Holiday Memories with Callaway Gardens

  • By Sara Hess | Friday, December 7th, 2012

With 21 years running, there are notable moments and memories from Callaway Garden’s Fantasy in Lights tour. You could say it is the feeling of a tradition, or the spirit of the holidays as you enter the light-filled world, but either way, there is something about Fantasy in Lights that makes memories happen.

Rachel Crumbley, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Callaway Gardens, shared some wonderful memories that have happened over the years during Fantasy in Lights, and we just had to share.

Remember the Jolly Trolly? When the Jolly Trolly was accompanied by a tour guide—which was usually a young Southern gal who was working at the Gardens only for the holidays—they would encourage young kids to participate as they would introduce a scene.

One scene in particular required extra participation. “When I see young kids who aren’t sure what they are getting involved in I tell them, ‘Alright now, when you see the frog, you know it’s time to yell, ‘Jump FIL, jump!’ and then we turn and they see him jump in the water,” Crumbley said. This moment has little kids looking and asking for FIL throughout the entire tour.

Courtesy of Callaway Gardens

But don’t think that kids are the only ones making memories. People of all ages come to celebrate special occasions and make unforgettable moments during Fantasy in Lights.

“People get engaged all the time, they get engaged during the night walks, they get engaged throughout the tour,” Crumbley recalled. “I’ve seen a girl say, ‘Let’s get a picture with Santa Claus’ to her boyfriend, and then she sat on Santa’s lap with her boyfriend next to her and Santa pulls out a box, and then her boyfriend got on one knee and asked her to marry him.” A Christmas gift she’ll definitely never forget!

Courtesy of Callaway Gardens

“Then there are the two majestic trees, the Twin trees with all of the white lights… People like to get engaged around that scene, there are all kinds of romantic stories,” Crumbley laughed. “Older couples celebrating their anniversary, younger couples having their first date… One night, we had a couple that were both 89 years old and had just gotten married, and they came for their wedding night with their family!”

Even though romantic moments happen at Fantasy in Lights, there is also magic in the air that brings families together, filling everyone with holiday joy. “I’ve seen families who just adopted a child and they come to celebrate! I’ve seen all kinds of celebrations.”

There are even people who come to the tour year after year, some families that have been coming to Callaway Gardens for Fantasy in Lights since its start in 1992.

“We do have people who come every year and if they stay overnight with our overnight package, they receive a special yearly ornament and there are people who have an ornament for every 20 years we’ve had Fantasy in Lights,” Crumbley remarked. “And people introduce me to their families saying, ‘We started to come when she was this old or when he was this tall… It’s become part of the fabric of people’s lives, a part of what they do every holiday season.’”

Be sure to make Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights a part of your holiday tradition this year! Click here to get your tickets today

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