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Drive-thru light show returns to Columbia

Holiday Lights on the River features more than a million lights that span over two miles.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Holiday Lights on the River has returned to Saluda Shoals Park with more than a million lights that span over two miles.

Dozens of families lined up Thanksgiving night to experience the festive drive-through light show.

"The drive-through has over 400 beautiful, colorful animated displays [and] we have a walking trail with a laser light show," said Eve Mittendorf with the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission.

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Some activities are gone this year due to the pandemic,  but there’s still plenty of cheer to go around. Plus concessions and hot chocolate are available in the Environmental Center parking lot.

"I think this is a unique experience that people are used to," Mittendorf said. "It’s part of their tradition. We’ve been doing this for 18 years and so they love coming out here and this is absolutely a safe way to do it."

Visitors stay in their cars the entire time, except if they veer off to walk through the outdoor laser show. All employees wear face masks.

Light displays featured Santa Claus, Christmas trees, candy canes and more. Mittendorf told News19 that on a busy night, around 1,200 to 1,400 cars come through. "Last year we had over 80,000 people attend," she said.

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Mittendorf recommended coming during the week and showing up early to beat crowds. 

Holiday Lights on the River is happening every night through December 31st from 6:00PM to 10:00PM. Tickets are $20 per car. Click here for more information.

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