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It's time to plan Christmas dinner next year's


You probably don't want to hear this, but now is the time to plan for next Christmas -- at least, if you want to eat dinner at the famed Bracebridge Dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.

"We've gotten as many as 60,000 applications in a given year," said publicist Keith Walklet, adding that 1,650 are chosen to attend one of two seatings on Dec. 22, one on Christmas Eve and two on Christmas Day. The cost of the dinner is $185 per person; rooms range from $47.25 for holiday cabins to $208 for rooms at the Ahwahnee (both based on double occupancy).

The Yosemite Park and Curry Co. will be accepting applications until Jan. 15 for those who wish to enter the lottery for tickets to the 1993 seven-course meal, which has been a tradition since the Ahwahnee opened in 1927.

About 100 players and presenters dressed in costumes sing and perform during the feast, which is adapted from a description by Washington Irving of a dinner in 1718 at Squire Bracebridge's Old English Manor.

To request an application, write to Yosemite Park and Curry Co. Reservation Office, 5410 E. Home Ave., Fresno, Calif. 93727. Parties are limited to a maximum of 10. Losers are notified first; winners get a notice later in the year after room rates have been set.

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