GardenFest of Lights will return for the holiday season, although with some new safety measures in place due to the coronavirus.
The holiday light show at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will run Nov. 20 through Jan. 10, 2021.
The popular holiday event will be held entirely outdoors with limited tickets, timed arrivals, online ticketing and social distancing throughout the garden.
That means that some attractions that typically draw a crowd — like the warming fire and music — will not be held this year because of safety concerns. Others, like the model trains, will be moved outside.
“Our staff and volunteers know how important Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights is to the community,” said Kim Dove, interim director, via email. Shane Tippett, the Garden’s previous director, stepped down earlier this year.
“Although it’s a challenging time, we decided we had to find a way to bring the lights back, especially this year. We’re committed to offering the best display and experience possible given the challenges of COVID-19 and the Garden’s focus on safety,” Dove added.
Up to 200 tickets will be available every half-hour to allow for social distancing in the Visitors Center and will go on sale at a later date. In the past, there wasn’t a limit on how many people could enter GardenFest at one time; however, the event was somewhat self-limiting with only 519 dedicated parking spaces at the garden.