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A Midlands Family Tradition Returns to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2011

24th Annual Lights Before Christmas Set to Shine Beginning November 19

[Columbia, SC] — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden! Lights Before Christmas—a Midlands family tradition for nearly 25 years—shines again beginning Saturday, November 19.

This year’s event—presented by First Citizens Bank—features nearly one million twinkling lights. Guests will dazzle with delight at the sight of countless animated images and be filled with holiday cheer while listening to the Music in Motion lights spectacular. Lights-goers also have the chance to sip hot cocoa and toast marshmallows while warming up at the Jingle Bell Bonfire.

Guests will also want to stop by Santa’s Village—brought to you by OneMain Financial—to see the jolly old man himself! Santa Claus is coming to town and will be in attendance at Lights every night through December 23. And for anyone who’s dreaming of a white Christmas, Riverbanks is the only place in town where it snows every night!

The Zoo will illuminate each evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm, November 19-December 30. Lights will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. All Riverbanks members are eligible to receive one free visit when they show their membership card and picture ID at the gate; guest passes are not accepted.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under are admitted free. Guests are encouraged to buy their tickets online in advance at The cost of admission will increase $2 for any tickets purchased at the gate after 5:00pm.

Parking for the event will be on the Zoo side only.