Nights of Lights brings much-needed boost to St. Augustine businesses

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Downtown St. Augustine was filled with people on Thursday night as many flocked to the city to see all the beautiful lights.

And many are wearing masks.

News4Jax spoke with a restaurant owner who says Nights Of Lights has helped his business tremendously after they had struggled since the start of the pandemic.

The lights wrapped around trees and buildings throughout St. Augustine attract thousands of people each year.

This year, after months of struggling, the extra foot traffic is helping businesses like Burger Buckets get back on track.

“We have been crazy absolutely crazy and of course it’s Thanksgiving today and as you can see we have people everywhere,” said owner Gary Easton.

With Nights of Lights, he said sales have gone through roof even with 50% capacity.

“If I had to put a number to it, I’ll tell you what I found this morning we’re at 100% over a year ago and that’s with reduced capacity,” he said. “But we’ve increased our outside seating areas on both sides, we have a more controlled waitlist and we have people who like what we do.”

Dawn Duffey says she and her daughter Lily attend Nights of Lights for Thanksgiving every year.

“You know it’s wonderful and the lights are just wonderful and it’s nice to keep the same tradition every year that we have and not change it up because it’s been a long year so we definitely are enjoying it,” Duffey said.

With a long line of people waiting to eat at Burger Buckets, Easton says he’s grateful for the joy Nights of Lights brings.

There were some events for Nights of Lights canceled this year.

Visit St. Augustine said it encourages people to practice social distancing and follow the CDC guidelines so everyone can enjoy the event safely.

Nights of Lights runs until Jan. 31.

About the Author: