Huzzah, the Bracebridge Dinner in Yosemite Nears

The Ahwahnee tradition is full of pomp, stories, and sumptuous eats.

STEPPING INTO A GRAND HOTEL? You're bound to see antique furniture, or at least chairs and tables that recall another era. You'll spy floors and rugs that have elegantly weathered the decades, and the sort of details, like period carvings or photo-worthy windows, that say you're someplace special. And up on the wall, near the front desk, tucked around a corner but not too far off the public's main path? Snapshots from another day, of people in fancy frocks and tuxes living it up in the ballroom. Entering one of those photographs isn't a possibility, of course, but at a few special spots we can step inside an event seen in those photographs. And one such happening, an event that's high up in the annals of hotel lore? It has to be...

THE BRACEBRIDGE DINNER, the spritely and seasonal Ahwahnee treat that is merrily dancing towards its centennial. That's still a decade-ish away, but modern-day visitors can see a presentation that is largely unchanged from what it was back when the 1920s rolled into the 1930s (and legendary photographer Ansel Adams played the event's Lord of Misrule). The Bracebridge will be back, in December 2019, over a few select evenings, and visitors can expect a sumptuous, multi-course dinner, a dressy atmosphere, and a royal-fun production, one that recalls a stately court of long-ago, that's happening as the meal proceeds. The inspiration of all of this ebullient glass-raising? Author Washington Irving's "Squire Bracebridge."

TICKETS AND ROOM PACKAGES... and all of the December-delightful details you need? They're huzzah-ing now, right here, and there are options, like picking the Ahwahnee as your stay-over spot or Yosemite Valley Lodge. True, fall isn't here yet, but these popular dinners do fill up, like a silvery goblet, long before winter draws near. It's a true old-school Christmas pageant, one filled with festive touches, and that it is surrounded by the granite wonders of Yosemite Valley? That's the dollop of magic on top.

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