Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite is a venerable tradition that celebrates the winter holiday season with a seven course meal and colorful musical pageant that transforms The Ahwahnee into an 18th century English manor hall. Started at the hotel in 1927, the dinner and performance provide an opportunity to dress formally in a place where visitors almost never pack fancy duds in their suitcases. And if you think visitors are putting on the Ritz as guests at Bracebridge Dinner, wait until you see the costumes worn by the performers!
All Bracebridge costumes are designed by Melissa Wortman, an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area designer and costumer who has also worked with the American Conservatory Theater and Lucasfilm. Dresses like the ones you see in the photos often require anywhere from 20 to 60 yards of fabric, and 10 to 60 yards of trim from suppliers in Los Angeles, New York and locally in San Francisco. Melissa designed her first Bracebridge costume in 2005 and since then has created over 70 costumes for this Yosemite production. After 80 to 250 hours of sewing, pattern drafting & draping, fittings and millinery work, a work of art is created in the form of a shimmering jewel-tone costume fit for an 18th century manor lord or lady.