ATHENS, Ga. — The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm (CGBG) is getting ready for Santa’s arrival in Savannah, Georgia, with their December Nights and Holiday Lights events beginning Nov. 20.
A unit of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and managed by UGA Extension, CGBG is one of Savannah’s top attractions with more than 100,000 annual visitors from all over the country.
Every fall, CGBG goes through what staff describe as a “magical metamorphosis,” and this year, CGBG is kicking off the annual events with a one-night-only Holiday Lights Launch Festival on Nov. 20.
“The Launch Festival is a family-friendly evening that will kick off the holiday lights season. It is an opportunity to explore the Holiday Lights magic as a walk-through experience,” said Anne Clayton, business manager at the gardens. Tickets must be pre-purchased and are available now at coastalbg.uga.edu.
In addition to thousands of sparkling lights, the kickoff event will feature more than 20 local artisans and vendors selling their creations in the Merry Market as well as live performances by local musician Chuck Courtenay. Make sure to bring your kids, as there will be complimentary arts and crafts sections, s’mores stations and visits with Santa Claus. Food trucks will be available on-site during the event.
The party doesn’t stop there. Beginning Nov. 26, CGBG will host the annual Holiday Lights drive-through where “visitors can experience December Nights and Holiday Lights from the comfort of their car,” says Clayton. “With seven themed displays, there is something for everyone. Admission is charged per vehicle, so we encourage guests to pack the car,” she continued. And don’t forget to bring your letters to Santa, as there will be special mailbox set up to gather letters during regular garden business hours or during the Holiday Lights drive-through.
The drive-through event will be held on select dates in November and December, and tickets can be purchased upon entry or pre-purchased in the CGBG gift shop during visiting hours. Pre-purchased tickets are good for any regular admission night.
The proceeds from the events are used to fund garden operations.
“This event is entirely planned, designed and assembled by the staff and volunteers of the Coastal Gardens,” said Clayton. “December Nights and Holiday Lights is the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens’ largest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds of this event help pay salaries, buy plants and trees, and contribute to the general maintenance of our grounds and facilities.”
For more information on dates, tickets and more, visit coastalbg.uga.edu.
–Leslie Matos, University of Georgia