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Chateau Elan lights up for holiday season
Braselton resort plans day of Christmas cheer the day after Thanksgiving
Santa Claus will be on hand Friday at at the annual Lighting of the Chateau in Braselton. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The Lighting of the Chateau

When: 2-6 p.m. Friday

Where: The Winery Lawn at Chateau Elan

Cost: $10 parking; tickets for activities are $1 each

The day after Thanksgiving has many activities associated with it: fighting the crowd for Black Friday deals, laying in an induced food coma after Thursday's feast or taking down fall decorations and putting up Christmas ornaments.

Assembling decorations can be a chore, especially for enthusiasts. Crawling into the depths of one's attic sprouts enough fatigue, but having to actually unpack and string up the decorations after the exhibition is done — that's an exhausting way to end a Thanksgiving holiday.

For those looking for an entertaining, and more relaxing, way to settle their food, Chateau Elan has a holiday celebration in mind. The Lighting of the Chateau is Friday, allowing patrons to exchange Black Friday woes for an eyeful of holiday bliss.

"The Lighting of the Chateau is our annual kickoff of the holiday season at Chateau Elan," said Paul DeBoer, the marketing coordinator at Chateau Elan. "At the end of the event, after dusk, we light up the property with 35,000 sparkling lights and a fireworks display following immediately after."

Though the lighting ceremony is enough for interest, there are many other activities offered during the event.

"We have many activities from slides and bouncy houses to a rock climbing wall and culinary demonstrations. There will be lots of arts, crafts and magic shows," said DeBoer. "It's a fun-filled day for families."

Some of the events are free and others require $1 tickets.

"When people attend the event, they can expect lots of activities to cater to children of all ages and interests, delicious food and tasty warm drinks," DeBoer said.

Though the event offers many things for children, people of all ages can enjoy the show.

"The majority of the activities at The Lighting are aimed at children, but there are also activities that will appeal to adults, such as the culinary demonstrations, wine tastings in the winery and chair massages in our Spa Relaxation room," DeBoer said.

With Christmas lights, activities and general holiday cheer, only one thing is missing: Santa.

"This is my third year planning the lighting and I really enjoy coordinating it and seeing so many happy faces, especially when Santa arrives on his sleigh to start the day," DeBoer said.

With Santa on site, The Lighting of the Chateau is complete with holiday warmth, and Chateau Elan offers even more events to enjoy throughout the season.

"We will have Santa here on the weekends leading up to Christmas. We will also have Victorian carolers and carriage rides on select weekends in December," said DeBoer. "The entire month of December is my favorite time here, with holiday activities gearing up for our big New Year's Eve Masquerade party. It is a very exciting time here at the resort."

For the cost of parking, patrons can enjoy a fun-filled night for the whole family, and save decorating for next week.