Thousands of guests will be at “A Country Christmas,” but the newest and coolest – literally – are Snoopy and Charlie Brown, stars of ICE!
Visitors to colorful, interactive ice sculpture will see the Charles Schulz cartoon characters come to life in one of the highlights of the seasonal, family-friendly attractions at Gaylord Opryland Resort. A Country Christmas runs through Jan. 2.
“For the 26th annual year, ‘A Country Christmas’ will make memories to last a lifetime for thousands of people who travel to experience the most written about holiday resort entertainment, décor and food in America,” said Kim Keelor, Opryland’s media relations leader. Of course, she would say that, but the national newspaper USA Today said “A Country Christmas” is one of the “ten great places to catch up with Santa, and the Travel Channel said it is “the most Christmassy hotel in the nation.”
In addition to the new Charlie Brown on ICE, “A Country Christmas” includes more than two million lights, over 12 shows and attractions, dinners, breakfast and much more. Other top events are the Radio City Christmas spectacular featuring the Rockettes; Louis Mandrell’s Joy to the World Christmas dinner and show; and “A Country Christmas on the Cumberland River.”
Keelor promised that every attraction is special, but she and her staff are really excited about ICE. “One of America’s most cherished and successful TV Christmas classics is being brought to Nashville, Tenn. by Gaylord Opryland Resort for the world’s first and only ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas,” she said. ICE! at Gaylord Opryland is presented by Coca-Cola.
Suddenly, the uplifting Charlie Brown story will be brought to life by hand carved ice sculptures from two million pounds of ice, creating new memories from Schulz’s 1965 animated television production.
On a recent tour of the ICE! Sculpture for the first time, Lee Mendelson said, “I felt it captured emotion, and life you forget it is ice your looking at.” Mendelson was the producer of the perennial favorite TV-movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Jeannie Schulz, the widow of Charles Schulz, was also on hand at the Opryland Resort. She said she was “speechless,” then proceeded to exclaim, “We know how hard it is to make something have emotion and they did a fabulous job. It reminded me of a play on ice, with emotion and music, it’s almost impossible to describe.”
Jill and Craig, two of five children from Charles Schulz’s first marriage, also made it to the event
“Growing up I always felt as though I could relate best with Charlie Brown’s character,” Jill Schulz said.
Now that the exhibit is open to the public, visitors can experience the Peanuts’ gang in favorite scenes such as the practice rehearsal hall, Snoopy’s magical decorated house, and Charlie Brown picking out the perfect Christmas tree.
“We conducted exit surveys at our ice attractions last year to ask our guests what theme they would most like to see in ICE for 2009,” remarked Pete Weien, senior vice president and general manager of Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. “The response from our guests was clear, they overwhelmingly voted for a Charlie Brown Christmas.”
ICE! will be open seven days a week times will vary depending on the day of the week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Ticket prices range from $13 for children to $24 for adults and children ages three and under are free.