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



The Holiday Festival of Lights returns to James Island County Park in November for its 29th year. The annual light show is one of Charleston’s most beloved holiday events and features an estimated two million shimmering lights.

The Holiday Festival of Lights is open every evening, rain or shine, from November 9th, 2018 to January 1st, 2019. The festival opens at 5:30 pm nightly and closes at 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11 pm Friday and Saturday.

The event 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 their car and explore the family attractions, shopping, dining and more:

  • Festival Train Rides
  • Interactive Lakeside Lights
  • Dancing Light Display
  • Enchanted Walking Trail
  • Climbing Wall
  • Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and concessions including hamburgers, kettle corn, hot chocolate, and more
  • Four Gift Shops including Prancer’s Presents, the children’s toy emporium
  • Daytime photo opportunities to “Mingle with Kringle” (advanced registration required)
  • Entertainment on select evenings
    • Live music, storytelling, visits with Mrs. Claus, carolers, outdoor movies, and more
  • Santa’s Village
    • Old St. Nick is available for photos on select dates (starting the day before Thanksgiving)
    • Old-Fashioned Carousel
    • Make s’mores at the marshmallow roasting pits
    • Giant 4-by-8 holiday greeting card designs created by local students for the annual holiday art competition

In the park’s Winter Wonderland, guests can see the Lowcountry’s largest holiday sand sculpture, holding more than 50 tons of sand. Plus, they can peruse festival shops for fun gifts, official 14-kt gold on brass collector series ornaments, toys, personalized items, decorations, and stocking stuffers.

Looking for a way to save money during the holidays? Attend the Holiday Festival of Lights every Monday through Thursday for evening’s benefitting the Lowcountry Food Bank. 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

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