Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 28
Stroll through George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House on Candlelight Evenings to see the mansion.
an ornament each year," says Wes
Ramey, public relations manager at
Dollywood. Master craftsmen put
the glass in the furnace, take it out,
and dip that molten glass in a variety of colors selected by the guest.
They then put it back in the furnace before beginning the process
of blowing that ornament. "Guests
can do this at any time of year,"
says Ramey. "The master craftsmen
allow the guests to literally blow the
There are also specialty Christmas shops in the region offering
ornaments and other seasonal items
year round. Here are a couple:
* Christmas Shop at the Depot,
Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, (bit.
ly/2g2SxSq). Located in a historic
train depot across from the entrance
to The Greenbrier, this shop is open
* In Biltmore Village, just south of
downtown Asheville, North Carolina, the Olde World Christmas Shop28 BlueRidgeCountry.com
pe delights with a stock of holiday
collectibles from around the world.
Christopher Radko ornaments are
hot sellers (bit.ly/2vcPlGM).
amaze visitors at every turn inside
George Vanderbilt's palatial mansion in Asheville, North Carolina.
His Biltmore House (Biltmore.com)
first opened on Christmas Eve 1895.
The Christmas tradition at Biltmore
continues to focus on sharing time
with family and friends. Highlights
of 2017 include Candlelight Christmas Evenings from November 3
to January 6. Amid the twinkling
lights, candlelight, and roaring fireplaces, Biltmore House offers live
performances of traditional Christ-
The BilTmore Company
mas music. Inside the house, staff
light 150 candles. The 55 trees are lit
with 30,000 lights. The front lawn
tree boasts 55,000 lights, with an
additional 20,000 on surrounding
trees and shrubs. Plus, the driveway
twinkles with 300 luminaries.
On Christmas morning 1895, the
Vanderbilt family held a celebration
for estate employees and their families. Everyone received a gift along
with stockings filled with fresh tropical fruits and candies, cakes and
time spent dancing and listening
to music. That tradition continues
today with the annual Biltmore employee Christmas party. Every child
of Biltmore employees receives a
When Edith Vanderbilt was alive,
she was very hands-on in selecting
and wrapping gifts for employees
and their families. According to records in Biltmore Estate's archives,
Mrs. Vanderbilt understood the value of buying local. She purchased the