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Brookgreen Gardens’ Nights of a Thousand Candles Named one of America’s Best



Press Release

It’s been a shining example of holiday merriment for years, and now Brookgreen Gardens’ Nights of a Thousand Candles has officially been named one of America’s Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights events. Nights of a Thousand Candles, which comes to life under the glow of more than 2,800 hand-lit candles and countless twinkling lights throughout several acres, came in third in a national online contest by USA Today and 10Best.

Nights has long been regarded as South Carolina’s premier Christmas attraction. The public voted for several weeks on 20 nominees. Voting ended on Dec. 6, and the results announced Dec. 17.

While the competition was strong, Nights of a Thousand Candles’ finish in the Top 3 is hardly a surprise. The event, open to the public for 20 nights in November, December and January, is one of the most popular events on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®. For those looking for things to do during the holiday season in South Carolina, the Nights of a Thousand Candles event rings every holiday bell.

In the 10Best contest, Nights of a Thousand Candles competed against holiday light shows from 17 different states, ranging from New York City to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A Longwood Christmas in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, took 1st place, and Dominion Energy GardenFest of lights in Richmond, Virginia, took the second-place honor.

Nights of a Thousand Candles was featured on NBC’s Today Show earlier this month as one of the must-see holiday events in the USA.

With holiday music playing and live performances nightly, Brookgreen comes to life under the glow of more than 2,800 hand-lit candles and countless twinkling lights throughout several acres. Guests enjoy a serene evening at one of America’s best public gardens while enjoying warm cider or hot cocoa and spending time with family and friends.

It’s not the first time Nights of a Thousand Candles has been in the running for the coveted award. In 2018, Murrells Inlet-based Brookgreen finished in 10th place. In 2019, Brookgreen broke the Top 5, finishing at No. 4.

“I am so proud of our Nights of a Thousand Candles team for creating such a marvelous event, and so thankful for our members and fans voting for us in the Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights for 2021,” said Page Kiniry, President and CEO of Brookgreen Gardens. “We came in third behind two very large and well-known gardens and we are honored to share the accolades with them and the entire USA Today top 10 list.”

“We are all so thrilled that Brookgreen Gardens and Nights of a Thousand Candles placed in the Top 3,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®. “It’s just not Christmas without a visit to Brookgreen Gardens and finding yourself immersed among thousands upon thousands twinkling lights. Locals and visitors to Georgetown County all love this annual event, and now America has weighed in, as well.”

Each year, it takes months — and a dedicated group of staff and volunteers — to make Brookgreen come alive with a dizzying display of lights. Read more about how it all happens by clicking here.

Brookgreen’s nomination comes on the heels of another Hammock Coast 10Best contest. Historic Georgetown, one of the Hammock Coast’s most popular communities and South Carolina’s third-oldest town, finished second in the annual contest in 2021. Georgetown won the online contest in 2018.

Brookgreen Gardens is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. Founded in 1931 by Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer Huntington, Brookgreen is home to  the  largest  and  most  significant  collection  of  American  figurative  sculpture  in  the  country and is a leader in sculpture conservation, environmental conservation, and the protection of the plants, animals, and history of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Located between Charleston to the south and Myrtle Beach to the north, the Hammock Coast® features the best Palmetto State has to offer, providing vacationers stunning natural beauty and abundant eco-activities. The beach communities of Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, and southern Garden City and the historic towns of Georgetown and Andrews make up the Hammock Coast and collectively deliver an unforgettable vacation experience.

For more information on Georgetown and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, visit

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