The Oak Ridge Boys' 23rd annual Christmas tour, dubbed 'The Boys Are Back for Christmas,' has a new stop this year. The holiday extravaganza ends in Nashville December 21 at the newly reopened Opryland Hotel & Resort. By the time the tour ends, the Oaks will have brought Christmas cheer to 36 cities, including Newport News, Va.; Amarillo, Texas; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Cedar City, Utah; Franklin, N.C.; Tucson, Ariz.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and Merrillville, Ind.

The Christmas tour is already well underway, with audiences in Branson, Mo. getting the first taste of the event this year. Duane Allen of The Oak Ridge Boys tells The Boot, "The full-blown show started Tuesday, but we really start putting Christmas music in our show the first week of November. In Branson, where we've been playing at our theatre, Christmas starts the week after Halloween, so we add 30 minutes of Christmas music for that first week, and then we go right into the regular seasonal show."

That show consists of a 40-minute set where Duane and his compadres -- Joe Bonsall, Richard Sterban and William Lee Golden -- come out and do their hits and a few new tunes, such as the single 'Mama's Table.' They take a 20-minute break, then come back out for a 75-minute Christmas explosion of sound and sights. Fans can expect to hear Christmas standards as well as a collection of songs off the Oak Ridge Boys Christmas albums that have been released over the years.

"Our Christmas show is complete with snow and Santa Claus and Christmas trees, love and gifts and the story of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ," Duane explains. "We address the fun part of Christmas, the giving part and the sacred part. We try to cover all aspects of the Christmas season."

The Nashville date will be the first time the Oaks have presented their Christmas show in Nashville in about 20 years. Duane says when they performed in Music City the last time, they played the Municipal Auditorium and "our children were kids. Now their kids have grandkids! That's how long it's been."

The show will be held at Opryland Hotel's Ballroom, and the hotel, which just re-opened this week after completing renovations as a result of the spring flood in Nashville, is offering a special rate if fans want to spend the night. The hotel itself is covered in Christmas decorations indoors and out.

"Coming back to Nashville will be huge for the Oak Ridge Boys," Duane notes. "Fans can come in with the entire family to see our show. We are going to have a great night."

Fans can get info on tickets by calling 1-888-677-9872. Packages include overnight accommodations at Gaylord Opryland Resort with a private viewing of the Gaylord Opryland's Hall of Trees, plus dinner prior to the Christmas concert. General show tickets are also available.

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