- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin will kick off the holiday season with an annual tree-lighting ceremony at the Statehouse.

The 48th annual Governor’s Carolighting will start with music at 6:30 p.m. Monday on the north steps of the Statehouse. The free program begins at 7 p.m.

Haley and Benjamin will be joined by their families.

The event is sponsored by the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Columbia Garden Club and the Garden Club of South Carolina. WYFF-TV anchor Nigel Robertson will emcee.

Also on Monday, people will begin decorating the Governor’s Mansion for the annual Christmas open house. The governor plans to open her home to the public on Dec. 8.

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