JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (AP) -- Charleston is getting a head start on Christmas with the annual Holiday Festival of Lights.
The festival is scheduled to open on Friday evening at the James Island County Park.
It's the 24th year for the festival which features more than 2 million holiday lights in more than 700 different light displays. The event runs nightly through New Year's Eve,
This year, the festival was selected one of the top 20 events in the Southeast for November by the Southeast Tourism Society. The festival competed with events in 12 states.
Each year, the festival also gives back to the community by collecting items for the Lowcountry Food Bank. Last year, a record 8,200 pounds of food was collected, enough to provide 6,800 meals for needy families during the holidays.