MANTEO, N.C. – Lighthouses in our region have guided travelers for years to safely traverse the North Carolina coastland. This winter, The Elizabethan Gardens’ WinterLights presented by Southern Bank in Manteo calls visitors once again to a new tradition, navigating them into the joy of the season with a tapestry of lights and sights throughout the gardens.
Lights, floral delights and holiday sights are part of The Gardens’ nineteen-night spectacle that runs Tuesday through Saturday on Dec. 1- Jan. 5 from 6 – 9 pm.
To celebrate the 2012 premier of WinterLights, The Gardens will add extra sparkle to a Grand Illuminations event held Dec. 1 from 6-9 pm. This kick-off event features holiday warmth inside and out with festive food and drink, cozy fire pits, and entertainment by local performers along with seasonal gift shop and plant sales.
According to visitors and staff alike, the tranquil gardens take on a new beauty with WinterLights. “We have looked forward to this event since last year!” said Carl Curnutte Executive Director. “Each year we tweak and add more magic. We can’t wait to show folks what’s new from our light displays to our unique holiday collectibles in our gift shop.”
Curnutte believes that even if you saw WinterLights last year, you will find plenty of additions to boost your holiday spirit.
New York-based design team of Kyle Dixon and Associates returns for a third year to assist with the winter transformation of The Gardens.
Dixon’s team has contributed the “sparkle and awe” to similar creations in Las Vegas, Omaha, San Francisco, Orlando, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas, Kansas City, as well as New York.
His artistry has been seen by millions at The Bellagio, MGM Grande Properties at the Mall of America, on the local stage at Waterside Theatre, and cities nationwide in the recent North American and Canadian tour and off-Broadway production of Angelina Ballerina, The Musical.
And guest at The Elizabethan Gardens can once again expect the same bright sparkle at WinterLights said Dixon. “The Gardens are a wonderful challenge,” he remarked. “Combining the historic nature of the Elizabethans with traditional holiday style and garden-inspired themes outdoors makes for quite a spectacle.”
Dixon has created Elizabethan Garden-inspired displays with over 1,500 dried roses and peonies, several types of seeds, flowers and hundreds of thousands of lights. “Not many folks realize that Queen Elizabeth gave gingerbread cookies crafted to resemble her court as gifts,” explained Dixon. “For The Gardens, we created our own gingerbread Tudor village in tribute to the times.”
“Bring the family and gather some friends—come over and see what we have created,” said Carl Curnutte, executive director of The Gardens. “I think you will be astounded by what you will see and I am certain it will put you in the holiday spirit! Thanks to Southern Bank we can enhance the holiday tradition.
In addition to WinterLights, The Gardens hosts several holiday themed events this December including several Home and Garden Workshops (Dec. 8, 15), Dinner with Santa (Dec. 14), and Kids Craft Day (Dec. 27).
Each evening enjoy the Garden’s Gift Shop and plant sales, which will offer 10% off all merchandise with Friends/Members receiving an additional 10% off. A special holiday promotion is planned where many gifts are under $15.00 and pre –wrapped ready to give for Christmas. Plant sales feature winter annuals; ornamental vegetables; forced bulbs; rosemary Christmas trees; ivy topiaries, conifers with bows.
Tickets for Illuminations for Non-Members are $14 for an adult (18 years and older), youth $8 (6 - 17 years) and child $6 (5 and under). For Members/Friends tickets are $10 for an adult (18 years and older), youth are $7 (6 - 17 years) and child are $4 (5 and under). Groups of 20 or more receive $1.00 off each ticket. Tickets for WinterLights for Members/Friends and Non-Members are $9 for an adult (18 years and older), youth $7 (6 - 17 years) and child $4 (5 and under).
To avoid ticket lines, The Gardens encourages purchasing tickets in advance by calling 252-473-3234. For photos of WinterLights, go to: facebook.com/TheElizabethanGardens.