Cougar Night Lights 2018

Despite an unseasonably warm and wet day, the mood was jolly as students gathered on the Cistern Monday night. To kick off the holiday season and lighten the mood for finals week, a dazzling light event was held on the Cistern.

The second annual light display, Cougar Night Lights, was designed by proud College of Charleston alum, John Reynolds. Reynolds has won Emmys for his light displays which have been featured at the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Reynolds was proud to announce that this year would be even bigger and better than the last.

With this only being the second year of Cougar Night Lights, I had pretty much no idea what to expect. Walking on to the Cistern, I saw the usual lights that have popped up over the past couple of days.

However, I was surprised as I rounded the corner to see a long line out the cistern entrance as people waited for soup and hot chocolate. As I followed the line back to George street, I noticed a huge blow up snow globe (perfect for a photo-op). An even longer line wrapped down the street as people eagerly awaited an opportunity to decorate their own souvenir mug.

Despite being slated for a 5:00 p.m. start time, guests were disappointed that lights did not start until 6:00 p.m. Preceding the lights was a joint caroling performance from the Trippintones and the Vibes. With their festive scarves and lilting voices, the chorus put everyone in the perfect mood for the lights.

When the lights finally did make their appearance, they did not disappoint. The string lights above the Cistern and the lights on Randolph’s columns, as well as on Towell library, flickered along to cheerful music. Each song had a festive and specific set of colors and patterns to compliment the music.

Considering that the lights were an hour later than was expected, and that they only lasted around 15 minutes, I think Cougar Night Lights only needs a little bit of time to work out the kinks. Overall, I had a great time mingling at the event and I really was impressed by how much there was to do and the intricacy of the light show. If you can make it, there will be three more showings on Dec. 8, 9 and 10!


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Zoë Murrie is a sophomore Communications and Women’s and Gender major from Columbia, SC. When she’s not writing, she loves plants, burritos and house shows.

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