Many cities host outdoor holiday lights celebrations

St. Augustine’s annual ‘Nights of Lights’ runs through Jan. 31, in St. Augustine, Fla.(

For RV snowbirds on the move, many communities across America are hosting free outdoor holiday lights celebrations–however, this year events are a little different. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, responsible organizers are limiting celebrations to socially-distanced holiday decorations or drive-through light displays. Visitors are being asked to wear masks, and honor all current state and locally mandated protocols.

“Nights of Lights” – St. Augustine, Fla.

‘Night of Lights in St. Augustine, Fla.

More than three million tiny lights outline almost every building and walkway in the 144-square-block St. Augustine historic district during the free holiday event.

“Nights of Lights” traces its origins in the nation’s oldest city back to the traditional Spanish practice of displaying a white candle in windows during the Christmas holidays, says “The stunning lights reflect the city’s 450-year history and illuminate the beautiful cityscape.”

Because of COVID-19, the lights came on a week earlier than usual and run through the end of January 2021. The longer run allows more time for visitors to take in the beauty of the nights while wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

“Festival of Lights” – Riverside, Cal.

Fireworks over Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside, Ca., during Festival of Lights.

The magical “Festival of Lights” returns for its 28th year with more than five million twinkling lights. The 2020 event will feature socially-distanced displays with decorations in downtown Riverside and the dazzling outdoor holiday lights on the historic Mission Inn Hotel grounds.

For safety, here are no vendors, attractions, or programming during the event this year. However, the millions of cheerful lights continue through Dec. 31. For more information: (951) 683-7100.

— For tripsavvy’s ‘Holiday Attractions and Christmas Events in the Southeast U.S.,‘ click here

Julianne G. Crane

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