Christmas Tree Raising at Biltmore Kicks Off 2016 Holidays
By Jason Tarr
Aboard a horse-drawn carriage, Santa has ushered in the holiday season at Biltmore by bringing a 35-foot-tall Fraser Fir tree for display in the grand Banquet Hall. It's a sure sign in Western North Carolina that Christmas is just around the corner. And, the tree raising is the kick-off to the Christmas at Biltmore celebration which officially begins Nov. 4 and extends through Jan. 8, 2017.
See just what it takes to raise the Banquet Hall tree:
Thousands of onlookers watched as the tree made its way to the front of America's largest home. Then, more than 40 Biltmore team members hoisted the tree onto their shoulders and carried it into the home's 70-foot-tall Banquet Hall. Using a system of ropes, they raised the tree and secured it into place on the first try.
Soon after, many more Biltmore staffers began work on decorating the tree with 500 lights and numerous exquisite ornaments. While this tree in the Banquet Hall is the focal point of the Christmas at Biltmore celebration, it is one of just 62 Christmas trees that are in the home, all of which are decorated by hand.
Take a look at the completed Banquet Hall tree:
The celebration carries on traditions that started when George Vanderbilt opened his home to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895. This year's Christmas at Biltmore theme is "Hearth and Home." The Biltmore floral staff is emphasizing fireplaces and mantels with warm colors, soft textures, and vintage-inspired ornaments to get right to heart of what Vanderbilt likely intended for the Estate during the holidays.
Visitors can enjoy the Christmas celebration during the day as part of their admission. At night, the Biltmore transforms with roaring fires in the fireplaces, twinkling lights, and live music for Candlelight Christmas Evenings. These evenings are by reservation only.
For more information about Christmas at Biltmore, please click HERE.
Decorated tree photo courtesy of The Biltmore Company.