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Columbia unveils official city ornament showcasing SC history for 2021 holiday season

·1 min read

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin on Monday unveiled the official city ornament for the 2021 holiday season.

Each year, the city and the Babcock Center unveil a holiday ornament. This year’s decoration depicts The Big Apple.

The building known as The Big Apple, now located at 1000 Hampton St. in downtown Columbia, was originally built on Park Street in the early 20th century as a synagogue, per Historic Columbia. It was sold in 1936, and was operated as an African American nightclub, where youth created a dance called the “Big Apple.”

“White University of South Carolina students who observed the dance as spectators from the second-story balcony garnered fame after co-opting the style and touring it at Roxy Theaters across the country, and by 1938 it was a national craze,” Historic Columbia’s website notes.

The building was moved to its current spot on Hampton Street in 1984. Today it is operated as an event venue.

All proceeds from sales of the ornament benefit the Babcock Center Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with lifelong disabilities in Richland and Lexington counties, per a release from the city.

Ornaments are $18 and can be purchased at the Babcock Center Foundation Office at 2725 Banny Jones Ave., West Columbia and the Columbia Visitor’s Center. Ornaments can be ordered by phone by calling the Babcock Center Foundation at 803-799-1970 or ordered online at

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