and their little girl Carson.
"When the lights hit, we had a front row seat, so she was excited, she went, ‘yeah'," Mary Wiernicki-Rozier said. "Enjoy each other. Enjoy the time you have together."
"Enjoy being with your family," Travis Rozier added.
The State Christmas tree will be on view on Main Street through the holiday season.