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Chateau Elan festival will light the night

POSTED: December 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

New York may have its tree in Rockefeller Center, but the City of Braselton has a whole chateau.

As northerners prepare for the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, the people over at Chateau Elan are preparing for their own traditional holiday event.

To help shepherd in the Christmas season, Chateau Elan will be hosting its annual Lighting of the Chateau on Friday.

The ceremony — which draws a crowd of several thousand spectators each year — is part New Year’s Eve, part carnival and part Fourth of July all rolled into one.

"The Lighting of the Chateau is really very lovely. We have a countdown ceremony just before all of the (holiday) lights are lit on the chateau and the lighting is followed immediately by fireworks that you can see from all over the property," said Larry Mayran, Chateau Elan Winery and Resort communications director.

"There will be activities for the kids, a choral group singing Christmas carols and lots of good food."

The Lighting of the Chateau festivities kick off at 3 p.m. with the arrival of a very special guest.

"Santa Claus will arrive in front of the winery in a carriage and will be greeted by the Grinch," Mayran said. After his arrival, Santa will be in the chateau’s Bordeaux Room and available for pictures, while a storyteller spins a few yarns for listeners.

The food that will be available for purchase will range from the traditional carnival fare of hotdogs and hamburgers, to the not so traditional gumbo and jambalaya.

While there is no charge to attend the event, there is a $10 charge for parking and some of the rides and games at the events require tickets, which can be purchased on site for $1 or $2, Mayran said.

Besides being a family fun event, a portion of the proceeds from the Lighting of the Chateau will also benefit the Braselton public library.



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