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Charleston's Holiday Festival of Lights honored as Third Best Public Lights Display in the US
12/19/2014 10:06:49 AM

Charleston’s own Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park has been honored as third Best Public Lights Display in the United States by the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest! Chosen by readers of USA TODAY and a panel of experts, the Holiday Festival of Lights was in the running against 19 other public lights displays from throughout the country and came in at number three.

More than four million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) at the agency’s James Island County Park. In 2014, the festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The highlight of the event is a three-mile driving tour through over 750 light displays featuring an estimated two million lights. In addition, event-goers can park the car to experience unique gift shops, visits with Santa, marshmallow roasting, carousel rides and more. The Holiday Festival of Lights kicked off on Nov. 14 is open nightly through Jan. 1.

“As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Holiday Festival of Lights, we are thrilled and honored to be a winner in the Best Public Lights Display category,” said CCPRC Marketing Director Gina Ellis-Strother. “Visitors from all 50 states and beyond have made this festival a holiday tradition where the spirit of the season and lifelong memories have been captured.”

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest launched in November and continued for four weeks, with voting ending on Dec. 15. Rules allowed the public to vote online for one nominee per category, per day.

Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the website.

While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on - a standalone travel media site - it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA TODAY departments, and through Gannett media outlets, including the websites of its 81 local newspapers and 43 television stations.

“USA TODAY is thrilled to have this method of sharing what 10Best and USA TODAY readers and users love most,” said John Peters, president of USA TODAY Travel Media Group. “Our readers are well-informed, well-traveled and opinionated. A destination, organization or business which finds itself the recipient of a 10Best Readers’ Choice Award has really accomplished something.”

There is still time to make spirits bright at the 25th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights, open nightly through Jan. 1 at James Island County Park! For more information, including hours and fees, call 843-795-4386 or visit

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