10/31/2012 - Holiday season begins Thursday at Biltmore House in Asheville
The holiday season begins Thursday Nov. 1 at the Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C. when a horse-drawn carriage driven by Santa Claus delivers the Christmas tree.
A 35-foot Fraser fir will be decorated and placed in the Banquet Hall at the chateau-styled mansion in Asheville, N.C. The tree will be carried into the house by hand. Between 30 and 40 employees will lift and carry it through the front door in a synchronized manner.
Once the tree is inside, the staff will hoist it into place using ropes and pulleys to secure it into position. The tree will come to life with the holiday spirit as members of the floral and engineering services teams decorate the tree with more than 500 large ornaments, hundreds of lights and many gift-wrapped packages.
Christmas at Biltmore will be celebrated beginning Saturday through Jan. 1. To accommodate the holidays, beginning Nov.9 through Dec. 31, the estate is open 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The decorations and holiday cheer will be reminiscent of what the estate was like during the time of its builder George Washington Vanderbilt III.
Vanderbilt first opened the house to family and friends 117 years ago on Christmas eve this year. Thousands of visitors have continued the tradition of touring the estate during the holiday season.
For more information, go to www.biltmore.com.