More than a million people visit Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and about 300,000 of them visit during Christmas season. Planning the decorations for the eight thousand acre Asheville attraction is quite a large task, to say the least. Luckily, Biltmore Estate employs a well-trained staff to prepare the House and its surrounding areas for the Holiday Season. Biltmore Estate’s decorations include 150 Christmas trees, 25,000 ornaments, 25,000 lights and 1,500 poinsettias. Even though many of Biltmore’s decorations maybe out of your price range, your house can still benefit from some of its decorating tips.
First, find a theme that matches your decorations, and think about the colors in the room where you will set up your tree. Your house should show your guests something about you and your family. You can also mix between homemade and store-bought ornaments. Keep in mind that green and red are not the only colors you can use to decorate and make sure you have a theme that repeats throughout all of your decorated rooms.
Make sure to shape your tree before adding any Christmas lights. Asheville’s Biltmore Estate makes use of 50 light strands, with six inches of space between each bulb. That means a tree that is six feet tall needs a total of eight sets of lights.
Warning: Never plug in more than six strands of lights together and never plug in more than six strands to a single outlet. Adding more lights could cause an electrical fire.
Working from the top of the tree down, weave the lights up and down across the branches. Take a step back, and look at the tree every once in a while to be sure the lights are placed so that the tree is evenly lit. Next, add garland or any other drapery before you add your ornaments. This keeps the garland from knocking off and breaking any of your precious ornaments.
What you put on top can make or break a tree, and most many tree decorators put the tree topper on last. Putting it on before you stand the tree up can save quite a lot of frustration. You can bet the staff at the Biltmore weren’t standing on rickety step-ladders while trying to put their tree toppers on last, especially as one of their trees is a 38-foot Frasier Fir. Also, make sure your Christmas tree skirt matches the rest of your decorations. You don’t need to run out and buy one either– an old tablecloth will suffice as long as it goes with everything.
The Biltmore Estate will celebrate Christmas until January 1, 2008 and some of the special events include:
Candlelight Christmas Evenings
Offered by reservation only. Luminaries lead the way to the house’s front door. The Biltmore House appears much as it would have during 19th century—- by fireplace and candlelight– it will be an experience that you will certainly remember.
Biltmore Activities and Packages
The Winery will offer tours, cooking demonstrations and wine tasting throughout the Christmas season.
Tickets prices will vary based on date and time. Persons ages 10 to 16 are half of the regular adult price. Kids nine and under are *free* when they are with a paying adult. See the Biltmore Estate web-site for more information, as special online rates are available.