The Story Behind The Red Light

Nights of Lights is an award-winning holiday festival that has drawn crowds from across the world. For the past 24 years, residents and businesses alike have strung thousands upon thousands of light strands. Starting mid-November through the end of January, the historic town of St. Augustine takes on a new life as sparkling white lights illuminate every building. This dazzling display is made up predominantly of white bulbs, but if you look closely, you may find a few colored bulbs hidden among the rest…


The Legend…

red Christmas light bulbTrue story or urban legend? Believe what you wish, but the generally accepted story goes that years ago there was a city employee whose daughter was in a wheelchair. Each year as this employee was hanging the lights for the festival, he would hide a red light among the white ones a few feet off the ground for his daughter to find.

We first heard this story from the trolley drivers that drive by the inn. There are some problems with the story: first, the lights themselves aren’t actually hung by city employees, but by a company called Angels in the Architecture. They have been hanging exclusively warm white lights since the beginning of this special event. The owner of the company explains that he’s heard this story, but has no knowledge of any such employee. But he does admit to finding colored lights throughout the city as he does his nightly checks. Some are red, he says, but some are other colors. Most are fairly close to the ground, but as he scans the tall trees looking for burnt out bulbs, he has occasionally seen lights much higher up.

Regardless of how they appear, one thing can’t be denied, and that is the mysterious presence of these colorful bulbs.

The Bayfront Tradition…

Nights of LightsIn the spirit of the hidden mystery bulbs, we are hiding a special red bulb among our lights. Find it and redeem a special holiday treat on us!

Whether you find our red light or not, we suggest you come and enjoy this magical time of year in St. Augustine with our Nights of Lights special: You’ll receive complimentary tickets on our exclusive Old Town Trolley tour of the lights display, a peppermint bark sampler, and a coupon for complimentary hot chocolate or mocha at Claude’s Chocolate!

Hot chocolate and candy canesIn January, our trolley is the ONLY trolley that runs during the week–and it’s the best way to see all of the lights throughout the town.

Call us today to reserve your room for the Nights of Lights special. And be prepared to look for the special red bulb–on our property, as well as any of the others through town!