WILMINGTON — One of the area’s most popular holiday attractions, bringing in 50,000 visitors a year, is drawing near. Tickets will go live Wednesday morning for Enchanted Airlie, an event that sells out annually.
Grounds staff begin decking the halls at 300 Airlie Rd. every summer to get the gardens ready for its holiday transformation. Sixty-seven acres turn into a wonderland of sparkle and shine, as millions of LED lights are strewn across the grounds, blinking and cascading while seasonal music is played. Various displays, such as singing trees and numerous selfie nooks, can be enjoyed through the self-guided tour, which is about a half-mile walk (also wheelchair accessible). Airlie main attractions — the 500-year-old Airlie Oak and Minnie Evans Bottle House — also receive the holiday treatment.
Though in other years, Santa has been on site to welcome children and families to share their Christmas lists, Jolly Ol’ St. Nick will not be at the 2021 event, according to the event website. Select snacks and beverages will be for sale from David’s Deli and Wilmington Brewing Company.
The 2021 season will open Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26 and 27, and will continue Dec. 3 through 22, with four time slots available for purchase: 5:30-6:30 p.m., 6:30-7:30 p.m., 7:30-8:30 p.m. and 8:30-9:30 p.m.
Tickets are $30 per car, SUV and mini vans, and $55 for 10-15 passenger or conversion vans. Large vehicle tickets — limos and mini-buses — will require special reservation. At 9 a.m. on Nov. 3 tickets will go on sale while supplies last. Tickets are good rain or shine.
Proceeds from ticket sales go toward the preservation of New Hanover County’s Airlie Gardens. The gardens are located along Bradley Creek, across the waterway from Wrightsville Beach.
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