NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This Friday, Gaylord Opryland will kick off its 37th annual Country Christmas, and organizers are working hard to keep the tradition alive even with the COIVD-19 pandemic.
“It’s a family tradition for many people, not only in the Middle Tennessee area, but from all around the country,” senior marketing manager Rob Regg said. “It’s very important to us to continue that tradition moving forward no matter what.”
The massive winter wonderland will look a little different this year. Due to the travel ban, Opryland won’t feature its usual ICE! themed event.
“The artisans for that event come from Harbin, China. So due to the travel restrictions, we were unable to bring them to the United States to carve our ice sculptures,” Regg said.
Instead, Gaylord Opryland teamed up with its partners at Warner Brothers to recreate scenes from family-favorite holiday movies. You can expect to see scenes from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, and A Christmas Story to name a few.
Organizers have poured months into planning this year’s event. They say getting safety right is so important, not just for them, but for the joy they hope to bring to others.
“We work so hard, put so many hours into planning for this event and executing the event,” Regg said. “But once the first people come in and we just see their eyes, see the magical look in their eyes as they’re walking and seeing the four million holiday lights, or they see Santa Clause, or they see I Love a Christmas Movies here, it just warms our hearts and makes it all worthwhile.”
Families will be let in to explore these scenes one group at a time. Masks and social distancing will be required.
In addition to movie scenes, visitors will be able to explore horse-drawn carriage rides, tubing, ice skating, ice bumper cars, and a tree lighting each night.
‘A Country Christmas’ runs through January 3rd. Tickets must be purchased online in advance to ensure capacity limits are met.
Check out more photos here.