Holiday Festival of Lights offering new ways to visit with Santa

Santa at the Holiday Festival of Lights. Photo credit: Gary Coleman

Spending time with Santa is easier at this year’s Holiday Festival of Lights. The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) has launched a new virtual queueing app, and is also offering daytime appointments for visiting with Santa at James Island County Park.

A visit with Santa is at the top of the list for many visitors to the Holiday Festival of Lights. Santa will be at this year’s event from Nov. 27 through Dec. 23. In 2019, guests can use a new mobile app that will allow them to wait in a virtual line to see Santa. Called QLess, the app allows users to keep their place in a virtual line while doing other activities in the park. Guests can download the app and sign in upon their arrival to the park, or one of Santa’s elves at the stage can check them in. Families will be able to take advantage of all the event has to offer while waiting in the virtual queue, including driving through the light displays, touring gift shops, riding the festival train or carousel, roasting marshmallows and more. Then, guests will receive a notification on their cell phone when their time to see Santa is approaching.

Families can also take advantage of daytime visits with Santa on select Saturdays in December. The Mingle with Kringle opportunity features a private, extended visit with Santa in his sleigh during the day at James Island County Park. It also includes a professional photo package deal, USB thumb drive with photos, and a gift pass to return to the Holiday Festival of Lights on a night of the recipients’ choosing (one vehicle of up to 15 people), for a total package fee of $65. Mingle with Kringle is available via pre-registration only, and this opportunity is offered on Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Interested participants can sign up for their visit timeframe between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To make a reservation for Mingle with Kringle, visit

The 30th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights runs from Nov. 15 – Dec. 31, 2019. More than four million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by CCPRC at the agency’s James Island County Park. The event is presented by The Boeing Company and Chick-fil-A.

To make your reservation for Mingle with Kringle or to get more information about the Holiday Festival of Lights, call 843-795-4386 or visit

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