McMasters open up governor’s mansion for visitors to enjoy holiday decorations

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The Columbia Garden Club has decorated the governor’s mansion for Christmas every year since 1981.

Monday night, Columbia residents came through the front doors as part of the open house event hosted by Governor Henry McMaster and his wife Peggy.

“There’ve been a lot of South Carolinians who have walked through these doors,” the governor said. “This was built in 1855.”

The mansion in Columbia’s Arsenal Hill neighborhood was open to the public tonight to show off the holiday decorations.

“We have a lot more work to do but it’s looking really good so welcome,” McMaster said.

“Not too much,” corrected his wife, Peggy.

Whether done decorating or not, the McMasters were happy to have South Carolinians in their home.

“This really is a great thing. We forget how much we want to be with people,” the governor said. “That’s something about humans. We like to be together. We missed a lot of that last year but we’re back now.”

Admission was free but guests were encouraged to bring canned goods to help Harvest Hope Food Bank.

“It’s important particularly around Christmas time. It’s important that we look out for those who need help,” Gov. McMaster said. “Charity is a part of being a South Carolinian and Christmas of course. We’re happy to participate.”

Guests enjoyed not only the decorations but also refreshments and Christmas carols sung by Simone Bryant of Benedict College.

“We like the people of the state to know this is a beautiful place. It belongs to them,” McMaster said. “We like visitors, ambassadors, people from other countries and schoolchildren in South Carolina to come here, have a good, happy feeling and be proud of their state.”

If you couldn’t make it out Monday, the mansion will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week and next for guided tours. Just like Monday, admission will be free but reservations will be required. 

Categories: Local News, Richland