WinterLights: Holiday displays bring a decade of cheer

Published 8:04 am Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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Like illuminated gems setting the night ablaze with lights, The Elizabethan Gardens’ WinterLights has added holiday sparkle to one of the Outer Banks’ most popular attractions in Manteo. Now celebrating ten years of lights and sights, the year-round site has once again bedecked their lush greenscape with a million lights that blazon cold winter nights from November to January. Their seasonal display opened November 27 and runs special nights and weekends through January 16. WinterLights is presented by Southern Bank and funded in part by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

Visitors and staff agree this garden is a spectacle to behold. “We truly look forward to sharing this event with the community every year,” said Carl Curnutte, executive director. “It thrills us that families and friends now look forward to WinterLights as a part of their holiday traditions.”

“Although we have grown and expanded over the past decade, the lights are an ongoing project. We are continually tweaking and adding more magic,” added Linda Davenport, president of The Elizabethan Gardens board. “We want to offer folks a little something new each year in The Gardens.”

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“With assistance from our supporters, Southern Bank and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, we are all equally excited to unveil this seasons’ displays,” extolled Curnutte. “And we have put in place some new items to make this year’s light show safe and enjoyable for all.”


Courtesy The Elizabethan Gardens

Curnutte explains that this year, all tickets will be purchased solely online for the day and time of preference. Guests will arrive according to their timed-ticket entry, have their print at home lights. Masks are required to attend WinterLights.

“Being that we are outside and using the spacious open-air layout of the gardens to create one-directional traffic, we feel confident that folks can feel comfortable while enjoying the lights,” said Curnutte. “We certainly want to do our part to give everyone a bright holiday experience.”

Since 2010, lights, holiday sights and other events are part of a month-long spectacle called WinterLights at The Elizabethan Gardens held December 1-6, 9-13, 15-20, 22-23, 26, 27, 29, 30;  January 2, 8, 9, 15, 16; from 6-9 p.m.

Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for youth ages 6-17 and $6 for children 5 and under. Extended passes are available.

In addition, there will be musical groups performing on select weekend evenings of the holiday light show performing with Covid-19 protocols and inside clear “bubble-like” tents along the walkways. Consult the Gardens’ website for details.

Guests must purchase their tickets online and bring their print-at-home or mobile tickets to visit the lights. Tickets are available at



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