Wednesday, December 14, 2016

James Island Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights

Nicolas heard about the Festival of Lights at James Island last year, and went with a few of his friends in Power School. 

Merry Christmas

This year, when he knew we were going to be here, he wanted us to see the show.  James Island County Park is just a short drive from Folly Beach, so it made sense to combine the two events into 1 big day of fun!

Yorktown in the background

Ft. Sumter










Although the distance between Folly Beach and James Island isn’t much, we were not the only ones on our way to the park, and we were in a LONG line of traffic as soon as we turned off Folly Beach Rd.


We drove the Jeep so we could put the top down for maximum viewing, and to counter the cold temperature, we stopped for cappuccino at the BP on the way to the park.

Snowman Family












Traffic came from 3 directions and met at the entrance to the park, where we all filed into two lanes of traffic that slowly made their way towards the rows of huts where Santa’s elves waited to collect $20 per vehicle.  They take in a LOT of money from this light show!

Old McDonald's Farm

We finally made our way past the payment booth, and filed into the two lanes of traffic moving along the 3-1/2 mile loop around the park.  Still lots of cars, but at least we were moving steadily . . . and spaced far enough apart most of the time to have a good view of the lights and get some good pictures.

Flamingoes at the campground

Camping Santa

We drove past the campground, where there were quite a few people camped . . . I think many of them are volunteers for the light show.  With just one road into and out of the park, I know I wouldn’t want to be camped here during this time of year!  On our way out at the end of the night, we saw a guy pulling a trailer trying to get into the park . . . and he was just sitting in traffic.  He couldn’t have been a happy camper!

Across from the campground, in the middle of the park, was Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Village.

Santa's Village

There were Gift Shops, photo ops with Santa, a train, food booths, fires for roasting marshmallows, and a walking trail through the lights.

Tree reflected in the water

We browsed through the Gift Shops, warmed up at the fire, and walked through Santa’s Village,

Lighted Tin Soldier

and along the lighted path through the woods.


Returning to the Winter Wonderland,

Christmas sand sculpture

we got back in the Jeep and continued around the loop.  Nicolas continued to enjoy the lights through the open roof, even though he was freezing out there!

Nicolas looking at the lights through the roof

We kept the heat cranked up and enjoyed the view!

Santa in Toyland












We passed through Candyland and Toyland,

Santa and Rudolph

Biker Santa











and soon reached the end of the loop.  We could have circled around and gone back through the show, but we had been there for a couple hours, so we were ready to go.


The line of traffic coming into the park was still just as long as when we had arrived, and the line getting out was just as long!

It was definitely worth it, though, and worth the $20 admission fee!  We had a lot of fun!

Happy New Year - part 1

part 2


  1. Looks like a fun night.
    When we were in Nashville, the Jellystone park we were staying in had something different. The lights were computer controlled and timed to music on a radio station. All Fun and Worth it.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Yep, I guessed that was where you were headed;-) That is an amazing display. If you are back in this area next year, check out the Night of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens. It would be a bit of a drive, but I know you would love it!!


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