Saturday, November 1, 2008

Christmas at the Biltmore

It's that time again and no better time than NOW to think about a visit to Ponder Cove when you can enjoy the Holiday festivities at the Biltmore as well. November is the best time to avoid the December crowds. Roam the house and just imagine how it must have been.... oh so long ago.

lthough George Vanderbilt moved into Biltmore House in October 1895, the house did not officially open until Christmas Eve of that year. Great efforts were made to ensure all would be ready by the special day. Correspondence between Vanderbilt and his staff indicate that planning was intense concerning the best holly and the most desirable mistletoe. While staff scouted for the perfect tree for the Banquet Hall the estate manager, Mr. Charles McNamee wrote: “ I quite agree with you that we should have a very large tree for this occasion; in fact, I think a twenty foot tree in that large Banquet Hall would be rather dwarfed.”
Guests can help Biltmore commemorate the start of our Holiday season with the Raising of the Banquet Hall Tree on November 5 at 10am. The 34-foot Frasier Fir will arrive in style as a team of Belgian draft horses pulls it to the front of Biltmore House. Guests will be able to watch as Biltmore staff carry the tree into the Banquet Hall and set it up. The Fraser Fir was the most popular type of Christmas Tree in 1895, and continues to be so today because of its fragrance and long-lasting needles.

New this year, during the evening hours for the Christmas Illumination, is a lit tree on the front lawn of Biltmore House. The tree is a 55’ Norway Spruce, weighing 6000 pounds. The Spruce tree was chosen because it grows to a greater height than the Fraser Fir. Earlier this week, the tree was set and placed on the lawn by a crane. It will be surrounded by other lit trees and shrubs on the front lawn of Biltmore House.

see you soon, m

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