Galaxy of Lights, an annual holiday light experience at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, will open Friday for its 25th season. Since its debut, Galaxy has become a regional holiday tradition, and this milestone year will be a tribute to the past and a celebration of new traditions to be made.
Galaxy began as a drive-through light show with 25 displays in 1996. Over the past 25 years, the event has expanded to include both walking and driving experiences in which guests explore nearly 200 light displays along a 2.5-mile route. The displays weave together holiday themes, classic characters, and scenes from the natural world.
This year, in celebration of the 25th anniversary, an immersive experience has been added to the route for Walking Nights. The experience will combine traditional light displays with modern lighting technology and special effects, resulting in a dynamic, sensory experience that transforms the Garden’s natural landscape with light.
“This is a milestone year for Galaxy of Lights, and we are thrilled to be celebrating with our community and volunteers in a really special way,” said Rebecca Turk, director of learning and public engagement at the Garden. “Galaxy has evolved greatly over the past 25 years, and this anniversary celebration will bring together the past, present, and future by introducing new elements into the Galaxy experience that guests know and love.
“It is a year to honor the past, cherish the present, and look ahead into the next 25 years of the beloved tradition that is Galaxy.”
The Galaxy of Lights experience has been adapted in accordance with health and safety guidelines from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safety measures include thorough cleaning procedures, health and safety training for all employees and volunteers, requirements for face coverings, social distancing protocols, and use of timed-entry tickets to manage capacity during Walking Nights.
“The Garden remains committed to the well-being of the community, and we have implemented certain adaptations for the health and safety of all guests, volunteers, and employees at Galaxy of Lights,” said Turk. “But guests should rest assured that the magic of Galaxy will be as dazzling as ever.”
Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights will take place 5:15-8:30 p.m. Friday through Nov. 25. Tickets for Walking Nights must be purchased for a designated date and entry time. Guests can bring their dogs on Dog Walking Nights, Nov. 16, 17 and 23.
Galaxy of Lights Driving Nights will take place Nov. 27 to Jan. 2, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets for Driving Nights can be purchased in advance or upon arrival.
Galaxy of Lights tickets are available at the Garden front desk during regular business hours or online at hsvbg.org/galaxy. Proceeds from Galaxy of Lights go directly to support the mission activities of the Garden, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.