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5 Nov 2019
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The weather’s getting cool-ish, just in time for the beloved annual event, the Holiday Festival of Lights! Officially we’re smack dab in autumn and swiftly cruising toward the holidays, which means the events calendar is filling up fast. As I covered in that last blog, the Coastal Carolina Fair is in full swing and continues through this coming Sunday, November 10th.  It’s wholesome fun for all ages, with plenty of live music, Midway rides, shows and competitions, and of course all that fried fair food. Then, next week marks the kickoff of a super-fun event sure to get the whole family in a festive mood.  

It’s the Holiday Festival of Lights, now in its 30th year!

  The Holiday Festival of Lights is an extravaganza of enchanted loveliness.  It’s been named one of the top ten light shows in America.  You and your whole group can drive through over two million lights decorating a winter wonderland within James Island County Park.  Along the way, listen to park information and holiday music on your radio at 1630 AM.  This year’s primary sponsors are Boeing and Chick-Fil-A. Opening night is next Friday, November 15th.  The festival happens every night, rain or shine, from then through the end of 2019  -  i.e., December 31st.  Hours are 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursdays, and 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The Holiday Festival of Lights is not just dazzling light displays that you drive through.  Once you park, you can also experience the following:

  • Visits with Santa;
  • A gigantic holiday-themed sand sculpture made with 50 tons of sand;
  • Rides on the Holiday Festival Train;
  • Victorian carousel;
  • Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and others perfect for holiday shopping;
  • The Dancing Trees, and interactive light displays;
  • Giant greeting cards;
  • Santa’s Sleigh for photo ops;
  • Enchanted Walking Trail;
  • Marshmallow Roasting, Santa’s Treats, Blitzen’s Burgers, and more;
  • Climbing Wall;
  • Special performances and musical events.


Then there’s the Fun Run & Walk

  They are actually having a pre-opening event, the Holiday Festival of Lights Fun Run &  Walk.  It’s a two-mile noncompetitive preview  -  a chance to see and make your way through the path of lights before they open for the season, while getting in some good exercise.  They even allow leashed dogs. The pre-festival run/walk used to take place the night before opening night, on Thursday.  It proved to be so popular that they added a second night, Wednesday.  So this year, the Fun Run & Walk will be Wednesday and Thursday, November 13-14th.  Its popularity only grows with each year, and alas both nights are already completely sold out. You still can see the festival itself, however, and you have a month and a half in which to do it. Here’s the official website with all the details.  The address of James Island County Park is 871 Riverland Drive in Charleston. You check out the Holiday Festival of Lights, a Christmas staple in these parts.  And be sure to call EP for the perfect luxury house on Isle of Palms, a great place to spend all or part of the holiday season. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger