(Charleston, W. Va.) Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin highlighted the exciting weekend of holiday events in the City of Charleston – bringing families, residents, and visitors from across the region to the Capital City.  While thousands of people were kicking off Holly Jolly Brawley Friday evening, Salango Law Dirty Birds Light the Night was setting Ballpark attendance records at the same time.

“It has been beyond amazing to see so many people enjoying our city,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “We knew key investments in our city, such as reimagining City Center at Slack Plaza and turfing Go Mart Ballpark, would pay immediate returns to our residents, but I am not sure anyone could have predicted the number of people who visited our city this past weekend.”

“We know if we create exciting and vibrant events in our city, people will come,” Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin added. “We have proven it over and over again and when we have amazing people like Kevin Madison, Morgan Morrison, Andy Shea and our entire City of Charleston team willing to put in the work, we know it will pay dividends throughout our city.”

Over 23,000 people have already visited the Salango Law Dirty Birds Light the Night at GoMart Ballpark since the event opened on November 17. According to Andy Shea, owner of the Charleston Dirty Birds, Friday night set the first attendance record at GoMart Ballpark, only to be surpassed by Saturday night, making Light the Night the largest attended event in Ballpark history—with close to 6,500 people attending.

“Light the Night has been truly amazing. People from across the state and the country have already visited our event with universal excitement. Our staff dedicated a tremendous amount of time and resources toward making this happen and it is sincerely gratifying seeing so many people enjoy the ballpark during the winter months,” said Andy Shea, Owner of the Charleston Dirty Birds. “Thanks to Salango Law, the City of Charleston, the Charleston CVB, Go Mart and all our sponsors and partners for believing that we could create an experience like none other.”

Holly Jolly Brawley kicked off six weeks of Christmas trees and lights taking over downtown Charleston this weekend. An estimated weekend crowd of over 10,000 people attended the two-day event. City Center at Slack Plaza, Brawley Walkway and Lee Triangle are home to over 160 beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The kick-off event featured inflatables for kids, photos with Santa, face painting, live music and dozens of vendors.

“This event has surpassed everyone’s wildest dreams – not only with the number of people it brings downtown, but also the many businesses and organizations who committed their time to decorating trees,” said Kevin Madison, President of the Downtown Charleston Association. “Holly Jolly Brawley did exactly what we all hoped it would when we had the idea four years ago – brought people downtown, packed our local restaurants and shops and was a family event that everyone could enjoy. It was a festive way to kick off the holiday season.”

In addition to the kick-off of Holly Jolley Brawley, Friday night was the start of the City of Charleston’s first Private Outdoor Designated Area (PODA) – the City Center PODA. The Capital City Sip-N-Stroll was extremely popular for visitors to Holly Jolley Brawley, leading local bars, and restaurants to record breaking sales.

“We were so happy to see so many smiling faces, of all ages, out and about during Holly Jolly Brawley to view the beautiful trees and decorations downtown, said Lisa Godwin, Owner of Fife Street Brewing. “This no doubt helped Fife Street Brewing have a record sales weekend and I feel it was because of PODA and the advertising of Holly Jolly. At one point our GM John Query looked at me and said his cheeks were hurting from smiling so much. What a compliment to the City and foot traffic!! Thank you, Mayor Goodwin, Ben Mishoe, Charleston City Council and Kevin Madison and Morgan Morrison and to our Fife Street Employees.”

Folks could more easily attend multiple events this past weekend because of the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority’s (KRT) Holly Jolly Brawley Trolley. Close to 1,800 people rode back and forth between downtown and the Ballpark to enjoy both events on Friday and Saturday night. The Trolley will be open to riders 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm every Friday through Sunday (November 24 – December 31) and will make stops at City Center (Holly Jolly Brawley), Lee Street Triangle, GoMart Ballpark and Capitol Market.

“Through this partnership with the City of Charleston to provide free transportation for folks attending holiday events in our Capital City, we had an amazing weekend on our Trolley,” said Sean Hill, KRT Executive Director. “Anything we can do to promote public transportation while enhancing the experience for residents and visitors to Charleston is exactly the type of work KRT is here for. We are thrilled with this first weekend and cannot wait to get folks back on the Trolley for the rest of the holiday season.”

The holiday festivities continue in Charleston with both Holly Jolly Brawley and Salango Law Dirty Birds Light the Night remaining open until January 1. In addition, the Capitol Market will be kicking off their Holiday Village at Capitol Market on December 1 which will run on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the next three weekends.

Charleston’s Christmas Parade will take place December 7, 2023 starting at 7pm.