- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The Christmas tree is up in the banquet hall at the Biltmore House in Asheville.

Multiple media outlets reported that the 35-foot Fraser fir was pulled into position in the hall Wednesday morning.

The tree holds more than 500 ornaments.

More than 2,000 visitors were on hand as the tree from Avery County was taken to the house on a horse-drawn wagon driven by Santa Claus.

Musicians played Christmas songs as the crowd waited.

The Christmas season formally begins at Biltmore on Friday and will run through Jan. 11.

Spokeswoman Marissa Jamison says about 300,000 people visit during the holiday, nearly one third of the usual number of annual visitors.

There are about 60 Christmas trees in the house.

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