Five red-hot, rising country acts will usher in Christmas with a twang bang this fall. The fifth annual Taste of Country Christmas Tour features dates with Frankie Ballard, Chase Rice, Old Dominion, Canaan Smith and a Thousand Horses. Tickets go on sale this week.

Ballard, who’ll play the first three dates in Texas and Arkansas, says Christmas is a very special holiday for him, but don’t expect him to break into “Silent Night” or “White Christmas.” His usual blues-rock-influenced country show may be spiced up with a few memories from home, but for the most part, he says, he’ll stick to what he does best.

Canaan Smith
Mercury Nashville

“My sisters and I would get to open one Christmas present on Christmas Eve, because as kids you're really excited for the next day,” the "Young & Crazy" hitmaker tells Taste of Country of his favorite tradition. “We'd get to open one, and every year it was pajamas — a set of Christmas pajamas and a book."

"And to this day," he adds laughing, “we carry on that tradition. We open up pajamas and a book from Mom, and we all put them on Christmas Eve, wake up the next morning and we've got our Christmas pajamas on."

So, maybe pajamas for the band during his stops at Midnight Rodeo, Electric Cowboy and Shooter’s? Not likely, Ballard says. "We'll talk about it and maybe have some fun, but for the most part it'll be a Frankie Ballard show."

Expect the same fun from Smith's three stops in Texas and Oklahoma, A Thousand Horses’ sets in Texas and Louisiana, Old Dominion’s Texas gigs and Rice's tour-closing shows in Midland and Amarillo. The Taste of Country Christmas Tour provides a yearly break from the stress of the holidays, with sold-out shows across the south and southeast.

VIP tickets will be available on Thursday, Sept. 10, with the public on-sale windows opening on Friday morning (Sept. 11). Be sure to visit the official Taste of Country Christmas Tour site for full details.

2015 Taste of Country Christmas Tour Dates (With Headliner):

Nov. 12 — San Angelo, Texas @ Midnight Rodeo (Frankie Ballard)
Nov. 13 — Longview, Texas @ Electric Cowboy (Frankie Ballard)
Nov. 14 — Texarkana, Ark. @Shooter’s (Frankie Ballard)
Nov. 19 — Wichita Falls, Texas @ Denim & Diamonds (Canaan Smith)
Nov. 20 — Lubbock, Texas @ Wild West (Canaan Smith)
Nov. 21 — Lawton, Okla. @ Scooter’s (Canaan Smith)
Dec. 3 — Nacogdoches, Texas @ Banita Creek Hall (A Thousand Horses)
Dec. 4 — Lake Charles, La. @ Cowboys (A Thousand Horses)
Dec. 5 — Lafayette, La. @ Cowboys (A Thousand Horses)
Dec. 11 — Temple, Texas @ Whiskey Creek (Old Dominion)
Dec. 12 — Victoria, Texas @ Schroeder Hall (Old Dominion)
Dec. 18 — Midland, Texas @ La Hacienda (Chase Rice)
Dec. 19 — Amarillo, Texas @ Midnight Rodeo (Chase Rice)

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