Holiday Light Shows 2018: Southeast Region

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In the southeastern states, holiday lights spread seasonal cheer on the wind like the sweet scents and verdant growth that enlivens the senses in more temperate months. From Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to the Florida Everglades, and stretching westward to the Ozarks of Arkansas and the Louisiana Bayou, festive spirit here is mixed with a hearty dose of Southern hospitality—spanning both elegant refinement and folksy charm.

As mentioned in Part One of this series, the operating hours, dates, and admission costs for each venue vary widely and are subject to change, so please check event websites for specifics before planning a visit. As for cost, many of the venues have a primary goal of raising money for local charities. In such cases, consider the admission fee as a benevolent effort to spread some holiday cheer.

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Above photograph © Gregory Ballos, Lighting of the Square Bentonville, Arkansas

Virginia

There are abundant options for holiday light shows in the Old Dominion state. Outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs will appreciate the Christmas Lighting of the Tunnel display at Natural Tunnel State Park near the southwest Virginia town of Duffield (Friday and Saturday at 6:00 p.m., starting 11/23, then nightly, 12/17 - 12/22). Thousands of lights and animated displays entertain visitors descending into the tunnel by chairlift. Once inside, historic reenactors recount frontier stories from 1775, while a warm fire fills the air with the sounds and smells of the holidays.

For the less adventurous, those seeking an armchair viewing experience can pick from several holiday-themed laser light shows. Not far from our nation’s capital, the Magic of Christmas Laser Light Show at Fredericksburg’s Spotsylvania Towne Centre immerses you in lights with a festive touch (hourly shows 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12/7 - 12/23).

In the coastal city of Newport News, the Abbit Planetarium at the Virginia Living Museum features two holiday-themed laser light shows in a rotating schedule: The Laser Holidays show features laser lights synchronized to classic holiday tunes, from Burl Ives to James Galway to the Jackson 5, while Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star offers an immersive look at the journey of the Magi (most days, from 12:30 p.m., 11/21 - 12/31, closed 11/22, 12/24-25).

Nearby in Newport News Park, Virginia’s first drive-through lighting display, Celebration in Lights, thrills attendees with more than a million lights, 300 individual display pieces and 50+ arches. This year’s display includes a Gingerbread House, and features special-effects snow on certain nights (5:30 - 10:00 p.m. nightly, 11/22 - 1/1).

On the mainland side of the Hampton Roads peninsula, the Norfolk Botanical Garden offers two consecutive light shows to usher in the holiday season. Visitors can stroll through more than a mile of spectacular holiday lighting displays, during the Million Bulb Walk (4:00 - 9:00 p.m., 11/9 - 12/15).

The Gardens also hosts its 24th annual light show extravaganza, Dominion Garden of Lights (12/16 - 31). In this 2-mile drive-through experience, the Garden is transformed into a winter wonderland, featuring a million sparkling lights that bring the four seasons to life.

Mario Barkley

Photographer Mario Barkley highly recommends this event to holiday visitors to the Hampton Roads area. “Spectators travel across the gardens in their cars to view the wonderful decorations,” he says. Barkley captured the image above using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 17-40mm f/4L lens.

West Virginia

Holiday celebrations in the Mountain State range from the epic production of a grand resort to the homegrown efforts of dedicated volunteers bursting with community spirit.

In the Appalachian foothills, Oglebay Resort’s Winter Festival of Lights enlivens the northern city of Wheeling with what is arguably one of the nation’s largest holiday events, spanning 300 acres along a 6-mile drive (nightly, from dusk, 11/9 - 1/1). The festival’s 90 displays include a 300-foot-long rainbow tunnel, an animated snowflake, larger-than-life polyhedron star, and cartoon characters galore. Visitors can also stroll through the Bissonnette Gardens, where 150 hanging baskets shimmer overhead, accompanied by thousands of illuminated flowers and trees.

Southeast of Wheeling, the city of Fairmont welcomes the holidays with the drive-through Celebration of Lights (Friday - Sunday from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m., 11/23 – 12/28), an annual fundraiser for the United Way of Marion County. More than 420 holiday displays illuminate the 1.3-mile path through the city’s Morris Park, with special events such as the Market in the Park and a Reindeer Run 5K adding to the community spirit.

Along the state’s western border, the riverfront city of Parkersburg celebrates the season with Holiday in the Park (nightly, 11/17 - 12/31), a drive-through route linking City and Southwood Parks, and featuring more than 80 animated and still holiday light displays. Included among the decorations are three winning displays produced by community members, based on a competition for holiday-themed drawings by area school children.

At the state’s southern tip, the city of Bluefield hosts a Holiday of Lights drive-through (Sunday - Thursday 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., weekends until 10, 11/22 - 12/31), featuring more than 1.3 million lights that cover 40+ acres in the city’s Tony Lotito Park. Billed as the second-largest light show in the state, new pieces are added every year, and legacy lights get an updated look. Special events such as a 5K race, a walk through the park on select nights, bonfires, hayrides, and a trolley ride to visit Santa add to the fun for the whole family.

Steven Wayne Rotsch

In keeping with the state’s motto based in the great outdoors, Southwestern West Virginia’s Chief Logan State Park celebrates the holidays with the annual
Christmas in the Park light show (nightly, from dusk to 10:00 p.m., 11/23 - 12/31), showcasing more than 200 LED displays that wind through the park’s 2-mile drive.

West Virginia-based photojournalist Steven Wayne Rotsch captured the park’s festive ambience with a 35mm Nikon film camera, stabilized with a Manfrotto tripod and 3-Way Pan/Tilt head, using 100 ASA Fujifilm Velvia slide film, which he then digitized using a Nikon Super Coolscan. He estimates his exposure settings were around 1/15 second at f/8.

“The use of slide film was a great teacher for most photographers, because a 1/2 stop of exposure was about all the film would allow,” he notes. “So, you had to be dead-on or bracket the exposures, and bracketing ate up a roll of film quickly.”

Rotsch, who has served as the personal photographer for five West Virginia Governors, knows the state like the back of his hand. “I’ve had great access to the state's splendor since moving here in 1985,” he says.

Kentucky

There’s no horsing around with holiday lights in the Bluegrass State. The Southern Lights Holiday Festival brightens the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, with a driving tour of more than three miles along the Iron Works Parkway (nightly, from 5:30 – 10:00 p.m., 11/16 - 12/31). After viewing the lights, the park’s interior features a variety of added attractions, tempting every member of the family with treats such as local crafts, model trains and mini train rides, and even an exotic petting zoo (11/25 - 12/23 only).

In northern Kentucky, 16 miles southwest of Cincinnati, Ohio, the community of Burlington hosts the Light Up the Fair Holiday Light Show at the Boone County Fairgrounds, where attendees can drive through more than 500,000 lights synchronized to holiday tunes (nightly, beginning at 5:30 p.m., 11/9 - 1/5).

Along Kentucky’s eastern border, the city of Ashland hosts an annual Winter Wonderland Festival in Central Park (dusk to 10:00 p.m., Sunday - Thursday, 11pm on weekends, 11/12 - 1/1), featuring an extensive light display, a Christmas parade, and a beauty pageant.

And for a subterranean holiday treat, visit Louisville’s Mega Cavern and take in the world’s only fully underground drive-through holiday light show. Lights Under Louisville transforms a section of this former limestone quarry into an underground holiday light spectacular, where visitors can enjoy a 30-minute ride through part of the cavern’s 17 miles of underground passageways, featuring more than 3,000,000 points of light and 850 lit characters (weeknights, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m., weekends from 5:00 p.m., 11/16 - 12/31).

Jane Inman Stormer

“I visited Lights Under Louisville at the Louisville Mega Cavern as a fun office holiday outing,” says Jane Inman Stormer. “The lights are extensive, covering nostalgic holiday characters, and highlighting the new classics, as well. It is a great event for families, and the cave makes for a unique experience.”

Stormer captured the image above using her Canon EOS Rebel T3i with an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens. She notes, “Photographers should be prepared for a challenge due to low light, and since it is a drive-through show, the subjects are moving.”

Tennessee

While Tennessee is widely acclaimed for its musical finesse, its holiday light shows are no less spectacular. In the capital of Nashville, the elegant Holiday Lights at Cheekwood offers up seasonal merriment with a walking tour of the botanical gardens adorned by a million colorful lights (nightly, from 5:00 - 10:00 p.m., 11/23 - 12/30, closed 12/25).

32 miles east, the city of Lebanon hosts two drive-through light shows: the DIY quaintness of Chad's Winter Wonderland, a past participant in the Great Christmas Light Fight (nightly, from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m., 11/22 - 12/31), and the energetically choreographed Dancing Lights of Christmas at Jellystone Park, where 1.5 million lights are backed up by a Santa’s Village, complete with pony rides, a rock wall, spider jump, and more (weeknights, 5:00 - 10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. weekends, 11/26 - 12/31).

In southern Tennessee, where Chattanooga spills into Georgia’s Lookout Mountain, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights offers visitors a holiday lighting spectacular with four uniquely themed realms: The Magic Forest, Arctic Kingdom, North Pole Village, and Yule Town (nightly, until 9:00 p.m., 11/16 - 12/31).

In the Eastern Tennessee city of Sevierville, the 29th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest has the area decked out with more than 15 million lights over a 25-mile stretch (11/9 - 1/7).

Chad Branton

Photographer Chad Branton, who also serves as Art Director for the Sevierville, Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Chamber of Commerce, captured the excitement of enthusiastic visitors to Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium in nearby Kodak (6:00 – 10:00 p.m. nightly, until 1/6).

“The vehicle had almost come to a complete stop, making this image a lot easier for me to accomplish,” Branton says. “Capturing the reflections of the drive-through light show bouncing off the car's black paint was a huge bonus, but I had to be careful not to capture myself in the reflection too.”

This shot’s high production value was achieved by lighting the scene with an Interfit EX300 Flash Head and White Beauty Dish on an Impact Heavy-Duty Light Stand. With the lighting set, Branton secured his Canon 5D Mark II and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens on a Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum Tripod with 804 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head, adding a Canon Tripod Mount Ring to further stabilize the lens. With his ISO set to 3200, Branton racked his lens to 47mm and used a 1/8-second exposure time with the lens wide open. A -0.7 exposure bias also helped to control contrast.

“As if the giant animated light displays aren't enough fun, the little guy in the picture is wearing a set of Winterfest In 3D glasses,” he recounts, “which shifts every point of light into the shape of a snowflake!”

North Carolina

Now in its 27th season, Tanglewood's Festival of Lights transforms the rolling countryside of Clemmons, North Carolina into a winter wonderland of giant, twinkling snowflakes and other whimsical scenes (6:00 – 11:00 p.m. until 1/1, only 10:00 p.m. on 12/31). The 5-mile drive-through route contains more than 100 displays, comprising more than a million LED lights. Additionally, for a limited time, visitors can bask in the splendor of the lights while camping out at the Tanglewood RV Campground (through December 9).

Chris Whitted

Photographer Chris Whitted visits the Festival every Thanksgiving after dinner with his family. “My wife drives while I stick my camera through the sun roof, and I use the LCD screen to see my shots,” he says. “With traffic constantly moving, I find my favorite shots are long exposures of light tunnels. I don't use a tripod, so I have to hold the camera down against the roof as strong as I can and hope for the best.”

Whitted’s photo above is a 5-second exposure using a Canon EOS 7D Mk II with a Canon EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, wide open.

South Carolina

On the South Carolina coast, just outside Mrytle Beach, Brookgreen Gardens hosts Nights of a Thousand Candles, where visitors can stroll the grounds illuminated by the soft glow of more than 4,500 hand-lit candles, and 60,000 sparkling lights decorating the garden’s 80-foot fir tree (3:00 – 10:00 p.m., Thursday - Sunday, 12/6 - 12/22).

Van Sutherland

Photographer Van Sutherland says, “Brookgreen Gardens is an amazing locale for photography any time of the year, but this event offers something out of the ordinary. Numerous ponds and fountains are illuminated by candles floating in glass bowls, with lights strung though ancient live oaks.”

Sutherland captured the image above using an Olympus E-M1 and M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 lens. With his ISO set to 200 and his lens at f/8, he shot an 8-second exposure with the camera resting on a low wall enclosing the pond. He offers prospective visitors a valuable photo tip: “No tripods are allowed, although monopods are permitted, so photographers will need to be creative to capture the lighting.”

Further along the coastline, Charleston's Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park features a driving tour of more than 700 displays and 2 million lights. Alternatively, visitors can park the car and see the lights from the vantage point of a holiday train, ride a Victorian carousel, sample treats from Santa's Sweet Shoppe, or admire seasonally themed sand sculptures and gingerbread houses. (Sunday – Thursday, 5:30 - 10:00 p.m., weekends until 11:00 p.m., 11/10 to 1/1)

Joseph Nienstedt

“The James Island Festival of Lights is a Charleston tradition that gives you an excuse to listen to holiday music and indulge in some hot cocoa and s'mores, says local photographer Joseph W Nienstedt.

To capture this 1-second motion-blur shot, Nienstedt handheld a Nikon D90 and Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16 f/2.8 lens wide open, while riding as a passenger in a car. “I experimented with slow shutter speeds while in motion to capture the movement through the bright colors,” he adds.

Georgia

Festive light displays at private gardens are a much-loved holiday tradition in Georgia. From Fantasy in Lights at Pine Mountain’s Callaway Resort & Gardens (nightly, from 6:00 p.m., until 1/5), to the Lighting of the Ruins at the Barnsley Resort in Adairsville (select evenings, until 8:00 p.m., 11/22 - 1/1), and beyond, the holiday season is a great time to explore the region’s top lighting displays.

In the capital of the Peachtree state, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is transformed into a holiday fantasy land for the Garden Lights event (6:00 – 11:00 p.m. nightly, 11/17 - 1/6). Impressive light displays include the high-tech Nature's Wonders, where countless strands of dancing lights are strung high over the woodlands and synchronized to illuminate the setting’s natural flora.

Mark Chandler

Working on Vanguard Alta Pro carbon fiber tripod, photographer Mark Chandler captured the image above with his Canon EOS 7D and EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens. “Garden Lights is a wonderful annual event, and many photographers enjoy trying to capture the beauty and holiday spirit of the display,” he says. “The event is popular and tends to sell out, particularly on weekend nights, so those planning to attend this year should get their tickets early.”

Arkansas

Arkansas hosts an annual statewide event, where more than 60 communities offer light shows, parades, tree-lighting ceremonies, and other harbingers of the holiday season. Through the Trail of Holiday Lights, visitors can find a light display to brighten up their night in every region of the Natural State.

The options range from popular drive-throughs such as the Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends in Pine Bluff (6:00 – 9:00 p.m. nightly, until 12/31), and Sherwood's Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights (6:00 - 9:30 p.m. nightly, until 12/30), to the otherworldly lit walkways of Hot Springs’ Garvan Woodland Gardens (5:00 - 9:00 p.m. nightly, until 12/31, except 12/25) in the in the center of the state, to Blytheville’s Lights of the Delta (nightly, Sunday - Thursday, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. weekends, until 12/27) in the state’s northeast corner, which boasts more than 6 million lights, and 48 major motion displays across 40 acres of a former Air Force Base.

In the state’s northwest corner, the city of Bentonville ushers in the holiday season with the Lighting of the Square (5pm on 11/17), followed by a nightly display of Bentonville’s Trail of Holiday Lights (dusk to dawn through New Year’s Day).

Gregory Ballos

Photographer Gregory Ballos notes, “The strings of lights fill up the downtown square area, creating such a great sense of holiday cheer for the local community to experience.”

With his Nikon D800 and 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens topped by a Vello Freewave remote shutter release, Ballos secured his rig on a Benro Travel Angel tripod, and racked his lens wide to capture this overview of the square, with a 5-second exposure at f/6.3, and ISO 80, cropping the image to a dramatic panoramic format in post.

“Downtown Bentonville is truly a special place that pairs historic architecture and a sense of the good old days, with a fresh and new vibe that comes from the increasingly diverse demographic, and the growing art scene coming to the area,” Ballos remarks. “In my opinion, the Bentonville light show only enhances those very qualities during the Christmas season.”

Alabama

Thirty minutes southeast of Mobile, the Gulf Coast serves up southern hospitality with an elegant display of holiday lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s 22nd annual presentation of Magic Christmas in Lights (5:00 – 9:00 p.m. nightly, 11/23 - 12/31, closed 12/25).

Guests are invited for a 2-mile stroll through a dazzling display featuring more than 3 million lights set among the 65-acre Garden estate. The Bellingrath Home is also decorated in its holiday finery, with tours offered every half hour, and choral performances scheduled on the South Terrace many nights.

Chhorn & Beth Lim, CGI Photography

“My wife Beth had visited Bellingrath as a young child, but I had never been there before,” says photographer Chhorn Lim. “I admit being somewhat skeptical at first, but I was instantly blown away when we arrived. It's truly something you have to experience in person.”

Lim boosted his ISO to 3200 to handhold his Canon 5D Mark III and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Art lens. He exposed the image above for 1/200 of a second at f/1.4.

“The sheer number of lights, and the way they are organized, as well as realizing the amount of preparation that had to occur, was simply mind-blowing!” he exclaims.

Mississippi

The Magnolia state has you covered for the holidays, from Southern splendor to the old-fashioned appeal of large scale residential displays.

Just over the border from Memphis, Tennessee, the city of Southaven’s annual Southern Lights drive-through display anchors Mississippi’s northwestern corner with 500,000 twinkling lights amid the city’s 116-acre Central Park, featuring a melodious Christmas Tree Farm, synchronized to music by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (nightly, 11/22 - 12/30, closed 12/25).

Yet, the best-kept secret in the northern part of the state is located 80 miles southeast, at a family-operated 12-acre display known as Christmas in Cotton Plant, which is populated by hundreds of festive inflatables, and more than 700,000 lights (6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday, Saturday, from 11/23 - 12/15, and nightly, from 12/19 - 25, closed 12/24).

Another family-oriented drive-through brightens the city of Madison, 15 miles north of the capital of Jackson. The Richardson Light Show has expanded from a small residential display to encompass more than 100,000 LED lights, approximately 250 inflatables, hundreds of lighted wireframe characters, and a 23-foot animated tree, all synchronized to music broadcast over your car radio (5:30 – 9:00 p.m. weeknights, 11/23 – 12/27, 10:00 p.m. on weekends and 12/23-25).

Along the gulf coast, the city of Biloxi celebrates the holidays with Christmas at Beauvoir, the former home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. More than 100 trees are adorned with thousands of sparkling lights and festive decorations and, in the week before Christmas, visitors are invited on a festive garden stroll, complete with carolers, dancers, and a holiday reenactment (5:00 - 8:00 p.m., 12/19 - 22).

Further south, the city of Bay St Louis is transformed into a “magical coastal wonderland,” thanks to Snowflakes in the Bay,when century-old Live Oaks in the downtown depot district are decked out with large illuminated snowflakes, coinciding with a variety of holiday-themed activities, from tree-lightings, to concerts, to ice skating, and a parade (nightly, 11/22 - 12/31).

Jane Anne Sawyer

Yet the kudos for Mississippi’s most magical show goes to the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, which bathes this coastal city in the illumination of more than a million lights, while thrilling children of all ages with a 65-foot Ferris wheel, train and carriage rides, live entertainment and concessions in Gulfport’s Jones Park (5:30 - 10:30 p.m., nightly, 11/24 - 12/30).

Gulf Coast photographer Jane Anne Sawyer combined the festival’s colorful lights with the area’s coastal vibe, using a Benro Velocity Series 2 Aluminum Tripod with a IH1 Ball Head affixed to her Canon EOS Rebel T6i and Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 lens, set at 35mm. With her ISO at 100, she stopped her lens down to f/16 to add a starlight effect to the lighthouse and streetlights. To avoid camera shake during her 13-second exposure time, Sawyer used a Vello ShutterBoss II wired remote switch, and she tweaked the exposure in post, using Adobe Lightroom Classic.

“This winter festival of lights is put on every year by the city of Gulfport,” she says. “I love long-exposure photos, shot without a flash, and if you love night photography like I do, this is a blast to shoot.”

Louisiana

A zest of unique activities, sights, and sounds animate the Pelican state, including eight cities and towns that celebrate the season by collaborating on Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights.

In the northwestern Louisiana city of Shreveport, The American Rose Center hosts the whimsical walking event Christmas in Roseland (5:30 – 10:00 p.m., Friday - Sunday, 11/23 - 12/16, then nightly, until 12/23), featuring thousands of twinkling lights, dozens of lighted displays, nightly entertainment, rides on the Roseland Express train and more.

Thirty-two miles east of Shreveport, the city of Minden gives a nod to its German heritage with the Old-World Christmas Lights Spectacular, where the historic downtown is brought to life with hundreds of life-sized nutcrackers (nightly, from dusk, through New Year’s Day).

Farther east along I-20, in the community of Calhoun, the Hanson family hosts Candy Cane Lane, a drive-through holiday display featuring more than a million lights and interactive displays along a mile-long wooded road (6:00 – 10:00 p.m. nightly, 11/16 - 12/31).

Southeast of Shreveport, the city of Natchitoches transforms the Dark Woods haunted attraction into Christmas in the Park, a family-friendly walk-through display (select dates, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., 11/23 - 12/25), while the city’s 92nd Annual Christmas Festival invites visitors to be awed by 300,000 lights illuminating the downtown area, and 100 lighted set pieces along the Cane River.

The central Louisiana cities of Alexandria and Pineville ring in the season with sparkling lights, community parades, and performing arts, including a Holiday Light Safari at the Alexandria Zoo, with thousands of twinkling lights that transform the zoo into a winter wonderland (5:30 - 8:30 p.m., 12/7 - 8 and 14 – 23).

And, in the Big Easy, the famous oaks of New Orleans’s City Park are swathed in more than 500,000 twinkling lights for the magical winter spectacle, Celebration in the Oaks. Now in its 32nd year, breathtaking displays are scattered throughout the park’s 25 acres, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park (open Sunday – Thursday, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m., weekends, 5:00 – 11:00 p.m., 11/23 - 25, 11/30 - 12/23, 12/25 - 12/30, and January 1, 2019).

Monika Sapek

Bellevue, Washington-based photographer Monika Sapek visited Celebration in the Oaks with her family during a trip to New Orleans, in December 2016. “We chose to visit New Orleans mainly for good music and food,” she says. “However, after reading about the city attractions, I was delighted to find out that they have a holiday lights festival!”

For the image above, Sapek used a Manfrotto tripod equipped with an Acratech Ball Head and a Kirk camera plate and L-Bracket to secure her Nikon D7100 and Sigma 18-35mm lens, set at 35mm, for a 3-second exposure at f/2.5.

“The biggest challenge in photographing Christmas lights festivals is dealing with the crowds,” she opines.

Florida

Miami boasts the world’s largest holiday theme park at Santa’s Enchanted Forest (nightly, from 5:00 p.m. - midnight, peak nights until 1:30 a.m., 11/1 - 1/6/2019), and Daytona Beach welcomes the Magic of Lights holiday light spectacle to the Daytona International Speedway (Monday - Thursday 5:30 - 9:30 p.m., Friday - Sunday until 10:00 p.m., 11/16 - 12/31) but, as the oldest continuously settled city in the U.S, St. Augustine draws on the more civilized Spanish tradition of placing white candles in the window during the holidays. For the past 25 years, this ritual has reached new festive heights in Nights of Lights, where some three million points of light illuminate the 144-square-block historic district, featuring live music on weekends, several specialty tours to choose from and much, much more (nightly, 11/17 - 2/3/2019).

Justin Hankins

Photographer Justin Hankins explains, “Millions of twinkling lights illuminate the St. Augustine waterfront to promote a sense of warmth and hospitality.” The photo above was taken at the mouth of the city’s historic Bridge of Lions. Working with a Canon EOS 300D and an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens set at f/11, Hankins made a 5-second exposure shortly after sunset to preserve some of the deep blue of dusk, while also allowing the car headlights to contribute to the scene.

Click below to read the companion articles in this series, Holiday Light Shows Northeast, Holiday Light Shows Midwest, Holiday Light Shows Southwest, Holiday Light Shows Northwest and West Coast. 

Do you have a favorite Holiday Lighting event not mentioned above, or a cherished memory at one of these sites? Let your fellow readers about it in the Comments section, below!

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