Thousands flock to downtown St. Augustine for Nights of Lights kickoff event


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The 29th annual Nights of Lights celebration starts Saturday night in St. Augustine and large crowds are expected to fill downtown for the Light-Up! Night event.

There are more than 3 million lights lit up all across the town for the unofficial start of the holiday season.

“I just love coming down and seeing the lights and getting in the Christmas spirit,” T’ara Owens said. “I wish everyone a Merry Christmas.”

The celebration comes a little over a week after Tropical Storm Nicole caused widespread flooding in the area.

That didn’t deter visitors.

The event started at 4 p.m. when Showtime USA performed a variety of holiday favorites in front of St. Augustine’s City Hall. The All-Star Orchestra took the stage at 5:30 p.m. with swing and big band sounds at the historic Plaza de la Constitución Gazebo. The main ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in the plaza, where the switch is flipped to illuminate the city. The concert continues after the ceremony until 7:30 p.m. King Street and Cathedral Place, St. Augustine.

RELATED: St. Augustine City Commission discusses homeless population ahead of Nights of Lights

Because of the special event Saturday night, US-1 Bus Route was closed between Cathedral Place and King Street from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Nights of Lights runs until Jan. 31.

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