James Island’s Holiday Festival of Lights

November 8, 2009 | 44 Comments

 

 

James Island hosts its Annual Holiday Festival of Lights every year. It’s an event you don’t want to miss if you’re in the Charleston area. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. 

WHERE: James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston

FROM MYRTLE BEACH: Take Highway 17 South toward Charleston, turn slight left onto US 17/US 701 S/ N. Fraser Street and continue to follow 17 south. When in Charleston, turn slight right onto Spring Street. Then turn left onto Lockwood Boulevard. Lockwood Boulevard becomes Lockwood Drive. Merge onto SC-30 W. James Island Expressway via the ramp on the left toward James Island/ Folly Beach. Take the SC-171/Folly Road exit, Exit 3, toward Folly Beach. Merge onto Folly Road/ SC-171 toward James Island/ Folly Beach. Turn right onto Camp Road. Turn slight right to stay on Camp Road. Turn right onto Riverland Drive.

FROM FLORENCE: Take I-95 South toward Savannah. Merge onto I-26 East toward Charleston. Merge onto US-17 South via exit 221A toward Savannah. Turn slight right onto Spring Street. Then turn left onto Lockwood Boulevard. Lockwood Boulevard becomes Lockwood Drive. Merge onto SC-30 W. James Island Expressway via the ramp on the left toward James Island/ Folly Beach. Take the SC-171/Folly Road exit, Exit 3, toward Folly Beach. Merge onto Folly Road/ SC-171 toward James Island/ Folly Beach. Turn right onto Camp Road. Turn slight right to stay on Camp Road. Turn right onto Riverland Drive.

WHAT YOU CAN DO THERE: Take the three mile drive through James Island County park and marvel at the millions of sparkling lights and hundreds of intricate light displays. Hop aboard the Festival Train, or stop with your family to roast marshmallows at one of several fire pits in the park. Treat yourself to some hot cocoa, sweets or cotton candy at Santa’s Sweet Shoppe. You can also have a look at the 50-ton holiday sand sculpture or stroll through an enchanted walking trail. You can also find unique, Lowcountry holiday ornaments and various ornaments and collectibles at Santa’s Attic and the Incredible Gift Shoppe. Children can have their photos taken with Santa, take a ride on the old-fashioned carousel, try out the portable climbing wall and enjoy tasty treats at Frosty’s.

HOURS: November 14th- January 4th; Sunday- Thursday, 5:30 – 10:00 p.m./Friday and Saturday, 5:30- 11:00 p.m.

FESTIVAL FEES: 1-15 guests- $10 per vehicle or 6 greenbax; 16-30 guests- $25 per vehicle; 31 or more guests- $100 per vehicle
* receive a $2 discount per vehicle Monday through Wednesday with a donation of a canned food item to benefit a local charity.

CONTACT INFO: (843) 795-4386 or (843) 795-7275; http://www.holidayfestivaloflights.com

The term “winter wonderland” may be a bit overused these days, but there’s really no other way to describe the Festival of Lights at James Island County Park.

From the moment you drive through the entrance, you’re surrounded by a sea of twinkling Christmas lights.

The feeling is almost magical as you drive through miles of displays- some stationary, some moving, but all of them, works of art.

After driving about half-way through the displays you come to Santa’s Village, a place with just about as many surprises as the road you traveled to get there.

Inside there are two gift shops, where the spirit of Christmas runs wild.

You’ll not only find some unusual, and sometimes amusing Christmas toys, but also lots of ornaments, many with a definite Charleston charm.

When you leave the gift shop, you can stop and take a picture in front of a beautifully decorated tree and then make your way to the sweets shop.

Inside, you’ll have a chance to stop for a cup of hot cocoa, marvel at the candy displays and even grab a couple of sweets to go.

There’s even a table set up to make your own holiday bear to accompany you for the rest of the journey.

Outside, you’ll find even more surprises, including a festival train ride, a chance to take your picture with Santa, and giant Christmas cards created by area students.

If that wasn’t enough, there are also several fire pits and stands set up where you can roast marshmallows and create your own s’mores.

Before you get back in your car, you can take a ride around the carousel or climb a rock wall.

To finish up the three-mile drive, you get to go through one fascinating display after another, all reminding you of the magical journey and the lasting memories that took place at James Island County Park.


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