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Brookgreen Gardens preparing for annual Nights of a Thousand Candles

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:51 PM EST
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - One of the Grand Strand’s most popular holiday events is getting set to make a big return.

Staff and volunteers at Brookgreen Gardens will preview the annual Nights of a Thousand Candles on Saturday.

This event is becoming a holiday tradition for locals and visitors alike, even drawing in people from overseas.

Starting just after Thanksgiving, 2,800 lights will glow all around and light up the gardens - creating a display that keeps people like garden member Patrick Keaveny coming back every year.

Brookgreen Gardens is getting ready for their annual Nights of a Thousand Candles event.
Brookgreen Gardens is getting ready for their annual Nights of a Thousand Candles event.(wmbf)

“It’s a common feeling, everybody has memories of something like this when they were a kid, or last year, who knows what, but it’s something that people can relate to,” said Keaveny.

Each handle is real, and is lit by volunteers every night during the event at around dusk. They also turn on twinkling lights that are wrapped around trees and other parts of the garden.

While it only lasts a few weeks, preparations for the Nights of a Thousand Candles is a much longer process. In fact, setup begins as early as just after Labor Day, according to Brookgreen Gardens Marketing Director Lauren Joseph.

“We come together as a team and everyone’s working together as a team and it feels like a family to us more, and we love that it feels like a family with those that come back every year,” said Joseph.

Jon McGann and his team design and install each display, trying to use the gardens as a canvas to highlight the beauty of trees, flowers and fountains.

“It’s very special, it’s an honor to be given the responsibility to design this and put this on and install it and lead the efforts for Nights of a Thousand Candles,” he said.

This is the gardens’ biggest fundraising event of the year, having now grown to the point where the event includes food trucks, live entertainment and a tree lighting.

Not to mention that the Nights of a Thousand Candles is now open longer than in years past.

“We’re going to be here, we’ve been here a long time and we just continue to grow, and we just love people coming and enjoying the first part of Christmas,” said garden volunteer Jean McElroy.

Nights of a Thousand Candles officially kicks off on Nov. 26 and will run through Jan. 2, 2022. The gardens will be open from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. each night throughout the duration of the event.

Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

Click here for more information.

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