By Bonnie Neely
Christmas season in the Great Smoky Mountains at Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a glorious time! Families can joyfully celebrate all their favorite holiday traditions of this festive time of year beginning in early November and extending through a few days in January. We chose to start our four-generation family trip last year soon after we checked into our hotel in Pigeon Forge by going to Country Tonite Theater for the Christmas Show, voted number one in the Smokies for many consecutive years.
We arrived early and had time to see the costume museum cases, which line a hallway. These contain beautiful gowns and suits worn by country star singers for the past two decades. We learned that all the costumes for the performers here are made in the upper floor of the Theater. Creating intricate designs in sequins and beads on fabrics ranging from chignon to leather, the seamstresses are obviously brilliant artists and talented needle-workers. We could hardly wait to see those in the special Yuletide show.
The stage was brightly decorated with reds and greens, and the stage décor perfectly set the scenes for the numerous talented Country singers and dancers. The spectacular costumes surely made the talented seamstresses and designer Cody Ratliff very proud! With everyone’s favorite Christmas classic songs and many Country seasonal favorites as tributes to their original singers, the show will thrill any music lover and put you deeply into the spirit of the season.
The choreography is well designed to keep the dancers “on their toes” and gracefully whirling around the stage, showing to perfection their extreme talent and superior training, as well as the gorgeous costumes. The various singers thrill the audience with their beautiful voices as they expertly touch heartstrings with nostalgic music everyone loves.
Country and Gospel Music Genre at heart is always true to God and the USA, and there is a moving segment of the show honoring and thanking our veterans and troops and their families for their service and sacrifice, which often includes missing Christmas and loved ones at home.
The music may even put a lump in your throat remembering Christmases gone by, and then comedian Chan Mullinax appears on stage as Bubba the redneck ranger, or as Me-Maw, and the audience’ laughter erupts in happy gales! The down-home comedy is fun for everyone from everywhere!