Janesville72°

Displays turn resort into a holiday inn

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Kayla Bunge
November 23, 2007
— Soft, golden light dances on the walls of Grand Geneva Resort, flickering in anticipation of the “oohs” and “ahhs” to come when Christmas in the Country opens today.

The six-week celebration of lights and holiday spirit breathes life into the resort during an otherwise quiet time, Vice President of Operations Stephen Magnuson said.


“It’s lights; it’s sound; it’s entertainment; it’s food,” he said.


And sure it’s cliché, but Christmas in the Country offers something for everyone, from decorations to caroling, from dinner and a show to brunch with Santa Claus.


“The holiday time is about family,” Magnuson said, “and this allows them to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend time together as a family.”


Visitors to the resort will see more than half a million lights outside and tens of thousands more inside. Animated displays in the main lodge showcase the 12 Grand Days of Christmas, from a peacock in a pear tree to eleven mermaids swimming.


Artistic Director Kristi Johnson said it’s all about creating an atmosphere that’s special and fun.


Her crew has been planning this year’s decorations and displays since last year. And they’re already thinking of next year.


She estimates it takes about 30 people three weeks to transform the resort into a holiday wonderland.


Magnuson said thousands of visitors come to Grand Geneva.


“And it keeps growing every year,” he said. “And each year, the show gets bigger, the hotel gets busier.


“Without Christmas in the Country, this hotel would be very quiet.”


Christmas in the Country

-- “Hooray for Holidays.” This 90-minute show features spectacular costumes, choreography and music performed with a four-piece band. For show times and ticket information, call (262) 249-4741.


-- “Snap, Jingle, Pop!” Carolers celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa through song at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday in the main lobby.


-- “Tom’s Holiday Song-Fest.” Children can sing along and play instruments with area musician Tom Stanfield from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays in December.


-- Brunch with Santa. Santa and Mrs. Claus visit with guests during Sunday champagne brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at the Geneva ChopHouse.


-- Afternoon holiday tea will be served from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. daily i the lobby lounge.


-- Gingerbread house display. Visitors can see the gingerbread dwellings area amateur and professional artists have created.



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