A College of Charleston holiday tradition returns to the Cistern Yard this month. 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 chosen by students.

Cougar Light Nights

The seventh annual Cougar Night Lights holiday light show kicks off in the historic Cistern Yard on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, with a special showing for College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Starting at 5 p.m., students can enjoy light refreshments and activities including a performance by Charleston Vibes, inflatables, hot chocolate and cookies. President Andrew T. Hsu will give remarks at 6 p.m. followed by the light show. Shows will continue through the evening on the half hour with the final show at 9 p.m.

Cougar Night Lights will open to the public on Dec. 5, 2023, and run nightly through Jan. 1, 2024. The musical light show will run every half hour between 5:30 and 9 p.m. Cougar Night Lights is a free event.

“Cougar Night Lights is a College and city holiday tradition that should not be missed,” says Alicia Caudill, executive vice president for student affairs. “This year’s show is another amazing display of dancing lights and fun music. It is sure to delight!”

The show is produced and designed by CofC alumnus John Reynolds ’97, an Emmy Award–winning lighting designer who has done work for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Super Bowl.

The Cistern Yard is located at the corner of George and St. Philip streets. Public parking garages are available at two locations, including the George Street Garage and St. Philip Street Garage.