Christmastime 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-long 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 1 through December 7 located 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 holiday week back in 2000, it consisted of a decorated lobby and live Nativity scene which suffered not much of an impact crowd-wise due to 10 inches of snow that fell the day before we populated our Bethlehem stable,” said hotel General Manager and Vice-President of Operations Jack Moyer. “And now, on the other end of the spectrum is this year’s expanded decorations throughout the interior and exterior of the hotel. These include the adding of red and green spotlights running up the limestone sides of our five-story landmark hotel, and the conversion of our Fountain Garden into the Crescent’s new Winter Wonderland.”“Our landscaping team has constructed both a 30-foot illuminated Christmas tree and huge illuminated presents,” Moyer added. “This brilliant holiday ensemble is a festive accent to our adjacent outdoor ice-skating rink making its popular return engagement from last year. Also added for 2018 is an illuminated tunnel of lights leading guests from our Winter Wonderland to our East Lawn, site of our Christmas Forest.”
The lighting of the Crescent Christmas Forest on Saturday, December 1st at 6 p.m. has become a popular community event. More than 30 trees will 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. Each dollar donated to a specific tree counts as one vote. 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.
Santa arrives at the hotel on Sunday, December 2 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 are 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. This holiday breakfast feast is served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. while Santa will be poised for photo ops from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At noon on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 3-5, the hotel’s Crystal Dining Room swings open its doors for hungry lunch patrons and musical groups ready to perform for those enjoying a mid-day repast. Representing all of Carroll County this year are the Green Forest Chamber Choir on Monday; the Eureka Springs Highlander Band and Choir on Tuesday; and on Wednesday, the Berryville High School Vocal Image, the Berryville Intermediate Bobcat Honor Choir, and the Berryville Elementary Choir.
On Wednesday evening, the Crescent will again host the Annual Holiday Community Dinner, this year benefitting the Writers’ Colony. This casual, family-style meal welcomes the entire community to come and share delicious holiday fare while helping out this worthwhile local organization. The meal begins at 6 p.m.
Other evening events will take place in the hotel’s Faculty Lounge Theater and will feature noted storyteller, Keith Scales. He will be regaling a selection of Christmas ghost stories during his performance of “Frightfully Festive” on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights, December 2, 3 and 5. On the evenings of December 4 and 6, same time/same place, he will be presenting “The Funny Side of The Ozarks” with lively tales of the area. All performances begin at 9 p.m.
An afternoon event, hosted by St. James Episcopal Church, will mark its fifty-second year on Thursday, December 6. The Annual Silver Tea will see the ladies of the church, dressed in period costumes, serving up tea and coffee from polished silver sets in the Crystal Dining Room while offering up a plethora of holiday edibles. The event takes place from 1:30 to 3:30 and a charitable donation from each guest at the door is greatly appreciated.Weather permitting, the highly popular Crescent Ice-Skating Rink will welcome skaters for its official re-opening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night starting on Sunday, December 2. Friday, December 7, night’s open skate will feature the “Friday Night Fun Kick-Off with Santa” celebration from 5 to 6 in hotel’s Winter Wonderland.
Eureka Springs’ Five and Dime Players take the stage in the hotel’s Conservatory on Friday night, December 7 for their presentation of a live Holiday Radio Show. Ticket holders will enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres at 6 o’clock with the “curtain” going up at 7 for 90 minutes of seasonal fun and songs.
“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, go to ChristmasAtTheCrescent.com.