Officials with the Asheville Convention Center and Visitors Bureau say they now know what it really means to herds cats. The popular North Carolina mountain town decided to feature cats for its seasonal Christmas video this year.
“The story behind Asheville’s Christmas cat video may well go back to 2010, when the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau first tried its hand at a viral style video, stated Cat Kessler, with Explore Asheville. “That year the team debuted Dancing Santa, which featured Kris Kringle breakdancing at iconic locations around town. That video received more than half a million views in the first month or so. When we were brainstorming fun ways to showcase Asheville’s holiday happenings this year, we turned to that same winning combination—pairing something highly clickable with scenes that really highlight the best of the destination.”
Twelve cats were selected to be stars for the video, many actually belonging to staff from the Asheville Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. The two playful kittens under the Christmas tree are actually cats available for adoption. “Those cats were with the Asheville Humane Society. The organization was very welcoming and helpful when we called and asked if they had any kitties who might want to be famous.”
Each scene in the video took at least 45 minutes to complete. Staff had to act as cheerleaders, and do all they could to get the cats to cooperate. “We discovered the maximum amount of time a cat will tolerate you moving it around and trying to get its attention. And coaching the cats was definitely a multi-person job between holding the leash, throwing the toys, dangling the mice, offering the treats and arranging the costumes—all the while trying to keep our hands and bodies out of the shot. The whole experience really gives new meaning to the expression of like herding cats,” stated Kessler.
O Little Town of Christmas: 12 Cats on Holiday in Asheville, N.C. begins with Santa unleashing cats on the mountain town just in time for the 2015 Christmas holiday. The festive felines travel to Asheville, North Carolina to help deck the halls at Biltmore, judge award-winning gingerbread houses at The Omni Grove Park Inn and walk in a Winter Lights wonderland at the N.C. Arboretum. The cats visit the Gray Line Trolley Tours of Asheville, Wicked Weed Brewing, the historic Grove Arcade, Hip Replacements and the city’s downtown drum circle.
What to know about Asheville, N.C.
This thriving mountain city features a funky and eclectic downtown, 30-plus art galleries downtown alone, a burgeoning culinary scene, a thriving live music scene and, of course, the awe-inspiring scenery of the Appalachian Mountains. Asheville is a great family playground, with a wide diversity of outdoor adventures. It is often described as an ideal destination for an active and healthy getaway . One cannot visit Asheville, and not experience the legendary Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home, located on 8,000 wooded acres. Christmas at Biltmore runs through January 1, 2015.
To plan your own winter getaway, visit www.ExploreAsheville.com/