Conway’s Celebration of Lights closes busy season after getting nearly 25,000 into the Christmas spirit

Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 10:06 AM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The City of Conway lit up the night sky for Santa Claus and his reindeer Friday night for the closing night of its Celebration of Lights.

The city estimates it had around 25,000 people drive through the light show this year since it opened Dec. 4.

Some people are ready to make it an annual tradition, so that number may keep up for Christmases to come.

“Might be a new tradition since we just moved here in July,” said Sheryll Redell, who went through the light show for the first time on Christmas Eve.

Redell and her mother, Deloris Burmaster, were among the first people in line to take in the Celebration of Lights on its closing night.

They used to always have plans on Christmas Eve - unwrapping the first round of presents.

But since moving from New Orleans to the Grand Strand, they’ve seen that tradition change a little bit.

“Since we moved here, the granddaughter wants everything to be open Christmas Day, not Christmas Eve,” said Burmaster. “So that’s why we’re out doing our thing Christmas Eve.”

They figured, if one tradition wasn’t going to be a thing anymore, it was time to start a new one.

The mother and daughter weren’t the only ones adding the Celebration of Lights to their holiday plans.

The City of Conway estimates with this year’s totals, it had around 100,000 people drive through the light show since opening it in 2016.

Normally, the city charges a dollar per vehicle, but with such a busy season in the books, the last night was totally free to take a drive-through.

Several of the light fixtures are exclusive to the Celebration of Lights and are designed to embody some of the city’s key attributes.

“We live in Conway, so we were like, ‘Let’s go see the light show,’” said Amber Boddie, who took her mother through the light show. “It was beautiful. We thought it was going to be small, but it was lengthy and had a lot of lights to see.”

The city doesn’t have an exact number on the number of lights, but a spokesperson says between the light show and all the lights downtown, it has close to a million.

It means there should be plenty to see again next year for Redell and her mom. That is if she can pry her mom away from the Hallmark movies long enough.

“She watches Hallmark 24/7, especially at Christmas time,” said Redell. “That’s her tradition. She loves the Hallmark Christmas movies.”

The City of Conway reinvests the proceeds from the Celebration of Lights back into the light show. It’s an effort to make it bigger and better every year, so all those people that celebrate this as a tradition will have something new to check out every Christmas.

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