Christmas at the Crescent

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“Christmas At The Crescent” Has

Become Eureka Springs Tradition

 Christmas time at this Historic Hotel of America has become one of The Ozarks region’s most popular winter holiday traditions.  Part of that tradition is the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa’s week longCHF_8859 schedule of activities for visitors, residents and guests which is called “Christmas at the Crescent”.  This year’s yuletide celebration at this mountaintop spa resort runs from December 7 through December 13 here at 75 Prospect Avenue on the Historic Loop.  It is all part of the full, nearly month-long calendar of seasonal events planned here at one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

            “When we first started this annual event 13 years ago it consisted of a live Nativity scene, wonderful decorations, Santa’s Brunch and free holiday movies for our guests,” said hotel General Manager and Vice-President of Operations Jack Moyer.  “The crowds were small that year but everyone who attended had a great time.  So much so, it encouraged us to expand our holiday decorations at the property and build up events during this week not only for our hotel but to also impact the holiday season for the entire community of Eureka Springs.”

            One such community-wide event is the Lighting of the Christmas Forest on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m.  More than 30 trees willDSC_0030 adorn the holiday focal point of the hotel’s nearly 15 acres, The East Lawn.  Each tree will be uniquely decorated one to the other since each tree represents a different local and area charity.

            “Not only is our Christmas Forest a sparkling sight to behold, visitors to the forest can ‘vote’ for their favorite tree.  At the end of the ‘election’ on December 31, each tree’s ‘votes’ will be donated to that charity.  Additionally, the top three vote-getters also receive a nice cash prize donated from the hotel,” explained Moyer.

            Also on Saturday Night from 3 – 8 PM, the Crescent Hotel will participate in the annual Preservation Tour of Homes by opening up the iconic Manor house of Lookout Cottages Estate.  The Preservation Tour of Homes, often attended by over 2,000 visitor helps to fund preservation efforts around Eureka Springs including last year’s benefactor, Crescent Spring.

            Santa arrives at the hotel on Sunday, December 8 when he is the star attraction at Santa’s Brunch.  The two elements that guests are suggested to bring to this feast of holiday culinary delights areDSC_0095 a large appetite and a camera.  While eating to their hearts’ delight guests also getting a chance to sit on Ol’ Saint Nick’s lap for a chance to capture a photographic lifetime memory.  Santa has been known to balance an entire family on his red velvet knees for that just right shot.  Brunch is served from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. while Santa will be poised for photo ops from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

            Each weekday, the hotel’s activity department creates a festive to do, while at noon during this special holiday week, the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom swings open its doors for hungry patrons and school groups ready to perform for those enjoying a mid-day repast.  Bands and choirs from local area middle and high schools present medleys of festive tunes that always bring back happy holiday memories from years gone by.

            For those holiday travelers who long to return to the 19th century and the days of Charles Dickens, the Eureka Springs Readers Theater troupe presents a rousing adaptation of “A ChristmasPhoto by Purdy Art Co. Carol” following a Dickensian-themed feast.  This “Holiday Feast with Charles Dickens” is a Tuesday night affair, held December 10th in the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom.  Reservations are recommended since seating is limited.  Dinner is served at 6 p.m. followed by the performance.

            Thursday night, December 12th  will utilize that same hotel venue but this time it will be filled with the polished holiday musical stylings of The Ozarks Chorale, a popular vocal ensemble that has performed in New York City’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.  A dinnertime concert entitled “Sounds of the Season” isPhoto by Purdy Art Co. planned at 6:30 p.m. as the executive chef offers up its special “Tastes of The Holidays” menu accompanied by one of the largest wine cellars in the state.  Reservations are not required.

             “One great outcropping from our hotel’s annual event has been the evolution of the community pulling together to expand Christmas lighting throughout the town as well as make this week and the days surrounding it a true Christmas festival,” added Moyer.esxmasparade

            Under the sponsorship of such organizations as Eureka Springs Downtown Network and the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, such delightful holiday events as the night-time downtown Christmas Parade, Santa In The Park, Preservation Tour of Homes and festive shopping enhancements make historic Downtown Eureka Springs a winter wonderland.

                        “The Christmas season has become huge here in Eureka,” Moyer said.  “Starting with Christmas parade Friday December 6th and continuing through Christmas at the Crescent and the Sweet Treats Christmas Tour the first two weeks of December are filled with holiday spirit and events.  So many in fact this two-week celebration is now known as the ‘EurekaSprings.com Christmas Festival’.”

“Our ‘Christmas at The Crescent’ this year will allow our guests to ‘Live The Legend’ here at our hotel, the symbol of Arkansas hospitality since 1886,” concluded Moyer.

For more information on “Christmas at The Crescent”, one should go to ChristmasattheCrescent.com.

 

Holiday Season in Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs Offering “WOW!” This Holiday Season

Are the gifts you buy for your loved ones every year kind of like a plate full of chocolate chip cookies?  Sweet.  Tasty.  Nice… but nothing “WOW!”  That can all change this year when holiday shoppers 484152_550898464923607_1894183831_nsojourn over to Eureka Springs.  There they will find “WOW” (“Wonderland Of Wonderful”) gifts.  Dozens of eclectic shops and galleries are this Victorian village’s trademark.  Inside these twinkling shops and galleries holiday shoppers will actually find those one-of-a-kind gifts.  The kind of gifts that will have the recipients audibly saying “WOW!” after the wrapping paper has been frenetically ripped away.

When shopping in this Dickensian setting, holiday visitors will find themselves actually smiling, enjoying the execution of this required annual task.  Many will chuckle upon realizing that the humming of a tune about Santa Claus coming to town is escaping from behind their smile   This is the pre-Christmas 12-4-10 069experience being offered unassuming holiday celebrants once they have arrived in Eureka Springs, the authentic holiday town.

“If we hear one thing repeated by those who holiday shop in Eureka Springs is that it is fun and authentic holiday shopping experience,” said Amanda Haley, board member for the Eureka Springs Main Street Program (ESDN).  “What organizations like ESDN, the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, and others do is to then work hard to embellish these three magical Christmas shopping weekends with festive, experiential activities and events.

“During these weekends, visiting shoppers might find themselves passing a ‘living window’ or nibbling on a hot S’more while the sounds of Christmas carols surround them in the park.  They can also couple their holiday excitement with a spa-like time of relaxation for what we locals are calling jubilee rejuvenation in one of America’s Distinctive Destinations.”

For those who enjoy the words, “I’m just looking.” there are two special events just for them.  Spectators line the streets early for a good view of The Ozarks’ most festive holiday parade the evening OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAof December 5.  Sponsored by Arvest Bank, this multi-unit spectacle in motion brightly winds its way along Eureka’s historic loop from the Carnegie Library through downtown past Basin Spring Park.  The other “observers only” occasion is the next day on December 6.  The Eureka Springs Preservation Society’s “Holiday Tour of Homes” each year welcomes more than 2,000 sets of eyes to see not only beautiful turn-of-the-century homes but homes gaily decorated.

“Many people can spend one of these three holiday weekends adrift somewhere in a concrete city circling a shopping center or big-box store looking for a parking place only to feel like, once inside, a sardine in a sea of humanity,” noted Haley.  “Here in Eureka our ‘seafood’ is served as an entree, not herded into a never-ending check-out line.

“Visitors complete their Eureka holi-day weekend relaxed, not frazzled, which makes that seafood or steak served in one of our highly-acclaimed, non-chain restaurants even more pleasurable.  Only one thing left to do, travel a block or two and sleep in a bed turned down ‘just for you’ waiting for those dancing sugar plums to appear.”

It is said when you add up all the shops and galleries of downtown, uptown and outlying areas, this nineteenth century Ozark hamlet festooned in its holiday finery, boasts more than 100 retail 481837_550895701590550_1277496998_nbusinesses.  “And none are more than a few steps, a few minutes away one from the others,” Haley explained, “with no fear of getting ‘mall’ed!”

To pluck just one from “the 100” to serve as an example of what shoppers can expect when holiday shopping in Eureka Springs: Iris At Basin Park, located downtown at 8 Spring Street, adjacent to the 1905 Basin Park Hotel.  This typically eclectic Eureka Springs combination art gallery/gift shop features the work of about 150 American artists, many local.  Some of their art is wearable, hangable, has a utility or is just fun to display in that special focal point in a home or office.  A wide variety of items in a full range of prices allow shoppers with any size budget to come away with a treasure to wrap up and place under the tree; guaranteed to produce a “WOW!”

For more information about ways to enjoy Eureka Springs these three special weekends of the holiday season, one should go to Eureka Springs’ shops and galleries, ESDN Christmas Events, Greater Eureka Springs Chamber’s Calendar of Events, Christmas At The Crescent, or simply go to EurekaSprings.com.