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24 September 2010

Halloween & Christmas, Tivoli-style


We're sharing here two reports that have come in from Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen about how they will be celebrating Halloween and Christmas. These fall and winter occasions have been found to be excellent customer draws and revenue generators for many parks. Last year 275,000 guests visited Halloween in Tivoli.

Halloween Fun and Giant Pumpkins
In 2006, Tivoli set out to create the standard for Halloween celebrations in Denmark. With the fifth Halloween celebration at Tivoli coming up, this goal has been reached. Halloween in Tivoli (and in Denmark) is dominated by pumpkins, but also by traditional harvest paraphernalia. The festival is scheduled for 15-24 October to coincide with the traditional autumn break in the Danish schools.

Tivoli’s Halloween is based on the “horrific fun” principle, so even the youngest children can participate. There are daily opportunities to meet Tivoli’s witches and heroes (Petzi, Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine) on the Halloween Square by the Open Air Stage where the big mill is located and see them march through Tivoli with the Pumpkin Band (the Tivoli Boys Guard). At the square it will be possible to carve your own jack-o-lantern and buy sundry goodies. Tivoli’s rides will all be running.

The Danish Championships for Giant Pumpkins will take place at Tivoli on Saturday 16 October. A bunch of competitors will arrive on the day with their largest pumpkin to see who wins the price. Children up to 12 years old can compete for best costume. After 5 pm the theming ramps up with spooky roller coaster rides and vampire dance performances. There will also be some 50 trade stalls around the Gardens with specialties, small dishes and lots of Halloween-stuff.

Christmas in Tivoli - a winter fairy tale
Tivoli first opened its gates for Christmas in 1994. This year, the Gardens introduce a new winter theme where guests can play on the 45 metre long toboggan run, see an ice sculptor carve ice sculptures and many other things. It will also be the première of new winter illuminations, ice crystals and glistening snow on the pine trees. A new square offering delicacies will be opened, the pixies have moved into Pixie Ville, children will be received by Santa Claus, and the season will be concluded with a film music Fireworks Festival. This all takes place in Tivoli in Copenhagen from 12 November to 30 December 2010, with the exception of 24 and 25 December.

The toboggan run will be three metres wide with a gradient of 20 degrees, so that children will feel the wind in their hair when they scorch down the run in the cool new ring toboggans. The trip has a total drop of approximately three metres. The last few metres of the run are covered with a material to slow tobogganers down so you do not end up in the Tivoli Lake.

New Delicacy Square
Many Danes have made taking a trip to Tivoli at Christmas into a tradition, whether it is for the annual company Christmas party or to go on the rides. Over 70 decorated stalls along the paths in Tivoli are bursting with everything from hand-blown glass balls, caramelised apples to steaming mulled wine and Danish doughnuts (æbleskiver).

Pixie Ville and the Christmas Market
The pixies' market town, Pixie Ville, with the country's largest collection of mechanical pixies is an attraction in itself, where children and adults alike can immerse themselves in the skating pixies and igloos in the display. The train trip on the Christmas Express takes passengers through snow-covered landscapes where they can see the pixies, Santa Clauses and their wives getting ready for Christmas at close quarters.

Entertainment
During Christmas in Tivoli, children and adults can meet the new Tivoli character Rasmus Klump on weekends between 11.00 and 14.30. Until 23 December, children can also visit Santa's sleigh where they can leave their old dummies and give them up for good. The Tivoli Boys Guard and the Tivoli Pixie Band will be playing Christmas songs and parading. In the Tivoli Concert Hall, the ABBA musical Mamma Mia! attracts a huge audience and is performed in Danish for the first time.

Nimb and Christmas
Almost all Danish restaurants are closed over Christmas, and certainly on Christmas Eve, as it has been a Danish tradition to celebrate Christmas Eve at home. However, this is changing. Last year, Nimb launched a Christmas Eve event which was sold out and even had people signed up on a waiting list. This year, the gourmet restaurant therefore repeats the success for those who want a "Christmassy Christmas" but do not want to go to all the trouble themselves.

Fireworks Festival
Tivoli counts down to the new year with a Fireworks Festival, which will start on Boxing Day. This year's theme is composers of film music, including i.a. Hans Zimmer, famous for composing the music for the epic Gladiator, and, undoubtedly, the music from the film Schindler's List by John Williams will create a beautiful ambiance on the pitch-black night sky. Tivoli's pyrotechnician, Gunnar B. Knudsen, has this year entered fireworks competitions in i.a. Belgium and France and was awarded a bronze and a gold medal. The Fireworks Festival takes place from 26 December to 30 December 2010 at 18.00, with the exception of 29 December.

Lighting used for Christmas in Tivoli:
* A total of 1,800 fairy lights with 120 lights each are used to decorate the willow trees around the Tivoli Lake, the Christmas tree by the great fountain and to create the illusion of luminous snow in various places, alone.
* 5,000 metres of fairy lights are used for the 400 illuminated trees.
* It takes two people three weeks to decorate the great Christmas tree. All branches and shoots are covered with fairy lights. There are a total of 200 fairy lights with 120 lights each = 24,000 lights on this tree.
* A total of 1,000 metres of fairy lights are used for the illumination of various buildings.

Photos: Tivoli