Looking to get into the festive spirit? The annual carol sing at the West Montrose covered bridge goes Monday at 7 p.m. and promises to truly kick off the holiday season.
“It really is a magical night, to get a choir in the covered bridge in a historic village like that,” organizer Tony Dowling said. “I can’t imagine there is anything like that around in southern Ontario.”
This year, the Bridge Keepers organization has taken over the reins from the Elmira Kiwanis Club, which has been kept busy with the Elmira Santa Claus Parade and a number of community events this month.
But those familiar with the event from years past can expect a similar gathering, from the always lovely Grand Harmony Chorus through seasonal refreshments like hot apple cider and cookies.
“There is lots of Christmas caroling in halls and churches, but there is only one event in the covered bridge and it gives people an excuse to get outside,” Dowling said.
As for the music, rest assured you’ll get all the classics.
“Usually it’s the audience calling out what they’d like to hear, though the Grand Harmony Choir certainly will have a number of songs at the ready. It really is a participatory event.”
Joining in with the singing is really what makes it fun, Dowling added.
“You don’t have to have a great voice,” he laughed. “You get 150 voices into a wooden bridge and it sounds pretty darn good. There’s a reason why so many musical instruments are made out of wood; it provides a real nice resonance.”
While a big crowd and the shelter of the bridge will provide warmth, attendees should make sure they dress appropriately, Dowling said.
“It can be chilly, I’d say refreshing, but the bridge provides some cover and takes the chill off the night. The ideal is when its right around the freezing mark with no wind and you get a little flurry in the air to set the atmosphere.”
The event is free, but donations to the Woolwich Community Services food bank are encouraged.