After more years than he can remember, Tom Connelly still has the best seat in the house.
Connelly will once again lead the downtown Rising Sun Community Carol Sing. This year it will be held beginning at 7 p.m. in Center Square on Tuesday, December 6.
"I like all the people singing at me," said Connelly. "And I get new corny jokes all the time."
The Carol Sing is a rich tradition in Rising Sun. Song sheets will be distributed and Connelly will lead. There are typically soloists, and members of the Rising Sun High band often turn out to provide instrument accompaniment.
"I like that it's tradition. We don't add new stuff and we don't sing newer songs due to copyright (restrictions). I like "Jingle Bells". I really like "Good Christian Men Rejoice" because of the story behind it. I never do "Silent Night" because that should only be sung on Christmas as it was originally intended. We have more songs in the book than we sing. And we usually only do the first and second verses," he said.
The town tree, next to the pavilion across from town hall will be lit as part of the Carol Sing.
During the singing, area Cub Scouts collect non-perishable food items. These items are then donated to local food pantries. The highlight of the night is the arrival of Santa. Instead of turning out with reindeer and sleigh, St. Nick comes in a Rising Sun Police cruiser. Connelly wants Santa to repel in one year, scaling town hall.
After the outdoor sing, participants move to Janes United Methodist Church, Walnut Street for cookies, coffee, and juice and visits with Santa. The last two years, due to weather, the Carol Sing has been held indoors. Connelly said he prefers the outdoor event.
"I still get excited about it. It's a cool thing. Maybe we even have a fourth generation of people coming now," he added.