GALVESTON, Texas, Nov. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Brighten up the winter season with Moody Gardens® 15 th annual Festival of Lights on November 12. As one of the largest holiday lighting events on the Gulf Coast this year's celebration will have Santa parachuting out of a plane and plenty of Christmas cheer infused with a Caribbean flair.
Free to the public, the ceremony will kick-off at 4 p.m. with talented Texas locals ringing in the festive spirit with holiday-themed entertainment with an island twist. Guests will be treated to the Salvation Army's Harbor Lights Choir, a local school's children choir, and a trio of Caribbean dances. During the Caribbean dances guests can celebrate the holiday season Caribbean style with the Galaxy Band featuring the music of Trinidad, Jamaica, Tobago, St Lucia, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Antigua and the US Virgin Islands. Dances will include styles of Samba, Reggae, and Soca. Families can welcome Santa at 5 p.m. when he parachutes down from the North Pole to help prepare Moody Gardens for the grand lighting of the Festival of Lights trail. After mixing, mingling and a few dazzling performances, Mr. Claus will flip the switch to turn on the millions of light bulbs that make up Festival of Lights at 6 p.m. and in doing so, officially kicking off the holiday season on Galveston Island. Festival of Lights will continue to shine throughout the holiday season everyday including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day through January 8. Hours run from 6 to 10 p.m. Moody Gardens other attractions, including ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas are open throughout the day and evening as well. Moody Gardens introduced a signature new theme with ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas in its third year for the attraction. The award-winning CAA Harbin Ruijing Carving Team of master ice carvers from Harbin, China created over 100 towering ice sculptures from 2 million pounds of ice. Guests will embark on a breathtaking underwater journey from the shores of Galveston Island through the Gulf of Mexico. As they explore the oceans depths, they will discover sunken treasure and see Christmas surprises along the way. An ice slide takes the form of a towering oil rig and gives an opportunity to venture through the beautiful Flower Garden Banks for encounters with spectacular schools of colorful tropical fish, eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, Hammerhead sharks and more on the way to their Caribbean island destination. There is even an opportunity to enjoy some festive holiday spirits inside of ICE LAND at Shiver's Ice Bar. Admission to the Festival of Lights is $10.95, this also includes use of the outdoor skating rink that sits on the trail. Ice skates are available to rent for $7 or guests can bring their own. While experiencing the Festival of Lights, guests can also enjoy the Texas-sized Arctic Slide. It is $7 for one slide, $20 for 10, and $25 for all day slides. In addition to the regular Festival of Light tickets, there are combo packs available letting guests make the most of their visit. The Holiday Pass ticket is available for $34.95 per person and allows guests entrance into Festival of Lights, ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas, and an attraction of their choosing. Food Drive Thursdays will also offer guests the opportunity to enjoy the Festival at a special discount in recognition of helping those in need this holiday season. Guests can bring a non-perishable food item every Thursday throughout the Festival (excluding Thanksgiving) and receive a two-for-one admission into Festival of Lights. The food will be donated to the Galveston County and Houston Food Banks. For more information, please call 800-582-4673 or visit moodygardens.org.