NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center remains closed for flood repairs, preparations have begun for the resort's annual Christmas celebration.
In its 27th year, the world-famous A Country Christmas is known for attracting two million visitors each year to its family-friendly shows and activities, as well as its beautiful two million twinkling lights, which take the resort employees four months to string.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Pete Weien, senior vice president and general manager of Gaylord Opryland said while there is much construction being done inside, employees are also hard at work planning the A Country Christmas event.
"Gaylord Opryland will be open in time for the kick-off to this extremely popular event, with all-new activities added to our lineup," he said, adding that even a flood can't "dampen our Christmas spirit."
The hotel is slated to reopen November 15 and Weien said guests can start booking packages for the Christmas celebration now.
This year's ICE! exhibit will feature the original Christmas classic "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town", which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2010.
The story of how our favorite Christmas traditions came to be will be brought to life in two million pounds of expertly carved ice.
The characters' sculptures, slides and scenes will be hand-carved by artisans brought to the resort from China.
Because the floodwaters destroyed the famous Gaslight Theatre, the home of ICE! for the past nine years, the sculptures will be located under a tent the size of four basketball courts in the parking lot this year.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Radio City Rockettes, will again be part of A Country Christmas, in addition to Louise Mandrell's 'The Gift' Christmas Dinner Show, Rockabilly Christmas a craft show, carriage rides, photos with Santa and much more.
New this year, a breakfast with Kris Kringle will be held on Saturdays and Sundays throughout Opryland's A Country Christmas.
A Country Christmas begins November 19 and continues through January 2, 2011.