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The original item was published from 10/9/2018 3:47:22 PM to 1/2/2019 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

Charleston County Parks News

Posted on: November 2, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Holiday Festival of Lights open nightly Nov. 9 through Jan. 1!

santa paws

Merry Magical Memories: The 29th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights opens Nov. 9 at James Island County Park


[CHARLESTON, SC] – The Holiday Festival of Lights returns to James Island County Park in November for its 29th year! This spectacular light show is one of Charleston’s most beloved holiday events, featuring an estimated two million shimmering lights.

The Holiday Festival of Lights is open every evening, rain or shine, from Nov. 9, 2018 – Jan. 1, 2019. The festival opens at 5:30 p.m. nightly and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Over four million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission at James Island County Park. CCPRC is excited to welcome a new co-presenting sponsor to the 2018 Holiday Festival of Lights, Chick-fil-A!

The festival has earned many awards and mentions throughout the country, including recently being named to the 2018 Top 20 Events by the Southeast Tourism Society.

The Holiday Festival of Lights’ main attraction is the three-mile driving tour through a spectacular light display. However, there is so much more to offer to get guests of all ages into the Christmas spirit! Visitors are encouraged to park the car and explore the family attractions, shopping, dining and more! Highlights of the festival include:


  • Marshmallow Roasting
  • Festival Train Rides
  • Interactive Lakeside Lights
  • The Amazing Dancing Light Display
  • Enchanted Walking Trail
  • Old-Fashioned Carousel
  • Portable Climbing Wall
  • Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and concessions including hamburgers, kettle corn, hot chocolate and more
  • Four Gift Shops, featuring the children’s toy emporium Prancer’s Presents
  • Daytime photo opportunities to “Mingle with Kringle” (register in advance)
  • Entertainment on select evenings


In Winter Wonderland, see the Lowcountry’s largest holiday sand sculpture, holding more than 50 tons of sand. Wander through festival shops for fun gifts, official 14-kt gold on brass collector series ornaments, toys, personalized items, decorations and stocking stuffers. Be sure to take a ride on the train for an intimate tour of the festival, and to see even more light displays.

Visit Santa’s Village, where old St. Nick is available for photos on select dates, starting the day before Thanksgiving. Take a whirl on the traditional 18-animal carousel, make s’mores at the marshmallow  roasting pits, and marvel at the giant 4-by-8 holiday greeting card designs created by local students for the annual holiday art competition. Enjoy entertainment on select nights, including live music, storytelling, visits with Mrs. Claus, carolers, outdoor movies and more.

Looking for a way to save money during the holidays? Join us at the Holiday Festival of Lights on select evenings dedicated to benefitting the Lowcountry Food Bank – every Monday through Thursday! Bring a canned food item on these nights to receive discounted admission. Dog and cat food donations are also accepted.

For more information on the Holiday Festival of Lights, including event hours and fees, call 843-795-4386 or visit This event is co-presented by The Boeing Company, Chick-fil-A, your Charleston County Parks and many supporting sponsors!

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