Originally published in Bluffton Today newspaper. To view the original article, click here.
More than 100 people gathered the day after Thanksgiving to witness Burnt Church Distillery’s first “barrel tree” lighting.
A 9-foot Christmas tree made of barrels was lit up with more than 1,000 lights. The event featured steel drum music from the band Pantasia and food and drinks from the distillery.
The distillery also held a raffle for a chance to win a barrel, with proceeds going to the Vantage Point Foundation, along with a portion of food and beverage sales. General manager Chris Crowe said $400 was raised by the raffle.
“One of the goals of the distillery, when it opened, was to engage with the community. We wanted to identify and partner with local organizations who help the community. Vantage Point happened to be our community partner for December,” Crowe said.
The Vantage Point Foundation is a nonprofit that helps veterans and their families in South Carolina transition to civilian lives.
Crowe said Burnt Church Distillery is also participating in the Watterson Means Good program, a food drive with Pizza Co., Side Hustle Beer Company and Benjamin’s Southern Fried Pies.
People can donate nonperishable foods to these establishments that will be distributed to those in need in the community. Participants will receive a coupon for their donation from the business they donate to. The food drive began Nov. 15 and will end Dec. 31.
Burnt Church Distillery was also set to hold an after-party Dec. 4 after the town of Bluffton’s Christmas parade.
This is the first year the distillery has held a barrel tree lighting and Crowe said they intend to make it an annual event. He said the barrel tree will be on display until Jan. 2.
“I think what I liked the best about it was seeing people posing for photographs in front of the tree, seeing people pose together and being able to see the community come together for the kickoff of the season,” Crowe said.