The holiday spirit is making its presence known on the College of Charleston campus with the debut of the second annual Cougar Night Lights holiday light show on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in a special showing for students. Additional showings for students have been added including a 10:15 p.m. showing on Tuesday, Dec. 4, as well as showings on Dec. 7, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

John Reynolds ’97 managing the control panel at last year’s inaugural Cougar Night Lights. (Photos by Mike Ledford)

Held in the Cistern Yard with the College’s iconic Randolph Hall as a focal point, Cougar Night Lights captures the magic of the holiday season with dazzling light displays set to classic holiday tunes as well as popular contemporary songs. And this year’s show is expanding, going from 15,500 highly efficient LED lights to a whopping 43,000 lights. The show will feature new songs and lighting displays for a total running time of 20 minutes.

Cougar Night Lights is once again being produced and designed by CofC alumnus John Reynolds ’97, who has won multiple Emmys for his lighting displays and has done work for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Super Bowl and several summer and winter Olympic games.

Reynolds says there are key new features to the light show this year that spectators should be on the lookout for.

“New elements this year are lights around the perimeter, the lighting of Towell Library and the extension of hanging lights into St. Philip Street and College Way,” he says, adding mysteriously, “there are also some hidden surprises that will reveal themselves during the musical portion of the show.”

Monday’s event, which marks the last day of classes for the fall 2018 semester, is sponsored by the Office of Student Life and includes singing performances by the College’s a cappella groups, inflatables and a make-your-own mug station. There will also be a soup bar and a make-your-own hot chocolate bar for students to keep warm while they take in the winter wonderland of lights.

“Cougar Night Lights is a new tradition at the College, but one that brings together students, staff and faculty to celebrate the conclusion of the fall semester and celebrate the upcoming new year,” says Christine Workman, director of the Office of Student Life. “We hope it provides students with a chance to relax and enjoy a stress-free event while preparing for their upcoming final exams.”

Following the conclusion of final exams, Cougar Night Lights will open to the general public on Dec. 14, 2018, and run nightly through Jan. 1, 2019. The musical light show will run on the hour, every hour, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Cistern Yard is located at the corner of George and St. Philip streets.