Ripley’s Festival of Trees: A family tradition

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) As the final guest heads home the work really begins. The divers cleaning the tanks are not alone on this night. A school of fish is flanked by a school of volunteers and those toe tapping familiar tunes.

Festival of TreesEven a playful ray appears even more joyful and jolly when set to the festive background sounds.

Over a hundred people work late in the night for two consecutive days for the opening of the Festival of Trees at Ripley’s Aquarium.  This year’s event features nearly 80 different visions of glowing wonderment.

The event brought out families like Leslie Church and her two boys.  She has been helping decorate the trees since the very first year and says it really kicks off their holiday season.

Other workers include volunteers from around the community as well as aquarium staff putting in a few late night hours.

Festival of TreesAquarist Alex McMinn says it’s like a family putting up the Christmas tree.

News Release From Ripley’s on the Festival of Trees

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is excited to present their annual Festival of Trees from November 6 – December 31. Ripley’s has gone Christmas-Crazy again this year by adding over 20 NEW trees to their collection.  The grand total is now more than 75 holiday trees on display throughout the Aquarium, each uniquely decorated.


Decked out in our finest for the holiday season, we have added special warmth and sparkle to every nook and cranny. Visitors will be able to explore the Aquarium’s 14,000 aquatic animals, while enjoying the holiday decorations. The 2015 Ripley’s Festival of Tree’s includes 55 Christmas trees decorated to represent the heritage and diversity of our great United States and US Territories.  “We’ve upped our game this year” says Craig Atkins, General Manager Ripley’s Myrtle Beach, “and added a lot more of everything to the Festival of Trees. We hope everyone will come celebrate the holidays with us and check out tens of thousands of lights in and around the Aquarium!”


Bring your letters to Santa Claus! Ripley’s has added a brand new mailbox with a direct line to the big man in red himself. For each stamped letter we receive, Ripley’s will donate one toy to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots. Ripley’s is an official drop-off location for the Toys for Tots Program.


Throughout the festival, guests can enjoy live holiday entertainment including Ripley’s Ruckus Drumline on the Aquarium’s Plaza every weekend. Please check our website for scheduled dates and times.  Another great festival feature is the Ripley’s Holiday Tree Scavenger Hunt, a unique tree trivia game, available at no charge from the Guest Service Desk.


Festival of Trees is included with your regular Aquarium admission.  Ripley’s Aquarium opens at 9am every day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year, including Christmas Day.


For more information, visit


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