COVID-19 is definitely not putting a damper on Brookgreen Gardens’ Nights of A Thousand Candles.
It’s changing things up a bit, but guests will have more than twice as many nights – instead of 11, there will be 24 - to enjoy the array of more than 2,000 candles each night, and more than 60,000 during the event.
In its 21st year, Nights of A Thousand Candles begins this year the day after Thanksgiving and goes through Dec. 31.
Members’ tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children; non-member tickets are $25 and $15 and will be available online at www.brookgreen.org.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and are non-refundable.
The event is 4-9 p.m. each night.
Dates are Friday, Nov. 27 – Sunday Nov. 29; Wednesday, Dec. 2 – Sunday, Dec. 6; Wednesday, Dec. 9 – Sunday, Dec. 13; Wednesday, Dec. 16- Sunday, Dec. 20; Saturday, Dec. 26-Thursday, Dec. 31.
Because of COVID-19, about half as many tickets will be sold for each night, and that’s to allow for social distancing.
“We want to make sure the same number of guests could have the opportunity to enjoy Nights of A Thousand Candles, and that’s why we’ve increased the number of nights,” said Lauren Joseph, Brookgreen’s director of marketing.
Lauren said families that brought their children to Night of A Thousand Candles 15 or 20 years ago are now coming back with those grown children and grandchildren.
“It’s such a wonderful tradition for families,” she said.
Nights of A Thousand Candles was named “Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina” by “Travel + Leisure” magazine, and was the winner of the 2018 Charles A. Bundy award for excellence in tourism from South Carolina Parks Recreation and Tourism.
Because of the coronavirus, guests are asked to wear masks when they’re in close proximity to other people, and to practice social distancing as well.
An exciting addition to the event this year is that concurrent with Nights of A Thousand Candles, British artist Bruce Munro’s The Field of Light will be on display in the Gardens’ arboretum.
The large-scale light-based exhibit slowly changes colors and creates a shimmering field of light.
Although the large tent where folks generally enjoy a meal will not be available this year – again because of COVID restrictions – nobody will go hungry.
Austin’s Garden Galley food truck and Let’s Ride BBQ food truck will both be on site, and Inlet Affairs will offer seafood specials in the Leonard Pavillion.
For a sit-down meal, reservations will ensure a place at Harvest Restaurant.
There will be nightly entertainment provided with various artists including the Beach Brass Quintet, the Paul Grimshaw Band and Painted Man included in the line-up.
“Our team that puts together all the exhibits is always looking for new things to do and new ways to delight and surprise people as they walk though the Gardens,” Joseph said about why this event has lasted more than two decades.
“And this year,” she added, “I really feel like everybody needs a pick-me up. We all just need to be in a safe placed, immersed in beauty, and that’s what we provide.”