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The original item was published from 1/7/2016 11:59:57 AM to 5/28/2016 12:00:06 AM.

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Charleston County Parks News

Posted on: January 7, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Holiday Festival of Lights honored as third best Holiday Festival in the US!

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[CHARLESTON] – The Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park was honored recently as third Best Holiday Festival in the United States by the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest! Chosen by readers of USA TODAY and a panel of experts, the Holiday Festival of Lights was in the running against 19 other holiday-themed festivals of all kinds from throughout the country.

More than four million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) at the agency’s James Island County Park. The highlight of the event is a three-mile driving tour through over 750 light displays featuring an estimated two million lights. In addition, event-goers can park the car to experience unique gift shops, visits with Santa, marshmallow roasting, carousel rides and more. The 26th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights ran from Nov. 13, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016. License plates from all 50 states as well as British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Guam passed through the park gates during its 52-night run in 2015.

“The Holiday Festival of Lights is all about uniting people to experience the beauty and wonder of the season and believe in all that is possible,” said CCPRC Marketing Director Gina Ellis-Strother. “We are very grateful to have been honored with the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award two years in a row, and we especially wish to thank all who voted for the festival; they help keep it an on-going family holiday tradition.”

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest for Best Holiday Festival launched in late November and continued for four weeks, with voting ending on Dec. 21. Rules allowed the public to vote online for one nominee per category, per day. The Holiday Festival of Lights ended in third place. The Riverside Festival of Lights in Riverside, Calif. won first place in the competition, and San Francisco’s Great Dickens Christmas Fair took second. The full list of winners is available at

In 2014, the Holiday Festival of Lights was awarded third Best Public Lights Display in the United States, also by the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest.

Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the website. While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on - a standalone travel media site - it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA TODAY departments, and through Gannett media outlets, including the websites of its 81 local newspapers and 43 television stations.

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