NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 2 million holiday lights are officially aglow at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Resort tonight, ringing in a beloved Christmas tradition.
The resort's 32nd annual A Country Christmas, presented by The Noerr Programs, opened with splendor and cheer during the official lighting ceremony. A Country Christmas runs through Jan. 2, 2016, and features a multitude of family-friendly activities, including the popular ICE! attraction, a dinner show with country legends and a hit Broadway musical.
"When it comes to the best in holiday entertainment, we always find ways to top ourselves, and this year is no exception," said Gaylord Opryland General Manager Pete Weien. "We can't wait for visitors to see all the new decorations we have added inside our nine acres of indoor gardens."
For the first time, in a tribute to Music City, the resort's seven-story Garden Conservatory Atrium will twinkle with oversized music notes and giant glittery musical instruments. Favorites like the 48-foot-tall Christmas tree and 15,000 poinsettias will return alongside new decoration throughout the resort.
Audiences will find their hearts growing a few sizes along with the Grinch's when they experience the magic of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the Grand Ole Opry House. Hailed by The New York Times as "100 times better than any bedside story," this classic holiday musical will enchant adults and children alike with performances Nov. 20 through Dec. 27, 2015. The beloved tale features the hit songs "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas" (written by Albert Hague and Dr. Seuss), from the original animated television special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is "two sizes too small," decides to steal Christmas away from the loveable Whos.
Celebrating 60 years in 2015, Opry members Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers are performing their hits and holiday favorites at a brand new dinner show at the resort. After a feast prepared by the resort's award-winning chefs, audiences will be dazzled by the incredible vocal harmonies of this Grammy-winning trio who started on dusty Texas stages and climbed to the top of the country charts.
Last month, more than 2 million pounds of colorful ice blocks arrived for the resort's popular ICE! attraction, which features scenes from The Nutcracker. Forty artisans from Harbin, China, hand-carved the magnificent ice sculptures along with two-story ice slides. ICE!, presented by Pepsi, also features The Frostbite Factory, where guests can see the ice artisans in action.
Guests age 21 and over can chill out at On The Blocks—the exclusive bar inside ICE! This upgrade includes a sampling of Jackson Morgan Southern Cream and Goose Island Beer, plus a Maker's Mark or Absolut specialty drink, or Hidden Crush Cabernet or Chardonnay, in a souvenir glass. Ambient lighting, music and fun photo opportunities set the mood for this unique VIP experience.
For more chilly fun, guests can brave the hills of the Arctic Plunge Snow Tubing attraction—an extreme six-lane tubing hill covered in 1.5 million pounds of real snow—or visit Glacier Glide Ice Skating, a 6,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink. New for 2015 is Santa's Snowball Toss, a carnival-style game to test guests' aim.
Families can test their puzzle-solving prowess during The Elf on the Shelf® Scavenger Hunt, featuring 10 of Santa's scout elves who have landed at Gaylord Opryland Resort. This interactive event will lead guests on a journey to find the elves, reveal their names and help them get their Christmas magic so they can fly to the North Pole. All families that help the scout elves fulfill their special Christmas mission will receive a prize.
The array of holiday entertainment includes something for every member of the family, ranging from enchanting live shows and thrills like snow tubing and ice skating to visits with Santa, holiday kids' trains, character breakfasts and the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, sponsored by PEEPS®.
Free activities include the Brightest Star Fountain Show, Treasures for the Holidays Craft Show, the Outdoor Nativity with an audio rendition of the biblical story and Parade of Trees, a self-guided tour of Christmas trees decorated by favorite musical artists and celebrities. Each tree's decorations and presents are up for grabs to the highest bidder—all to benefit favorite charities.
A Country Christmas has been hailed as one of the "Ten Great Places to Catch up with Santa" by USA Today; "The Most Christmassy Hotel in the Nation" by the Travel Channel's "Extreme Christmas;" one of the top 10 places to spend Christmas in the world by Travel + Leisure; and a "Nashville treasure" by Southern Living.
Tickets and vacation packages are now available at ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or by calling 1-888-677-9872.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, located at 2800 Opryland Drive in Nashville, Tenn., is the flagship property of Gaylord Hotels, part of the Marriott portfolio of brands. The 2,882-room hotel offers "everything in one place"—diverse dining options, a full-service spa, top-notch entertainment, on-site shopping, an award-winning golf course and more. For more information, visit www.gaylordopryland.com.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2.3 million holiday lights
- 1 million visitors to the resort during the holidays each year
- 15,000 poinsettias
- 15 miles of green garland
- 10 miles of hand-tied, red ribbon
- 48-foot-tall Christmas tree
- 1.5 million pounds of real snow at Arctic Plunge Snow Tubing
- 2+ million pounds of ice for signature ICE! attraction
- Nearly 7,000 giant blocks of colored ice
- 40 ice artisans from Harbin, China
Press Images: http://marriottdam.com/cd/lightbox/view/id/2080
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SOURCE Gaylord Opryland Resort