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The 33rd annual Holiday Festival of Lights returns Friday to James Island County Park with 51 nights of fun for the whole family. The annual tradition will run every day from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. through Dec. 31, 2022.

“This event is a one-of-a-kind light show featuring over 700 light displays, almost all of which were built in our park by our talented staff – and there is something new every year,” said Sarah Reynolds, spokesman for the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

“These unique light displays range in theme from holiday characters to dinosaurs to iconic Lowcountry landmarks such as the Ravenel Bridge.”

This year’s festival will include more than 2 million glimmering lights on displays that stretch three miles. They can be viewed from the comfort of a vehicle.

But there’s a lot more fun for anyone who has been naughty or nice, Reynolds reminded.

“The beautiful light displays and festive atmosphere are sure to put anyone in the holiday spirit,” she added.

Train ride. Stop in parking lot A and enjoy a leisurely 12-minute train ride for a closer view of the lights. The train costs $3 per person and runs nightly from 6 p.m to 10 p.m.

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Santa’s Village. Guests can park their cars during the light show route to visit Santa’s Village where other attractions are available, including an old-fashioned carousel, marshmallow roasting areas, shops in the Winter Wonderland and a portable climbing wall. Children can build their own reindeer in the reindeer workshop and guests can admire giant holiday greeting cards created by local students for the festival’s annual art competition.

Shops. The Winter Wonderland will include an assortment of different shops offering items like festive gifts, ornaments, toys, personalized items, holiday decorations and stocking stuffers. Guests can also marvel at the holiday sand sculpture created from more than 50 tons of sand. 

Santa Claus. Jolly Old St. Nick will appear in Santa’s Village nightly from Nov. 21 to Dec. 23. Attendees can meet him for free, but photos can be purchased for an added fee.

Sweets. Head over to Santa’s Sweet Shoppe during the festival to warm up with hot chocolate or indulge in sweets like candy, hand-dipped ice cream and freshly baked treats.

Tickets are $20 per vehicle at the gate or $15 online. More in-demand nights — which were determined by the festival’s organizers to help manage wait times and traffic — will cost $30 per vehicle at the gate or $25 online.

“To provide our guests with quicker access into the park and less wait times for attractions, we’ve identified ‘peak’ nights and ‘regular’ nights at the Holiday Festival of Lights,” Reynolds said. “Regular nights tend to be our less busy evenings, so you will experience less wait time, and you will even save $10 on your vehicle admission.”

For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit ccprc.com.



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