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12th Annual Carolina Inn “Twelve Days of Christmas” Celebration

New Front Porch Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Highlights Two Dozen Special Events from Nov. 29-Jan. 3

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (November 2, 2009) – The Carolina Inn’s 12th annual celebration of the holidays features some new treats (Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Front Porch, “It’s Snowing at The Carolina Inn” commissioned masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow and An Afternoon with Nicholas Nickleby), many old favorites (10-ton holiday sand sculpture depicting a verse of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” carol, Teddy Bear Tea, Gingerbread House Competition, Holiday Afternoon Tea and luncheons with the voice of the Tar Heels Woody Durham and etiquette author Cecilia Budd Grimes), plus six value-stuffed hotel packages starting at $117 per night.

The five-week schedule from Nov. 29-Jan. 3, 2009 features more than two dozen special events and features a free open house on Sunday, Nov. 29 from Noon to 5 pm. There will be refreshments, live bell ringers and self-guided tours of the Inn’s Twelve Days of Christmas decorative vignettes, which will be more elaborate and imaginative than ever, and a dance performance by 5th grade students from Frank Porter Graham’s Arts in Action program. The decorations will be on display through Jan. 3 with daily viewings from 8 am to 10 pm.

Also on display throughout the holidays are dolls and toys from every decade of the 20th century and even some from the 19th century, plus all of the entries in the seventh annual Gingerbread House contest from Dec. 12-27 with winners announced on Dec. 21.

Online Information and Reservations
Complete information about all of the Twelve Days of Christmas events at The Carolina Inn including dates, times and cost, if any, is online at
Reservations are required for many of the events and may be made online or by calling 888-878-1823.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on The Front Porch
Start the holiday season and experience the magic of Christmas at The Carolina Inn with its first-ever Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Front Porch. The evening will begin with joyful holiday music by the popular bluegrass band Big Fat Gap. Warm up with free holiday refresh¬ments and home-made sweets. A surprise guest will lead the countdown to light the tree on the front porch. In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, please consider bringing a new unwrapped toy. The Orange County Toy Chest will distribute these toys to needy children throughout the community.

“It’s Snowing at The Carolina Inn”
This year’s commissioned masterpiece, “It’s Snowing at The Carolina Inn,” was created by Elaine O’Neil, a textile collage artist from Chapel Hill. The holiday scene of The Carolina Inn depicts a magical snowy night filled with the anticipation of Christmas.  O’Neil approached the textile collage with a simple sketch. Then through snips and cuts, she used her scissors as a painter uses a paintbrush to slowly reveal the image. Layer upon layer of fabric was stitched in place using a variety of colors and textures, to bring the piece to life. The snow falling from the sky was created by painstakingly hand sewing miniature pom poms in place.

Antiques Roadshow
The public areas of The Carolina Inn are filled with interesting American and English furnishings and art that date back to the 19th century. Join the Inn’s historian, Dr. Kenneth Zogry, for lunch and a tour of some of these fascinating and historic objects on Dec. 10 and 29.

Holiday Sand Sculpture
World-renowned sand sculptors Damian Hoffman and Ed Moore will create a unique and creative tribute to a verse of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Beginning Sunday morning, Nov. 29, they will start transforming 10 tons of sand on the patio of The Carolina Inn into a giant sculpture of true performance art. Visitors to the Inn may watch the talented duo at work and then marvel at the completed sculpture, which will remain on display through Jan. 3.

Breakfast/Brunch with Santa
Children 12 and under, along with their parents, are invited to enjoy a Carolina Inn buffet breakfast with Santa on Dec. 12, 13, 19, 20, 23 and 24. $20 for adults, $15 for children 3-12 and free for children under 3. For those wanting the same fun and magic but with a heartier meal, enjoy brunch with Santa on Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 and 23. $25 for adults, $20 for children 3-12 and free for children under 3. Reservations are required.

Fete des Trois Rois – Community Fundraiser
During the season for giving, The Carolina Inn joins the spirit on Jan. 2 as 25 percent of the gross receipts of the New Orleans Style Twelfth Night Banquet will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in a tribute to the unwavering spirit of the Crescent City. $75 per person and reservations are required.

Concerts, Dances, Lectures, Luncheons and Dinners
Other special events on the Twelve Days of Christmas celebration schedule include:
• Holiday Afternoon Tea, Nov. 29-Jan. 3 except Mondays, Tuesdays and Christmas Day.
• Hats Off to the Kids Celebration, Nov. 29. Special celebration with Our Children’s Place.
• Christmas Tea Party at The Carolina Inn, Dec. 6.  Great addition to Nutcracker theatre experience and a fun holiday activity for the family.
• Swing Dance Lessons, Dec. 8.
• Real Men Wear Kilts – Scottish Highland Dinner, Dec. 9.
• A free violin concert by students of Suzuki Academy of North Carolina, Dec. 13. The students, ages 5-10, will perform holiday classics.
• Holiday Storytelling, Dec. 13 and 20. Claire Vera Ramsey brings the magic of her favorite holiday to life in her tales of lightly falling snow, gifts, family and Christmas.
• Lords A’Leaping Luncheon, a perennial favorite, Dec. 16. Woody Durham, the voice of the Tar Heels, will preview the college basketball season.
• Nine Ladies Tapping, Dec. 16. A performance for children and adults by Footnotes Tap Ensemble.
• “What It Means to be a Southern Grandmother,” Dec. 18. Etiquette professional Cecilia Budd Grimes returns to the Inn to introduce her newest book that involves a fun romp through grandmotherly things from A to Z.
• An Afternoon with Nicholas Nickleby, Dec. 19. Ultimate VIP theatre experience with afternoon tea, luncheon and valet service to/from PlayMakers for the matinee show of Nicholas Nickleby Part I.
• Holiday cookie decorating for children, Dec. 21 and 22.
• Children’s Etiquette Luncheon, Dec. 22. Protocol professional Cecilia Budd Grimes will walk kids through the do’s and don’ts of table etiquette as they eat their way through a five-course lunch.
• “If Walls Could Talk: History of the Famous Zuber Wallpaper,” Dec. 22. Lunch with the Inn’s historian Ken Zogry who talks about the historical significance of the French wallpaper “Scenes of North America.”
•  Ornament Making, Dec. 23 and 24.
• Teddy Bear Tea with Triangle Youth Ballet, Dec. 28.

About the Carolina Inn
Recognized as one of America’s “cultural resources worthy of preservation,” The Carolina Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with elite status as a AAA Four Diamond Award Hotel and Mobil Four Star Award-Winning Dining at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. From the day it opened in 1924, the 184-room Inn has played an important role in the life of the University of North Carolina and the Chapel Hill community. As one of only four hotels in North Carolina built before 1925 to remain in continuous operation, it has long been one of the most popular sites in North Carolina for special events, weddings, business meetings, and academic conferences with over 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. In addition to having a rich cultural history, The Carolina Inn is architecturally significant, blending elements of antebellum Southern plantation houses with Georgian and neoclassical features often found in the Northeast. The original front of the building was modeled after the Potomac River front of Mt. Vernon. The Carolina Inn is one of more than 30 independent, upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and golf clubs in the United States managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts, the fourth largest independent hospitality management company in the country.