Antietam Entertainment's 'A Christmas Experience' becoming local family tradition
Each year, thousands of people flock to Antietam Entertainment’s “A Christmas Experience” to see thousands of lights, holiday decorations and be treated to dinner and a show.
Now in its fourth year, Director Tim Rotz said about 5,000 people a year attend the event which is described as a unique combination of live theater, drama, comedy, holiday activities and down-home cooking.
“If our patrons are not already in the Christmas spirit when they arrive, they most certainly are when they leave,” Rotz said.
“We try to make the entire experience heartwarming, cozy and family-friendly so the entire family can come and enjoy good old fashioned fun together. Our hope is that the community will create wonderful memories at our dinner and show year after year and make it a family tradition.”
For all non-matinee shows, there will be an hour of activities for ticket holders to enjoy including a live nativity, petting zoo, horseback rides, marshmallow roasting, complimentary hot beverages, photo booth and concession stand with popcorn and souvenirs are available for an additional cost.
Attendees will then enjoy a dinner followed by the show. Rotz said the show will have several different numbers and is broken down into two parts.
“The first is a heartwarming musical Christmas drama with an original script written by my wife and I. The second part includes a lot of singing and dance Christmas medleys, all high energy and upbeat Christmas music that the patrons really seem to enjoy,” Rotz said.
He said he always incorporates their live nativity on stage, complete with beautiful costumes, lights and live barn animals on stage.
“It really is a beautiful number to bring us back to the true reason for the season, Jesus Christ,” Rotz said.
The show is filled with what Rotz described as a lot of very impressive talent this season.
“We have a husband and wife team who swing dance, and they are so fun to watch and very impressive. We have numerous vocalists and dancers who are all very skilled and multi-faceted,” Rotz said.
Rotz noted that one dancer is also an aerial artist and does some of what he described as amazing stunts on the lyra. Another one of their dancers is a champion baton twirler.
“And this season, in particular, we have a ton of kids who are absolutely incredible, and really make the show so special,” Rotz said.
The show runs about 90 minutes with a break for intermission where brownie and ice cream is served for dessert.
On regular show days, the gates to the venue, located at 9745 Garis Shop Road, Hagerstown, open at 6 p.m. The meal starts at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:45 p.m. On matinee show days, the doors open at 11:45 a.m., the meal is at 12:30 p.m. and the show is at 1:15 p.m.
Tickets for the show range from $17-$30.75 for children age 3 to 11, $25 to $40.75 for seniors ages 60 plus and $27 to $42.75 for adults. Ticket prices do not include tax. Tickets can be purchased at www.antietamentertainment.com/christmas-experience.
Top photo: Jillian Dugan, left, and Valerie Zumbrun aren’t just co-stars in “A Christmas Experience,” but are off-stage best friends. (Photo by Perk Hull Design)