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Christmas in July!

Christmas in July!

Wed, July 31, 2019 by Jon McGann, Public Exhibitions and Logistics Manager | in Botanical Gardens

The holiday season might still be five months away, but here at Brookgreen preparations for this year's Nights of a Thousand Candles (NOTC, as we call it) are just underway.  No, you won’t see any lights being wrapped around the trees just yet and you won’t see us putting out any candles yet either.  Actually, you won’t see us doing anything.  Every summer beginning in July we start getting ready for NOTC with a long list of behind the scenes projects.  These projects might not be the most exciting and might not garner the same attention as the brilliant display in Live Oak Allée or the 75 foot Chinese Fir or the thousands of candles we light every night, but they are necessary to start the process of preparing for Brookgreen's largest event of the year.

The list of items to be cleaned, painted, refurbished, repaired, and constructed is lengthy.  We begin by pulling items out of storage; taking inventory, accessing their condition, and seeing what needs spruced up. The summer months also gives us an opportunity to try out new ideas or NOTCR&D (Nights of a Thousand Candles Research and Development).  We always have a lot of ideas on how to change things, what to add, what to take away, how to do things differently.  Some ideas are very visual, some are procedural, but before we can apply it in the gardens it has to be tested and it usually goes through several variation before it makes the cut. . . if it makes the cut.

What are we working on?

Once an idea proves effective and is approved, the materials are acquired and the Public Exhibits crew begins putting it all together.  We have several new lighting ideas for this year's Nights of a Thousand Candles and with anything we do here at Brookgreen we don’t just make a few.  We make hundreds, if not thousands!  This month we have been constructing new strands of lights for a new take on an old favorite in the garden (that’s all I’m saying).  We are also developing new lighting techniques for the trees and sidewalks.  Of course, I’m not going to get that specific.  You’ll have to come and see for yourself.

To find out what we've been up to, make sure to get your tickets soon!

Nights of a Thousand Candles begins on Saturday November 30, 2019 with a special limited admission Preview event from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.  The following weekend the event continues for the month of December from 3:00 - 10:00 p.m. on the following dates: 12/5, 12/6, 12/7, 12/8,12/12, 12/13, 12/14, 12/15, 12/19, 12/20, 12/21.  We will ring in the New Year on 12/27, 12/28, 12/31 with a special candlelit garden stroll where visitors can view the millions of lights and thousands of candles one final time.  

Get your tickets here!


Open Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For their safety and the safety of our animal collection, pets are not allowed, nor can they be left in vehicles inside Brookgreen.
Service animals that have received special training to assist disabled persons are welcome. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.


Daily General Admission Tickets for 7 consecutive days
Children 3 and under
Children 4-12
Adults 13-64
Seniors 65 & Over


1931 Brookgreen Drive

Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island