Lights of Magnolia now open


The Lights of Magnolia are lit and await you! For the first time ever, Magnolia Gardens and Plantation is open to the public at night for a first of its kind event. This new festival features custom-designed installations featuring 23 lantern displays across 11 acres.

Lights of Magnolia will be on display until March 15, Wednesdays through Sundays. The designs represent a fusion of historic Chinese cultural symbols and the flora and fauna of Magnolia, illuminating America’s oldest garden for the first time in its 334-year history.

“Lights of Magnolia: Reflections of a Cultural Exchange” is the result of a year-long partnership between Magnolia and the Zigong Lantern Group in China, which has erected lantern displays worldwide. “This is the first time the (company) has worked with a U.S. garden with such a long history,” Joy Lin, Zigong’s international project manager, said. “I feel proud that the craftsmanship and artwork has magically transformed the garden at night into a fairy land.”

Magnolia’s oak-lined entrance is now home to a 45-foot high, 200-foot long dragon with scales made with 26,000 gleaming white porcelain dinner plates and fins trimmed in changing red, green and blue light. Other highlights include lanterns resembling lions, tigers, pandas and zebras clustered under ancient oaks and butterflies, ladybugs, azaleas and alligators depicting Magnolia’s semi-tropical environment.

Tom Johnson, Magnolia’s executive director, said. “We are excited to bring this cultural experience to our international garden. With it, we want to attract more visitors to Charleston during the winter months when tourism to the city slows down.”

This is the first of a three-year commitment to stage this event in the Lowcountry. For more details and ticket information, go to: