Every family has its own unique Christmas traditions. Whether it's opening one present each on Christmas Eve or that special holiday meal, these simple rituals are what help make the holiday complete for family and friends. For some, that means a winter retreat to Myrtle Beach and a trip to the Carolina Opry for its “Christmas Show of the South” presentation.
Entering its 31st season, the Carolina Opry's holiday show has become a family tradition for locals and visitors alike who look forward to the Christmas spectacular. Owner, producer and entertainer Calvin Gilmore and his crew go all out to make sure that each year's show brings something new and fresh while keeping the classics that are loved by all.
An all-star cast performs Christmas-themed song and dance routines, and mind-blowing special effects provide Christmas miracles that are part of the magic of the Carolina Opry production. Patrons are amazed by the antique horse-drawn sleigh that takes the stage and the actual snow that falls inside the theater to create an atmosphere that is sure to put you and your party in the holiday spirit, from jolly little Christmas elves to even the scroogiest members of your vacation crew.
“Right now, families and groups need light-hearted entertainment more than ever before,” said Gilmore, a former fixture on the Grand Ole Opry who brought his diverse creative talents to Myrtle Beach to open his own theater. “We are pulling out all the stops to make this the most amazing, funny, warm and wonderful show ever. Wait until you hear our show-stopper — not even going to give you a hint of what it is.”
This year's showcase features all the Christmas classics you know and love that have been part of the performance for decades. Southern gospel hymns and traditional holiday carols are sung by a star-studded, 35-person cast that includes favorites Rita Gumm, Brad Long and even Gilmore himself. Dance routines are performed with precision by the house troupe, The Carolina Opry Dancers, as well as a new act by popular tap-dance outfit All That of NBC's “America's Got Talent” fame.
Of course, the main headline act is the jolly ol' elf himself, who closes the show with another surprise entrance. Santa Claus will also be available for photo opportunities in the main lobby, which almost serves as a separate attraction. The Carolina Opry decks the halls with more than 25,000 lights and 35 Christmas trees, including a 30-footer decorated in traditional country Christmas style. After the show, members of the cast and crew come out to sign autographs for fans.
For Breakers Resort guests looking for even more Christmas magic on stage, check out these local venues and their special holiday productions:
- Alabama Theatre: This Barefoot Landing theater puts on “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show” with a showcase of song, dance, comedy and more. The show runs November through December.
- Legends in Concert: See tribute artists pay homage to the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Nat King Cole and more by performing their favorite Christmas tunes at this Broadway at the Beach venue. The “Christmas Legends” show runs November through December.
- Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament: Celebrate Christmas the really-old-fashioned way at this historical venue from the Middle Ages. The castle is decorated for the holidays, and the show takes on a Christmas theme in one of the most spectacular displays in town. The Christmas show runs November through December.
- Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show: Located beside The Carolina Opry, this Dolly Parton production proves that even the surliest of pirates can get into the Christmas spirit. Offering a holiday feast to go with a special Christmas show, this production is perfect for the whole family, regardless of age. The Christmas show runs November through December.
The Carolina Opry’s “Christmas Show of the South” takes the stage November 1 through January 1, with 1 p.m. matinees and 7 p.m. shows scheduled throughout the two-month run. For more information, visit www.thecarolinaopry.com.