The holiday season has officially begun and the Grand Ole Opry is ready to get the celebrations started. For eight nights throughout November and December, the historic venue will host special performances, big surprises and plenty of festive fun for the whole family leading up to Christmas Day.
The “Opry Country Christmas” series kicks off on November 27 with Steve Wariner, followed by special appearances from artists including Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, Chris Janson, Josh Turner & Chris Young, and more. The cheery set of shows will wrap up on December 22 with Ricky Skaggs.
McCreery will be coming out of paternity leave to make his return to the Opry stage with his festive music. Since the “Damn Strait” singer released a collection of holiday classics in 2012 titled Christmas with Scotty McCreery, he has plenty of songs to choose from for his upcoming performance, but as he told Country Now, his setlist isn’t quite locked in yet.
“I mean Christmas time is my favorite time of the year,” McCreery explained. “The Opry is my favorite place to play and get to play country music here and Christmas music a win-win. So yeah, I sing Christmas music all year round. Ask my band, I’ll be singing ‘White Christmas’ in the middle of July. It’s my thing. So can’t wait to bring that to the stage of the Opry and just get all festive with everybody.”
He added, “A lot of times, we’ll just kind of get there and pick and choose which songs we wanna play. So we’ll see. A lot of times I throw in some Elvis as well for Christmas, so I might be looking for that.”
Each Christmas show will also feature regular performances from Opry members including The Gatlin Brothers, Riders In The Sky, Mandy Barnett and Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie McCoy.
According to Barnett, who had the chance to take part in the Opry Christmas shows last year as well, the audience can expect to hear a mix of classic carols and new, original holiday songs this season.
“Christmas at the Opry makes it feel so magical and lovely. There’s just a sense of family and tradition at the Opry and it’s that way on a regular night, but when you add Christmas to it and it, it makes it even more special,” Barnett told Country Now. “It’s a wonderful place that you can bring your loved ones, your friends and family and experience something really, really special.”
Last year, Brenda Lee surprised Barnett on stage to sing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” which was a very special moment since Lee is responsible for first recording this song at 13 years old.
“It was amazing. I was in the middle of singing her song, ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ and all of a sudden I see her standing on the side of the stage. She walks out, and I’m completely floored. She’s just the sweetest woman and what a career she’s had. She grabbed me by the hand, and we finished the song together. That was just one of the greatest moments of my career,” Barnett recalled.
This just goes to show, you never know who could show up at the Grand Ole Opry. Even Santa is likely to ride in on his sleigh from time to time to join the celebrations.
The full lineup includes:
November 27 – Steve Wariner
December 1 – Lauren Alaina
December 4 – Scotty McCreery
December 8 – Steven Curtis Chapman
December 11 – Chris Janson
December 15 – Josh Turner & Chris Young
December 21 – Trace Adkins
December 22 – Ricky Skaggs
Tickets are available at Opry.com.