Galveston Island is a barrier reef island that averages 2 miles in width, offering 32 miles of Gulf Coast beaches. I came worldwide to "fame" when on September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike ravaged Galveston, that tiny island.
Up to 13 feet of ocean water and debris submerged its historic downtown area, the Strand, which attracted thousands of tourists a year and was once called the "Wall Street of the Southwest" for its commercial prowess.
(Click on the photos to enlarge)
Tourism dried up, leaving shop owners and others who relied on visitors for income in the lurch. There are a lot of stores that are not open yet, and some are not going to reopen.
Now, a year later, Galveston is still on the road to recovery.
The festival of lights is one of many events that bring new life to the island.
Hundreds of thousands of lights illumminate the beach side trails at "Moody Garden", a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research.
In addition to the seasonal Festival of Lights, there are various nature inspired attractions such as the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, and Discovery Museum.
The event features a trail of holiday lighting displays that winds around the grounds of Moody Gardens. As you make your way down the trail you will pass themed scenes such as the Christmas Story and Toyland as well as fun and imaginative scenes like the Magic Castle, Arctic Express, Fantasy Forest, Wild Africa, Tropical Jungle and many more. Synchronized music and audio effects accompany the displays along with a new, state of the art sound system that fills the air with sounds of the Christmas Season.