Brookgreen ready to light up the Nights

Chris Sokoloski/Times A lighted statue of a deer watches preparations for a display inside one of Brookgreen Gardens’ galleries. Volunteers were placing strings of lights on the ground and in the trees outside the gallery last week.

Eleven months of planning and preparation is coming to a close as Brookgreen Gardens prepares to host Nights of a Thousand Candles.

The annual event, which draws thousands of visitors every year, has grown so steadily in the past decade that it was expanded to nine nights over three weekends, Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21.

The event begins each night at 3 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Visitors who want to see the thousands of candles being lit should arrive between 4 and 5 p.m.

This year’s entertainment includes: music from Lissakeole, Paul Grimshaw Band, Barbara Bailey Hutchinson, Peggy Leonard, Thistledown Tinkers, and Miller-Rowe Consort; and performances by Bill Oberst Jr. and Ron Daise.

This year’s two indoor gallery exhibits are “Batteries Not Included: Christmas Trees, trains and Toys,” and “Signs of the Season in Flora and Fauna.”

An addition to this year’s event is a smartphone photo contest. E-mail photos to with name, address and telephone number. Only one entry per person will be accepted.

Brookgreen staff will choose their favorites and post a gallery on Facebook. The person whose photo gets the most “likes” will win a Brookgreen family membership.

Go to for official rules.

Tickets to Nights of a Thousand Candles are $10 for members and $14 for non-members in November, and $12 for members and $16 for non-members in December. Tickets do not have a specific date on them so they can be used on any of the nine nights.

Brookgreen is also hosting a New Year’s Eve event. Guests can listen to music and stroll through the sculpture garden from 6-9 p.m. on Dec. 31. Advance tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Last year’s New year’s Eve event sold out.

To purchase tickets for Nights of a Thousand Candles or the New Year’s Eve event, or to see an entertainment schedule for Nights, go to