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Brookgreen Gardens’ Nights of a Thousand Candles up for national honor

9 Nov

Brookgreen Gardens’ Nights of a Thousand Candles up for national honor

Brookgreen Gardens’ Nights of a Thousand Candles, long regarded as South Carolina’s premier Christmas attraction, has been nominated as one of 20 finalists for the USA Today/10 Best “Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights” contest.

The winner of the contest will be determined by an online vote that runs through noon on Dec. 6. People can vote daily by clicking here. The top 10 finishers will be announced Dec. 17 on 10Best.

Giant live oaks and more are wrapped in thousands of twinkling lights throughout Brookgreen Gardens during Nights of a Thousand Candles. (Photo courtesy of Brookgreen Gardens)

While the competition is strong, Nights of a Thousand Candles’ nomination is hardly a surprise. The event, open to the public for 20 nights in November, December and January, is one of the most popular events on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®. For those looking for things to do this holiday season in South Carolina, the Nights of a Thousand Candles event rings every holiday bell!

In the 10Best contest, Nights of a Thousand Candles is competing against holiday light shows from 17 different states, ranging from New York City to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

With holiday music playing and live performances nightly, Brookgreen comes to life under the glow of more than 2,800 hand-lit candles and countless twinkling lights throughout several acres. Guests enjoy a serene evening at one of America’s best public gardens while enjoying warm cider or hot cocoa and spending time with family and friends.

It’s not the first time Nights of a Thousand Candles has been in the running for the coveted award. In 2018, Murrells Inlet-based Brookgreen finished in 10th place. In 2019, Brookgreen broke the Top 5, finishing at No. 4.

“This year, we are hoping to get Brookgreen Gardens and Nights of a Thousand Candles to No. 1,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®. “It’s just not Christmas without a visit to Brookgreen Gardens and finding yourself immersed among thousands upon thousands twinkling lights. Locals and visitors to Georgetown County all love this annual event.”

Each year, it takes weeks — and a dedicated group of staff and volunteers — to make Brookgreen come alive with a dizzying display of lights. Read more about how it all happens by clicking here.

Local photographer Austin Bond snapped this beautiful shot of lit candles in floating orbs on the water during a previous Nights of a Thousands Candles. (Photo courtesy of Brookgreen Gardens)

Brookgreen’s nomination comes on the heels of another Hammock Coast 10Best contest. Historic Georgetown, one of the Hammock Coast’s most popular communities and South Carolina’s third-oldest town, finished second in the annual contest in 2021. Georgetown won the online contest in 2018.

Brookgreen Gardens is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. Founded in 1931 by Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer Huntington, Brookgreen is home to  the  largest  and  most  significant  collection  of  American  figurative  sculpture  in  the  country and is a leader in sculpture conservation, environmental conservation, and the protection of the plants, animals, and history of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Located between Charleston to the south and Myrtle Beach to the north, the Hammock Coast® features the best Palmetto State has to offer, providing vacationers stunning natural beauty and abundant eco-activities. The beach communities of Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, and southern Garden City and the historic towns of Georgetown and Andrews make up the Hammock Coast and collectively deliver an unforgettable vacation experience.

For more information on Georgetown and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, visit www.HammockCoastSC.com.

– By Chris King for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®

The stunning sculptures found throughout Brookgreen Gardens are highlighted even more spectacularly during Nights of a Thousand Candles. (Photo courtesy of Brookgreen Gardens)

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