COLUMBIA - Those looking to get a head start on their holiday shopping were able to pre-shop the King's Daughters Holiday Festival merchandise at the "Give a Child a Smile" event on Friday. Merchandise booths filled the Holiday Inn Expo Center with merchandise ranging from purses, to jewelry to specialty food items.
Tickets to pre-shop the event were $30 per person, or $50 a couple, which covered the early admission and hors d'oeuvres, with the money from ticket sales going toward the King's Daughters charities.
For many festival merchants, the festival marks the kick-off of their holiday sales.
"We've been in it since the beginning. It's always a good time," Ashley Anstaett of Makes Scents said. The Columbia bath and body shop has hosted a booth at the festival since it was held in the West Junior High School gymnasium nearly 20 years ago.
For customer Susan Gilpin, the festival is a good way to jumpstart her holiday shopping and avoid some of the holiday madness. "I try to get a lot of my holiday shopping done here, but sometimes I end up shopping for myself," Gilpin said.
Aside from shopping the merchandise booths, event-goers could participate in a silent auction as well as enter multiple raffles.
For those who missed out on the pre-shopping event, the holiday festival will open to the public this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $3 in advance or $6 at the door.