by Robin Steinberger | November 9, 2016 5:17 pm
This is the 27th year of the Holiday Festival of Lights. Featuring an estimated two million shimmering lights, this popular holiday event is open nightly at James Island County Park Nov. 11, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017.
Visitors can drive through the park or ride a festival train to see the light displays. Then they can park the car for dining, attractions, and shopping. Dining is available at the concession stand and Santa’s Sweet Shoppe. In the Winter Wonderland, visitors can see a meticulously crafted sculpture constructed with 50 tons of sand. Festival shops have unique gifts such as official 14-kt gold on brass collector series ornaments, toys, personalized items, decorations and stocking stuffers.
In Santa’s Village, children can have photos taken with Santa on select dates, starting the day before Thanksgiving. There is also an 18-animal carousel, s’mores at the marshmallow roasting pits, and giant 4-by-8 holiday greeting card designs created by local students for the annual art competition. Families can also enjoy entertainment on select nights, including live music, storytelling, visits with Mrs. Claus, carolers, outdoor movies and more. See event listing below.
The newest light display is from the winner of the Light Display Design Contest. Katherine Leigh Jackson from Rollings Middle School of the Arts in Summerville submitted a drawing of a dog putting treats into a stocking. Katherine was inspired by her own dog, Wally the miniature red long-haired dachshund, and hopes that the display will encourage people to rescue and adopt pets.
Every Monday through Thursday are evenings benefitting the Lowcountry Food Bank. Bring a canned food item (dog and cat food also accepted) on these nights to receive discounted admission.
For more information on the Holiday Festival of Lights, including event hours and fees, call 843-795-4386 or visit http://CharlestonCountyParks.com.
Holiday Festival of Lights Special Events Calendar
Nov. 9 & 10: Get a Sneak Peek of the festival at the Fun Run! 6:30-8:30 p.m.; advance registration is required.
Nov. 11: Grand Opening Night! Enjoy live music from Lowcountry Powerbrass (7-9 p.m.) and the awards presentation for the winners of the Giant Greeting Card contest and the Light Display Design Contest. Plus, $5 discount admission offered to guests this day with a valid military ID in honor of Veterans Day.
Nov. 14: First night to save $5 off admission when you bring a canned food item for donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank. Canned dog or cat food also accepted. Discount offered every Monday through Thursday, Nov. 14 – Dec. 29.
Nov. 17: The Footlight Players, performing an excerpt from Nuncrackers, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18: Outdoor Movie Night – Bring a chair and a blanket and kick back to watch a family holiday film! Continuous shows starting at 6 p.m. in Santa’s Village.
Nov. 19: Outdoor Movie Night – Continuous shows starting at 6 p.m. in Santa’s Village.
Nov. 23: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m. Performance by Lowcountry Power Brass, 7 – 9 p.m.
Nightly Nov. 23 – Dec. 23: Santa Claus is at the festival nightly in Santa’s Village! Families and dogs are invited for photos.
Nov. 27: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Nov. 30: Starlight Yoga, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 1: Visit with South Carolina Aquarium, 6- 8 p.m. Performance by Lowcountry Power Brass, 7-9 p.m.
Dec. 2 & 4: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 3: First opportunity to Mingle with Kringle during the day! Sign up in advance by calling 843-795-4386 (pre-registration required).
Dec. 5: Performance by Charleston County School of the Arts, 6 & 7 p.m.
Dec. 6: Holiday Storytelling with Two Girls and a Guy from Mix 96, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7: Performance by Charleston County School of the Arts, 6 & 7 p.m.
Dec. 8: Visit with South Carolina Aquarium, 6- 8 p.m. Performance by Lowcountry Power Brass, 7 – 9 p.m.
Dec. 9: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m. Performance by Charleston County School of the Arts, 6 & 7 p.m.
Dec. 10: Holiday Carolers, 6 – 8 p.m. Stiltwalker, 6 – 9 p.m.
Dec. 12: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 13: Holiday Storytelling with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 14: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m. Performance by Charleston County School of the Arts, 6 & 7 p.m.
Dec. 15: Visit with South Carolina Aquarium, 6-8 p.m. Performance by Lowcountry Power Brass, 7-9 p.m.
Dec. 17: Holiday Carolers, 6 – 8 p.m. Magnolia Dance Academy performance, 7 p.m.
Dec. 18 & 19: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 20: Holiday Storytelling with Memminger Elementary School, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 22: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 31: Stiltwalker, 6-9 p.m. and Fireworks at the Holiday Festival of Lights, 9 p.m.
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