Can you believe the Holiday Festival of Lights is almost ready to open? This year's festival will run from Friday, November 10th through Monday, January 1st, and will include an estimated two million lights over a three mile loop at the James Island County Park.
The festival's will kick-off its 28th season with a Grand Opening ceremony on the 10th. The event will include live entertainment from Lowcountry Powerbrass and the awards presentations for the Giant Greeting Card contest.
Besides the driving tour, this year's festival will also 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
- 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, including the Footlight Players performing an excerpt from “Annie”
- Winter Wonderland
- Sculpture constructed with 50 tons of sand
- Festival shops
- Festival train
- Santa’s Village
- Santa will be available for photos on select dates (starting the day before Thanksgiving)
- Make s’mores at the marshmallow roasting pits
- 4-by-8 holiday greeting card designs created by local students for the annual art competition
- Family entertainment on select nights - live music, storytelling, visits with Mrs. Claus, carolers, outdoor movies and more. See the full listing below and on the official website.
Want discounted admission? Visit on the evenings benefiting the Lowcountry Food Bank (every Monday through Thursday). If you bring a canned food item (dog and cat food also accepted) on these nights, you will receive discounted admission.
For more information, including event hours, fees, and the most up-to-date schedule, call 843-795-4386 or visit the official website.
This year's schedule:
Nov. 10: Grand Opening Night! Enjoy live music from Lowcountry Powerbrass (7-9 p.m.) and the awards presentation for the winners of the Giant Greeting Card contest.
Nov. 11: The Charleston Community Jazz Band, 7-9 p.m.
Nov. 13: First night to save $5 off admission when you bring a canned food item for donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank. Canned dog or cat food also accepted. Discount offered every Monday through Thursday, Nov. 13 through Dec. 28.
Nov. 16: Ask a Caw Caw Naturalist – Visit with a naturalist from Caw Caw Interpretive Center! Discover what animals do when temperatures drop. 6 p.m.
Nov. 17: Outdoor Movie Night - Bring a chair and a blanket and kick back to watch a family holiday film! Continuous shows starting at 6 p.m. in Santa’s Village. Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.
Nov. 18: Outdoor Movie Night - Continuous shows starting at 6 p.m. in Santa’s Village.
Nov. 22: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m. Lowcountry Power Brass performance, 7-9 p.m.
Nightly Nov. 22 - Dec. 23: Santa Claus is at the festival nightly in Santa’s Village! Families and dogs are invited for photos.
Nov. 25: The Footlight Players, performing an excerpt from Annie.
Nov. 26: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Nov. 29: Starlight Yoga - The moon and stars enhance this flowing yoga class. 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 30: Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.
Dec. 1: Storytelling with the South Carolina Stingrays, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m. Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.
Dec. 2: School of the Arts performance, 6 and 7 p.m.
Dec. 3: School of the Arts performance, 6 and 7 p.m.
Dec. 5: School of the Arts performance, 6 and 7 p.m.
Dec. 7: Visit with the South Carolina Aquarium, 6-8 p.m. Lowcountry Power Brass performance, 7- 9 p.m.
Dec. 8: Storytelling with the Charleston Animal Society, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 9: Holiday Carolers, 6–8 p.m.
Dec. 10: Juggling Elves, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 11: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 13: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 14: Lowcountry Power Brass performance, 7-9 p.m. Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.
Dec. 15: Storytelling with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit with the South Carolina Aquarium, 6-8 p.m. Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.
Dec. 16: Holiday Carolers, 6–8 p.m. Little Dickens Carolers, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: Walk Around Magic with Julie, 7-9 p.m.
Dec. 20: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.
Dec. 28: Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.
Dec. 29: Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.
Dec. 31: Balloon Artist, 6-9 p.m., and Fireworks at the Holiday Festival of Lights, 9 p.m.