Fantasy of Lights Continues to Enchant Visitors

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 11:51:00 AM Categories: park swan lake iris gardens tour

Sumter, SC—December 2, 2015—Sumter’s annual Fantasy of Lights, now in its 28th year, continues to work its holiday magic on visitors, who number approximately 100,000 every December. On December 1, the display was met with wonderment and appreciation by a tour group from northern Virginia.


Twenty-five seniors hailing from various areas near Washington, DC spent the evening in Sumter as part of a “surprise” trip to an unknown destination. Arriving in the late afternoon en route to Savannah, Georgia, the group from GH Tours paused in Sumter for dinner and a visit to Swan Lake Iris Gardens. Along with their tour leader, Brian Fulton, participants were treated to a guided drive through of the light display, followed by an opportunity to walk around the area surrounding the Visitors Center. They also received a brief talk on the history of Swan Lake Iris Gardens and the annual events taking place at the City’s largest park.


The reaction was unanimously positive, with many compliments on the beauty and creativity of the event, along with several comments such as, “It’s so wonderful of the City to do this for its citizens every year.”


Although there were numerous questions about the park and the community in general, the tour guide had an especially interesting conversation with one gentleman who was curious about the relationship between Sumter and Shaw Air Force Base. He revealed that he is a veteran, with “many friends at home” who served at Shaw, and that he “couldn’t wait” to talk to them about how the base and community have grown.


Upon departure adventurous group expressed thanks for the hospitality they were shown and the opportunity to experience the Fantasy of Lights. Several mentioned an interest in returning to the park in the springtime, so that they could enjoy the eight species of swans and Sumter’s famous Japanese iris gardens.


Along with the lights at Swan Lake, the Sumter community continues to shine brightly for our visitors. For more information on the holiday light display, please visit online at, or e-mail