Christmas at the Crescent

“Christmas At The Crescent” Has Become Eureka Springs Tradition Photo by Purdy Art Co.

 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 weeklong 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, 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 build up this week not only for our hotel but to also impact the holiday season for the entire community of Eureka Springs.”CHF_8859

One such community-wide event is the Christmas Forest Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m.  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.  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 8 when he is the star attraction at Santa’s Brunch.  The two elements that guests are suggested to DSC_0104bring 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.  Brunch is served from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. while Santa will be poised for photo ops from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Each weekday at noon during this special holiday week, the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom swings open it doors for hungry patrons and school groups ready to perform DSC_0264 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 Photo by Purdy Art Co.adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” following a Dickensian-themed feast.  This “Holiday Feast with Charles Dickens” is a Tuesday night affair held 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 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 thePhoto by Purdy Art Co. Season” is 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.

For those who long to share a laugh or a happy tear with friends and family while watching classic holiday motion pictures, Skybar Gourmet Pizza is where guests will want to congregate.  Each evening of “Christmas at the Crescent”, Sunday through Friday, this popular lounge and eatery transforms itself into a mini-plex for enjoying Christmas cinematic classics.  As a hotel gift to Skybar patrons, there is no admission for this nostalgic trip down memory lane.  The Skybar also provides a bird’s-eye view of the hotel’s Christmas Forest four stories below.

“One great outcropping from our hotel’s annual event has been the evolution of the community pulling together to make this week and the days surrounding it a true Christmas f12-4-10 075-SMALLestival,” added Moyer.

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, and festive shopping enhancements make historic Downtown Eureka Springs a winter wonderland.

“The Christmas season has become huge here in Eureka,” Moyer said.  “In fact, it has become so big we had to find one umbrella sponsor for promotion of all the holiday events.  Our four-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 crescenthotel.com.