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Fourteenth Annual Festival Of Lights Draws Thousands On Opening Day At Moody Gardens

Over 5,000 People Attend Opening Festivities with a Special Tribute to Japan and China

Santa Claus opened the holiday season with tradition at Moody Gardens®, flipping the giant electrical switch to turn on more than one million lights at the 14th annual Festival of Lights.

A festive crowd of over 5,000 people saw Santa arrive in grand style on a large fire truck to Moody Gardens and officially turn on the largest holiday lighting display on the Gulf Coast. The festivities featured live entertainment with choirs and musicians. This included a tribute to Japan with special performances to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Galveston-Niigata Sister City relationship.

The mile-long Festival of Lights trail features over 100 lighted scenes themed to holiday music complete with an outdoor ice skating rink and Texas sized Arctic Ice Slide. Holiday films are featured at both the MG 3D Theater and 4D Special FX Theater. Guests that are looking to make a whole trip of the holiday attractions are encouraged to look at the family-friendly Moody Gardens Hotel that offers spectacular views of the destination's iconic pyramids dressed in holiday lights.

"Festival of Lights has become a holiday tradition for families throughout the region," Moody Gardens president and CEO John Zendt said. "It is always such a special treat to see the kid's faces light up when Santa arrives. It's wonderful to know this event provides great memories that the whole family can appreciate."

The Festival of Lights will continue to welcome visitors nightly through Jan. 10, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Admission to the Festival of Lights is $10.95, including ice skating admission.  Guests can bring their own skates or rent them for $7 with the purchase of a Festival of Lights ticket. Tickets to the Aquarium Pyramid®, Rainforest Pyramid®, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, Discovery Museum, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat and Arctic Ice Slide are available for just $7 each with a Festival ticket. Arctic Ice Slide Passes are available for $7 for one slide, $20 for 10 slides and $25 for all day extended fun and excitement at one of the Festival's coolest attractions.

For more information, please call (800) 582-4673 or visit

Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.
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