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article imagePhoto Essay: A glimpse of Nashville's 'Country Christmas' Special

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By Greta McClain     Dec 23, 2012 in Travel
Nashville - Nashville's Opryland Hotel has lit up the southeast side of the city for the past 29 years, illuminating the banks of the Cumberland River with more than 2 millions Christmas lights, and putting everyone that passes in a festive mood.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1977, the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center opened it's doors. With 580 guest rooms and only one ballroom, the Southern Mansion style hotel quickly found it needed to expand.
In 1984, 480 guest rooms were added, along with a one acre Garden Conservatory, which is home to 10,000 different plants. That same year, the hotel decided to show off it's new addition, decorating it with thousands of Christmas lights and decoration. The idea quickly became a tradition, one that has grown over the years.
The hotel's Country Christmas has become a tradition for many Nashvillians. Year after year, couples and families venture out to the hotel, driving along the grounds, mesmerized by the stunning lights, nativity scene and decorations.
Outside the main Opryland Hotel entrance
Outside the main Opryland Hotel entrance
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Christmas lights decorate the trees outside Opryland Hotel.
Christmas lights decorate the trees outside Opryland Hotel.
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The lighted Nativity Scene outside Opryland hotel.
The lighted Nativity Scene outside Opryland hotel.
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A close-up view of the Nativity Scene at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville  TN.
A close-up view of the Nativity Scene at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN.
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Another view of the Nativity scene.
Another view of the Nativity scene.
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Christmas decoration outside the Opryland Hotel.
Christmas decoration outside the Opryland Hotel.
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Lights decorate the trees outside Opryland Hotel.
Lights decorate the trees outside Opryland Hotel.
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The sights inside the various parts of the hotel are equally stunning. The Garden Conservatory, along with the Cascades Atrium, which opened in 1988, and the 1996 addition called the Delta Atrium, are all decorated in in vibrant colors and themes.
Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
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Thousands of lights and various decorations hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
Thousands of lights and various decorations hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
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Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
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Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
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Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
Thousands of lights hang down from the ceiling of the Opryland Hotel.
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Numerous Christmas trees are scattered throughout the hotel. Some are traditional trees with lights and decorations, others are made out of poinsettias. Poinsettias have also been added to the already lush greenery for the holidays.
One of several Christmas trees beautifully decorated at the Opryland Hotel.
One of several Christmas trees beautifully decorated at the Opryland Hotel.
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One of several Christmas trees beautifully decorated at the Opryland Hotel.
One of several Christmas trees beautifully decorated at the Opryland Hotel.
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One of the poinsettia trees at Opryland Hotel.
One of the poinsettia trees at Opryland Hotel.
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A close-up view of another poinsettia tree.
A close-up view of another poinsettia tree.
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Poinsettias have been added to the other greenery at Opryland Hotel to provide extra color and a Chr...
Poinsettias have been added to the other greenery at Opryland Hotel to provide extra color and a Christmas feel.
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In addition to the spectacular decorations, the Opryland Hotel also has the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes, the Dreamworks Experience, which this year features Shrek, along with the Lorrie Morgan's Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show.
Producing such a splendid display of lights is not an easy task. Beginning in July, work crews painstakingly begin the process of placing the lights throughout the hotel and hotel grounds. After a little over four months, the process is complete and ready for visitors to enjoy a Country Christmas.
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