JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park was honored recently as third Best Holiday Festival 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 holiday-themed festivals of all kinds from throughout the country.
More than four million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission at
the agency's James Island County Park. 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 26th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights ran from Nov. 13, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016.
License plates from all 50 states as well as British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Guam passed through the park gates during its 52-night run in 2015.
"The Holiday Festival of Lights is all about uniting people to experience the beauty and wonder of the season and believe in all that is possible," said CCPRC Marketing Director Gina Ellis-Strother. "We are very grateful to have been honored with the 10Best Readers' Choice Award two years in a row, and we especially wish to thank all who voted for the festival; they help keep it an on-going family holiday tradition."
The 10Best Readers' Choice Award contest for Best Holiday Festival launched in late November and continued for four weeks, with voting ending on Dec. 21.
Rules allowed the public to vote online for one nominee per category, per day. The Holiday Festival of Lights ended in third place. The Riverside Festival of Lights in Riverside, California won first place in the competition, and San Francisco's Great Dickens Christmas Fair took second.
The full list of winners is available at http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-holiday-festival.
In 2014, the Holiday Festival of Lights was awarded third Best Public Lights Display in the United States, also by the 10Best Readers' Choice Award contest.