30th Annual ‘A Country Christmas’ Opens at Gaylord Opryland Resort
Beloved Tradition Brings Breathtaking Decorations, Live Shows, Themed Events and More
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 15, 2013)— Nashville’s iconic Gaylord Opryland Resort officially ushered in its 30th annual A Country Christmas tonight in a festive lighting ceremony to turn on its 2 million Christmas lights and kick off some of the most spectacular holiday entertainment of the season.
A Country Christmas, presented by Kodak, runs through Jan 1, 2014 and features dozens of shows and attractions. The 2,882-room resort’s nine acres of indoor gardens and waterfalls have been transformed into a fanciful world of thousands of twinkling lights, colorful trees, over-sized wreaths and ornate details that provide breathtaking views from every direction. Tickets and overnight packages are now available at www.ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or by calling 888-677-9872.
“In the 30 years since A Country Christmas was first conceived, we have become known for our magical settings where families can share Christmas traditions and make new ones,” said Gaylord Opryland General Manager Pete Weien. “While the resort is beautiful year round, the splendor of seeing it decorated for the holiday season along with the excitement of such incredible shows and attractions make it a holiday destination like none other.”
ICE! Returns Bigger Than Ever
Gaylord Opryland's signature ICE!™ attraction, presented by Pepsi, is bigger than ever this year with more than 2 MILLION pounds of colorful ice sculptures and an all-new theme—Frosty the Snowman! Join Frosty and friends on their quest to the North Pole as you stroll through frozen scenes hand carved by 40 artisans from Harbin, China (known for its master ice carving skills). This frosty fantasy world is kept at 9 degrees, and visitors are kept cozy in oversized parkas. All new for 2013 is an interactive bonus ice area that transports families to the iconic holiday sights and sounds of New York City. The chilly adventure concludes with the wonder and majesty of a full Nativity of stunning crystal clear ice.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular® starring the Rockettes returns to the Grand Ole Opry House with the Rockettes legendary eye-high kicks, glamorous costumes and a dazzling Rockettes finale called "Christmas Dreams" that will make Christmas more magical than ever before. The stage will come alive with the Rockettes incredible precision dancing featured in beloved numbers like the classic "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" as well as the dynamic tap number, “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Nashville audiences will be completely enveloped in the Christmas spirit with a 3D movie scene, as Santa Claus and his reindeer take audiences on a magical journey experiencing the sights and sounds of New York City. The production culminates with a stunning reenactment of the first Christmas in the "Living Nativity,” which along with “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” has been performed since the show’s inception in 1933.
Visitors can share in the wonder and warmth of a down-home Christmas with country music superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Lorrie Morgan and her family of musicians. Lorrie Morgan’s Christmas Dinner & Show is an enchanting journey through Christmases past and present, featuring songs from Lorrie's popular "Merry Christmas from London" album along with the many hits of her platinum-selling, 16-album career.
The brand new "A Not So Silent Night" Concert Series—inspired by Ty Herndon’s song by the same name—features Herndon himself as well as artists like Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, Gwen Sebastian, Collin Raye, Jamie O’Neal and more performing top hits as well as songs of the season in an intimate setting.
Fun-filled performances, chef-prepared meals and sweeping views of the Nashville skyline await guests on a one-of-a-kind Christmas cruise down the Cumberland River aboard the beautiful General Jackson Showboat—one of the largest showboats in the country.
Christmassy DreamWorks Experience
Of course, the hotel will be getting ready for Santa to come to town, but he isn’t the only jolly character guests will be able to meet. Gaylord Opryland Resort offers new and exciting interactive adventures with the beloved characters from DreamWorks franchises including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. Guests can dig into a character-themed feast, go on a DreamWorks-themed scavenger hunt and even have some sticky fun at Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating.
The festivities continue with Holly Jolly Town Square, a step back in time to a nostalgic 1950s town square, complete with all the shops from main street and a holiday kids’ train. Another new event, Canvas for a Cause: American Icons Give Back, features original paintings created by musical artists, film and TV stars, sports celebrities, notable public figures and representatives from treasured landmarks and favorite brands. These original works of art will be auctioned off to help raise money for favorite charities.
Other activities include the Treasures for the Holidays craft and gift show; photos with Santa; carriage rides; a free outdoor nativity display; and the free Brightest Star Fountain Show—a breathtaking union of water and light choreographed to a musical score that tells the beautiful and inspiring story of the first Christmas.
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 ten places to spend Christmas in the world by Travel + Leisure; and a “Nashville treasure” by Southern Living.
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. Visit www.gaylordopryland.com or call 1-888-999-OPRY.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with nearly 3,900 properties in 72 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
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A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS FUN FACTS
• 2 million outdoor LED holiday lights (20,000 strings of lights with 100 bulbs each) • 189 miles that the 2 million lights would string end to end • 200,000 indoor 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 inside the resort • 2+ million pounds of ice for signature ICE! attraction • Nearly 7,000 giant blocks of ice carved by 40 artisans from Harbin, China