Residents from Bordeaux to East End and from Upper Carolina to Mandhal, gathered at the Coral Bay basketball court to ring in the Christmas season with the traditional community sing-along and tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday evening, December 20.
The tradition started more than 40 years ago and two of the original participants, Eirleen and George January, were on hand to tell about the old days.
From Near and Afar
“From East End, Eden, Emmaus, Mandhal — we all used to get together to have a little singing during Christmas time,” said George January. “We would see who could sing the best and whoever won would get a present.”
Neighbors from throughout the Coral Bay area joined in song for renditions of “Deck The Halls,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Joy To The World” and other popular Yule tide tunes.
“You don’t have to go to Carnegie Hall,” said master of ceremonies Alvis Christian. “You don’t have to go anywhere, beautiful music is right here.”
In addition to all of the caroling, Jean Vance, Bonny Corbeil and Guy Benjamin read a portion of Maya Angelou’s touching poem entitled “Amazing Peace.”
After the closing prayer, Santa Claus — on the back of a Coral Bay Fire Department truck — made an appearance and handed out toys to all of the children, who were on their best behavior, lest they got put on the “naughty list” at the last moment.