It all starts at 4pm with entertainment from the Galveston Ballet, the Army Dance Academy and the Salvation Army Harbor Light Choir.
Then at 5pm, Santa and his elves will visit with guests.
The festival includes an outdoor ice skating rink and 100-foot snow tubing slide.
At 6pm, Saint Nick will flip the switch to turn on all those lights.
Today's kickoff event is free but if you want to visit the festival of lights later, tickets cost $7.
Festival of Lights will continue throughout the holiday season Thursdays through Saturdays from November 16 to December 8 before opening nightly December 13 until January 5.
For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.moodygardens.com.
The start of Festival of Lights also marks the launch of Galveston's new "Passport to Holiday Magic" promotion, which allows visitors to easily keep track of Galveston's many holiday events while earning the chance to win a Disney Magic cruise for four.
Anyone can download the free passport at galveston.com/holidaymagic. Visitors can take their passport to get stamped at five or more participating holiday events and attractions throughout the season.
When the passport is completed, guests can drop off their passports to the Galveston Island Visitors Center at Ashton Villa (2328 Broadway Avenue) or mail it to P.O. Box 1080, Galveston, TX 77553 by January 1.
All completed passports will be entered into drawings for Galveston getaways, attractions gift certificates and the grand prize of a cruise for four on the Disney Magic.
The Passport to Holiday Magic promotion coincides with the launch of a major new holiday event in Galveston -- Lasers, Lights & Magic in the Park. At this event November 24 through December 31, visitors to downtown Galveston will see free nightly laser light shows and can text to make it snow in Saengerfest Park.