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Biltmore kicks off holiday season with virtual Christmas tree-raising

The 30-year-old tree now sits in the estate's banquet hall as its grand centerpiece with 500 lights and 500 ornaments.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — It's beginning to look a lot like a Biltmore Christmas!

Crews worked to raise Biltmore's 35-foot tall Fraser fir tree Wednesday, just in time for the estate's holiday season to begin this Friday, Nov. 6.  

It took more than 35 people to raise the tree and it weighs more than 2500 pounds. 

The 30-year-old tree now sits in the estate's banquet hall as its grand centerpiece with 500 lights and 500 ornaments.

This year, the traditional Christmas tree raising was virtual due to COVID-19 but you can still catch the highlights and a behind-the-scenes-look below: 

The estate has two experiences to check out including Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebrations and Candlelight Christmas Evening

This year's theme takes Biltmore visitors back 125 years, when George Vanderbilt first unveiled his home to friends and family on Christmas Eve in 1895.

Biltmore requires visitors over 2 years old to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Additionally, Biltmore currently operates under a limited capacity and small group tours require a reservation.