Gaylord Opryland Resort Kicks Off 29th Annual "A Country Christmas'"

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - by Jenny Barker

Nashville’s iconic Gaylord Opryland Resort kicked off its 29th annual A Country Christmas Thursday night in a festive lighting ceremony to officially turn on the resort’s two million holiday lights and usher in the holiday season.

Guests will experience America’s favorite Christmas destination like never before as the 2,881-room resort welcomes new holiday entertainment and perennial favorites. Presented by Kodak, A Country Christmas runs Nov. 15, through Jan. 1, 2013 and includes Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show; The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes; ICE! featuring DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek the Halls;; Holly Jolly Town Square; Treasures for the Holidays craft show; 2 million twinkling lights and more.

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.

“With more than two million twinkling lights and acres of stunning decorations that attract visitors from all over the world, there’s no better place to celebrate the season,” said Gaylord Opryland General Manager Pete Weien. “And, of course, it wouldn’t be Music City, USA, without amazing live shows and entertainment.”

This Christmas, Gaylord Opryland welcomes country music superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Lorrie Morgan for Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show. Morgan and her exceptional family of musicians will take audiences on 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 Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes, will return to the Grand Ole Opry House with an unforgettable 2012 edition. This year’s show will feature dazzling costumes and a finale called "Christmas Dreams" that makes Christmas more magical than ever before. This year, Nashville audiences will be completely enveloped in the Christmas spirit with a new 3D movie scene, as Santa Claus and his reindeer take audiences on a magical journey experiencing the sights and sounds of New York City. Additionally, the stage will come alive with the incredible precision dancing of the Rockettes in beloved numbers like the legendary "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and the stunning reenactment of the first Christmas in the "Living Nativity.”

Guests can now animate their holiday getaway with interactive experiences starring favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. The Christmassy DreamWorks Experience features the resort’s popular ICE! attraction, ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meal, “Character Passport” meet and greets, Gingy's Gingerbread Decorating, DreamWorks-themed scavenger hunt, Holiday Shrektacular street party and more.

Forty artisans from Harbin, China arrived this fall to transform two million pounds of ice into larger-than-life colorful sculptures and incredible 20-foot-tall ice slides. ICE! featuring DreamWorks' Shrek the Halls—presented by Coca-Cola and sponsored by Delta Dental of Tennessee and NovaCopy—will be bigger than ever in the new 40,000-square-foot Gaylord Opryland Events Center. When Shrek tries to plan the "perfect Christmas" for Fiona and the kids, his plans are disrupted by chaos and commotion. But, in the end, Shrek learns the true meaning of the holiday.

The iconic resort is transformed into a holiday wonderland with all of the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Twinkling lights, exquisite decorations and trees and special entertainment around every corner add to the excitement of A Country Christmas.

The festivities continue with Holly Jolly Town Square, a step back in time to a nostalgic 1950s town square. The town square is complete with all the shops from Main Street, a holiday kids’ train, story time with Mrs. Claus at the library and live entertainment. Also found in the town square is the Hall of Trees display benefiting local charities; the Treasures for the Holidays craft and gift show; photos with Santa; carriage rides; a FREE outdoor nativity display; and more.

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.

Several resort packages are available to help guests experience A Country Christmas at its best:

  • A Country Christmas package is available Nov. 16 – Dec. 25, and starts at $419* per night/double occupancy for two nights and $359* per night/double occupancy for three nights. Includes accommodations, front-of-line access ticket to ICE!, a ticket to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, and a ticket to Lorrie Morgan's Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show. The three-night package also includes an upgraded ICE! VIP Experience ticket, a Treasures of the Holidays craft and gift show ticket, a Hall of Trees ticket, admission to the “Kids Only” shopping area, and a VIP Coupon Book valued at more than $250.
  • The Christmassy DreamWorks Experience package is available Nov. 16, 2012 – Jan. 1, 2013 and starts at $219* per night/double occupancy for two nights and $199* per night/double occupancy for three nights. Includes accommodations, tickets and front-of-line access to ICE!, first-come, first-served VIP seating for the Holiday Shrektacular, ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meal, “Character Passport” meet & greets, Rise of the Guardians Scavenger Hunt, DreamWorks welcome amenity, a souvenir family photo, and special wake-up calls by DreamWorks’ characters. The three-night package also includes an upgraded ICE! VIP Experience ticket, a cup of hot chocolate and a Gingy Meet and Greet.
  • Christmas Memories at Gaylord Opryland package is available Nov. 16 – Jan. 1, 2013 and starts at $239* per night/double occupancy. Includes accommodations, ticket to ICE! and a souvenir ICE! photo (one per room).

For reservations or tickets, visit www.ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or call 888-677-9872.




38th Annual Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show In Knoxville Set For Feb. 12-14

HGTV personalities are Knoxville-bound for the 2016 Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show.  Matt Blashaw, licensed contractor and host of HGTV’s Vacation House for Free and featured carpenter on season 2 of Ellen’s Design Challenge, and Tiffany Brooks, designer and host of HGTV Smart Home 2016, are coming to Knoxville to share their expertise on house renovation, real estate ... (click for more)

National Parks Adventure 3D Opens Feb 12 In IMAX With Laser

In 1903 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir embarked on a three-day camping trip to the Yosemite Valley. At the time, many Americans viewed the country’s untamed wilderness areas as seething, dangerous realms that should be tapped for their rich economic resources. This path might have tamed these special places out of existence. But Muir was on a mission. ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principals Say Part 1 Of TN Ready Testing Should Be Cut Due To Online System Failure

Hamilton County principals are asking that Part 1 of the TN Ready Assessment be dropped this year due to the recent crash of the online system for the program. The principals also asked that any Part 1 TN Ready test results  not be applied to students’ grades or to evaluations and rankings for school personnel and school districts. The local principals also ... (click for more)

Allan Walsh Named New Bradley County Workhouse Superintendent

Sheriff Eric Watson announced the appointment of Allan Walsh as superintendent of the new Bradley County Workhouse, which will begin construction soon and be opened this year.  Plans are for the new facility, to be adjacent to the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Jail and Courts complex, to hold up to 128 non-violent, low security inmates. A graduate of Bradley ... (click for more)

What Our Schools Are And Have Been Doing About Bullying

Bullying has been a widely discussed topic during the last few weeks in the wake of the incident involving the Ooltewah High basketball team.  Contrary to public opinion, Hamilton County Schools have not been passive in our efforts to address bullying now or for the past several years.  Unfortunately, bullying is a societal norm that is infiltrating our school community, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Warmth For Cold Days

I come across all sorts of warm things every day and as we burrow out of sub-freezing temperatures for a day or two, shaking off ice and snow, allow me to share a few things for a change that may take the bite out of the winter wind. This is what helps me. * * * Judy Bellenfant, who has been a soul mate ever since we shared jokes in high school classrooms, sends along this ... (click for more)