Christmas at Biltmore kicks off with traditional Christmas tree decoration

Photo courtesy of the Biltmore Estate

From the Biltmore Estate:

Arrival of 35-foot Frasier fir signals the start of Christmas at Biltmore

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (November 1, 2017) — A towering 35-foot Fraser fir tree arrived at America’s Largest Home today, the final touch after several weeks of decorating Biltmore House for the holidays. Christmas at Biltmore, the estate’s annual holiday celebration, formally begins Friday, Nov. 3 and runs through Jan. 7, 2018.

The 35-foot Banquet Hall tree is Christmas at Biltmore’s star attraction year after year. Santa Claus rode aboard a horse-drawn carriage to usher the tree to the front door of Biltmore House. It took more than 40 staff members to hoist the tree onto their shoulders and carry it into the Banquet Hall, where a system of ropes secured the tree in place. Guests watched the decorating team as lights and ornaments were added throughout the day.

The tree comes from Andrews Nursery in Avery County, N.C. and is a nod to a tradition started by George Vanderbilt on Christmas Eve in 1895 when he opened his 250-room home to friends and family for the first time. As tradition dictates, the tree is decorated with 500 ornaments and wrapped packages tucked into its branches. It serves as the seasonal centerpiece in the home’s immense Banquet Hall.

During Christmas at Biltmore, the entire estate may be enjoyed as part of admission. More than one hundred Christmas trees—each hand-decorated and styled—grace the house and estate combined. The Conservatory is filled with poinsettias and tropical plants and offers a daily complimentary seminar that provides tips for guests’ own holiday décor.

NEW this year, Biltmore Winery is decorated with 7,000 globe-shaped ornaments hanging from the ceiling—giving guests the feeling of being inside a bottle of sparkling wine. Free tastings of Biltmore wines are offered among the festive décor.

Weekends in Antler Hill Village feature carolers sharing Christmas favorites and Santa making appearances at the bandstand to hear wish lists from guests of all ages. Enhanced this year with even more sparkling lights, Antler Hill Village is a must see—buildings are outlined in lights, a fountain lit with special visual effects, and illuminated trees and ornaments in abundance.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings

Biltmore House glows with candlelight and firelight at night, changing the daytime visit’s mood and experience. An additional charge and advance reservations are required for Candlelight Christmas Evenings in Biltmore House, which begin Nov. 3 and run through Jan. 6, 2018. These evening tours allow guests to step back in time with an experience more like George Vanderbilt’s guests had during their first Christmas Eve spent in Biltmore House in 1895. Local musicians and vocal groups perform Christmas music along the tour. Setting the scene is a 55-foot Norway spruce sparkling in the center of the front lawn and surrounded by 20 illuminated evergreens. Luminaries line the walkway to the house.

Hotels for the Holidays

Guests looking to extend their holiday visits have several options. Those seeking a retreat with personalized service, The Inn on Biltmore Estate offers four-star accommodations in a private hilltop setting. Biltmore’s newest lodging offering is Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, conveniently located steps away from shopping, dining, the Winery, live music and outdoor activities. Holiday packages starting with Thanksgiving are available.

About Max Hunt
Max Hunt grew up in South (New) Jersey and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2011. History nerd; art geek; connoisseur of swimming holes, hot peppers, and plaid clothing. Follow me @J_MaxHunt

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