‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ tradition returns to Avon Christmas Eve | VailDaily.com

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ tradition returns to Avon Christmas Eve

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Families pack the Westin lobby for a screening of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," accompanied by live music courtesy of jazz duo BLT.
Specal to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” set to live music by BLT.

Where: Westin Riverfront, Edwards.

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Cost: Free.

More information: Visit www.westinriverfrontbeavercreek.com or call 866-949-1616

AVON — Snoopy fans, and their children and grandchildren, have gathered in the lobby of The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon before Christmas for four out of the last five years for a showing of the classic Charles M. Schulz film “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The jazz duo BLT performs the music live while the holiday favorite is projected onto a wall.

“We took one year off to see if anyone would miss it, and they did,” said Brian Loftus, who along with Tony Gulizia is BLT. The two have been performing together as BLT for five years now. “It’s a good, happy time and we love doing it.”

The film, which is based on the Peanuts comic strip, debuted in 1965. The story touches on the over-commercialization of Christmas, and serves to remind viewers of the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.

The event is free and open to the public, the performance will take place at 5 p.m. today in The Westin’s lobby. Guests can enjoy handcrafted cocktails and gourmet pub fare during the show from the lobby bar, Parlor 126.

“This is the fourth year that we’ve hosted this special show and it has become a nice holiday tradition that our guests and locals both really seem to enjoy,” said Jeffery Burrell, the general manager at The Westin.

‘SANTA HATS AND JINGLE BELLS’

This performance is one of the highlights of Gulizia’s whole year, he said.

“That Vince Guaraldi music is just outstanding,” Gulizia said. “One of my favorite tunes is the scene when Snoopy and the whole crew are out skating. And of course the great rendition of ‘O Christmas Tree’ when Snoopy is atop the tree. And one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs is ‘Christmas Time is Here.’”

Each year the crowd has grown, Gulizia said.

“The first year was word of mouth; last year, we may have had a crowd of 300 people,” he said. “It’s now become a tradition for some families. Back at Thanksgiving, I was getting phone calls asking if we were planning on doing the show.”

The event was initially Loftus’s idea, though he says he wouldn’t have been inspired to perform it if it weren’t for Gulizia.

“I wouldn’t want to try this material without someone of (Tony’s) caliber, who can play the songs as they should be done,” Loftus said.

Before the show starts, the duo will perform Christmas sing-a-long favorites such as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman” and others.

“We have Santa hats and jingle bells and we’ll invite kids from the audience to come up and play during those,” Gulizia said.

And if you can’t make it tonight, the duo performs at The Westin on Thursday through Sunday nights from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Show up around 4 p.m. to snag one of the delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies that are handed out.

“I wish I could take credit for the cookies, but I can’t,” Gulizia said.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 and cschnell@vaildaily.com.