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A City of Holiday Magic

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Oct. 6, 2000) - Chattanooga is all wrapped up for the holidays - and it's a sparkling package of festivities and events even Santa can't resist. Throughout the season, the city's attractions come alive with activities designed especially for families longing for a new holiday experience.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn presents Victorian Nights, a selection of four holiday packages for guests to choose from that are chock-full of fun. The packages, which begin on Nov. 17, are arranged by price and vary by the number of events and activities included in the overall cost and number of nights' stay. Packages may include tickets to Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights, Deck the Falls at Ruby Falls, the Tennessee Aquarium's Dive Into Winter, the IMAX 3D Theater's Nutcracker and the Tennessee Valley Railroad's Polar Express train ride.

The Choo Choo Holiday Inn is decked out in full winter wonderland regalia throughout the season. Holiday decorations include more than 100,000 white lights, a 60-foot wreath and life-sized Victorian carolers. During an overnight stay, guests can spend the night in one of the gracious rooms or train cars. Once there, the adventure begins.

Depart for Lookout Mountain just 10 minutes away, where the caverns and crevices of legendary Rock City Gardens and Ruby Falls are transformed into sparkling worlds of wonder. This is Ruby Fall's first annual Deck the Falls, where the entire underground cavern will be alight and alive with holiday sights and sounds. Imagine the 145-foot waterfall shimmering with luminescent light patterns. In the twinkling of an eye, as darkness falls, the Enchanted Garden of Lights: A Holiday Spectacular glows with more than a half million glittering lights and 25 Christmas scenes nestled in the forest and along the cobbled paths throughout Rock City's magnificent natural gardens and rock formations. See wondrous toys, ice-fishing penguins and a crystalline blizzard with swirling snowflakes and shimmering stars.

No holiday season would be complete without The Nutcracker. The classic tale of a young girl who stumbles into an enchanted kingdom ruled by a wooden prince comes to life on the giant IMAX 3D screen. A non-ballet adaptation of one of the world's most famous fairy tales, the IMAX Nutcracker is a colorful extravaganza of richly costumed characters and intricately detailed sets.

Even the fish get festive this time of year. The Tennessee Aquarium offers visitors a special treat with Dive Into Winter, where visitors see comical diving ducks, colossal catfish and ravenous sharks eat from divers' hands at scheduled times. Don't miss the Aquarium's newest gallery VENOM: Striking Beauties, where visitors get face to fang with some of the world's deadliest creatures.

Climb aboard the Tennessee Valley Railroad's second annual Polar Express train ride that departs from the Choo Choo and travels to Grand Junction Station. The magnificently restored train, pulled by an authentic steam locomotive festively adorned with twinkling lights and holiday greenery, takes passengers back in time as they listen to a professional storyteller recreate the magic of the award-winning children's book The Polar Express.

Christmas cookies and hot chocolate will be served during the journey through the Chattanooga countryside, and each child will receive a silver bell as a memento of this enchanting tour.

Back at the Choo Choo, you'll want to have pictures taken with Santa in the hotel's grand lobby. Later that night, elves will tuck in your tots with a holiday story or song and a special holiday cookie.

Each overnight family package includes discount shopping at Prime Outlets Warehouse Row and Hamilton Place Mall, as well as a commemorative holiday ornament.

For more package information, call 800-TRACK 29 or visit

For color slides, please contact Julie Dodson at 423-266-5000, ext. 445.


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