Large crowds expected at Festival of Lights Christmas day

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The Mills family enjoyed the Festival of Lights even more this Christmas Eve. They were the first in line.

"The first time we came we got stuck in it, so we make sure we never do that again," says Mt. Pleasant resident Kirk Mills.

"We didn't want to get here as early as my father did, and when we found out that it opened at 5:30 and we were here at 4:15, we were a little upset by that, but it is good to get in and get out," says his son Dalton Mills.

That isn't always possible at the popular holiday destination where wait times can sometimes hit two to three hours.

"We usually try to get here early to get in and get out, but we feel sorry for the people as we're leaving that are stuck in that line. That's why we're here early this year."

Park officials say if you're in line the gates will not close on you.

"If we do have a line and it's time to close and people have been waiting, then we don't close the gates," says gate manager Cole Thomas. "We close the gates once the line has died down."

The Festival of Lights is open until New Year's Eve.