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Yosemite National Park Bracebridge Dinner

Published on: December 10, 2018

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With towering 34-foot high ceilings, enormous pine trestles and granite pillars, the chandelier-lit Majestic Yosemite Dining Room is a spectacular setting for a time-honored holiday tradition — The Bracebridge Dinner. We tried it and were amazed to meet people living just a few miles from us in Orange County. They said they’ve attended¬†The Bracebridge Dinner¬†every year for two decades!

The event which began in 1927 was produced by famed photographer, Ansel Adams, until 1973. Andrea Fulton, whose family has been involved in the production since 1934, celebrates her 68th anniversary performing in the Bracebridge Dinner, as well as directing the show for many years.

While people travel hundreds (or thousands) of miles to attend this grand event in Yosemite National Park, locals support it with great enthusiasm, as well. Politicians, business owners and residents of the counties in which the national park resides — Tuolumne, Mariposa, Mono and Madera — are among attendees who hug each other or shake hands when they recognize a face during cocktail hour before seating begins.

After guests are seated in the Dining Room around sunset and often treated to views of falling snow seen through massive glass windows, they begin feasting on a seven course dinner. But not before actors in costume make their grand entrance to launch the theatrics, merriment, music and mirth timed to author Washington Irving’s 17th century story set in an English manor. The yuletide ceremony with “Squire Bracebridge” features English Christmas traditions played out in a 3 1/2 hour holiday extravaganza. Course favorites include “Peacock Pie” and “Plum Pudding and Wassail.”

 

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