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Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Throw the Switch (officially) November 23rd




While many things are different in 2020, one of the region’s favorite events will return: Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights. This year’s show will run November 23, 2020, through January 10, 2021 (closed Thanksgiving and Dec. 24 & 25).

Safety is the top priority as the Garden makes appropriate adjustments to GardenFest during this time of COVID-19. This year’s GardenFest is designed so small groups of friends and family can relax, have fun and make special memories in a magical outdoor setting.

“Our staff and volunteers know how important Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights is to the community,” says Interim Executive Director Kim Dove. “Although it’s a challenging time, we’re committed to offering the best display and experience possible given the challenges of COVID-19 and the Garden’s focus on safety.”

TICKETS: All tickets must be prepurchased before coming to the Garden. They are available online ONLY. Tickets are limited and have a 30-minute arrival time window.

Due to the governor’s new mandate and COVID-19 restrictions, the number of visitors permitted at Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at any given time has been substantially reduced. In an effort to allow as many people as possible to see GardenFest, we are asking guests to limit their visit this year to one hour. With this year’s exhibition being all outdoors, we think an hour will be ample time for most to view the lights. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and patience as we navigate these new restrictions together.

SAFETY: Masks are required for all guests over age 10. There are separate entry and exit points and social distancing protocols.

This year’s show is all outdoors. Thousands of lights line garden paths and twinkle in trees under the night sky. The Garden is highlighting displays from previous GardenFests, allowing guests to search for favorite forms, including giant flowers, the peacock, unicorn and dragon. New this year is an outdoor model train display. Guests can look for the trains chugging around the Garden Keeper’s Cottage in the Children’s Garden. (Please note: a number of facilities and activities from previous years make physical distancing challenging and are not part of this year’s show, but should return next year.) Dining and shopping with special safety protocols continue to be a part of the GardenFest experience. Please check Garden’s website for more details, including safety protocols and updates about Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights.

BEST LIGHTS CONTEST: For the third year in a row, the Garden is in the running for USA Today’s 10 Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights in the nation. People can vote daily through Monday, Dec. 7 at noon. Winners will be announced Dec. 18. The Garden placed fourth and second in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The link to vote is:

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.