Christmas at Biltmore begins with annual tree-raising celebration

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The Christmas season is underway at America’s largest private home.

Santa Claus delivered a 35-foot-tall Frasier Fir tree to the Biltmore Estate Thursday morning, continuing a longstanding “tree raising” tradition.

The tradition dates back to 1895 when Biltmore owner George Vanderbilt first opened his 250-room home to friends and family and delivered a tree that same size to the Banquet Hall. Following tradition, the tree is decorated with 500 lights, 500 ornaments and 500 wrapped packages tucked into its branches. This year the tree’s colors will be blue and gold, inspired by the tapestry in the Banquet Hall.

That decor falls in line with the overarching theme for Christmas at Biltmore this year, “The Art of Christmas.” Each room’s decoration will be inspired by artwork in the house. There are over 100 hand-decorated trees throughout the house and estate combined.

“This year with our Titanic exhibit and Chihuly exhibit, we really made art and travel part of the experience here at Biltmore for all of 2018,” says Lizzie Borchers, Floral Manager at the Biltmore Estate. “So Christmas at Biltmore is the last piece of that.”

The 35- foot- tall tree will be switched out with another Frasier Fir and will be re-decorated towards the end of November. That process will take about 8 hours, starting at 4 AM.

Christmas at Biltmore officially starts November 3rd and runs through January 5th. For more information, click or tap here.

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