Carolers join for annual Christmas tradition

Published 12:41 am Monday, December 14, 2009

NATCHEZ — Memorial Park might not look a lot like Christmas, but on Sunday night it felt a lot like Christmas as carolers joined their voices together to spread some holiday cheer.

In its 13th year, Caroling in the Park is a won’t miss Christmas event among locals.

“This is my Christmas event in Natchez,” Anna Gunning said. “It is always so festive and brings out the community.”

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Crowds gathered, holding song sheets and candles as Guy Wimberly led the carols and Burnley Cook accompanied on the keyboard.

Favorites such as “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman” were sung with spirit by those enjoying the Christmas cheer.

The crowd also sang along to “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Up on the Housetop.”

The singing was too much for even the two or three dogs in attendance to pass up on, so the occasional bark or howl could be heard punctuating the carols.

For John and Marilyn Cook of Monroe, La., who were in Natchez for a weekend trip, the caroling event was just icing on the top of an already festive day. The couple attended open houses at Melrose and Auburn before finding a seat on the Memorial Park fountain to wrap up the day.

“This has been the best day of our trip,” Marilyn said. “We’ve been here since Friday and this was wonderful, icing on the cake.”

Gunning said she has been attending the caroling event since its inception 13 years ago.

“It is for everyone in the community,” she said. “Young and old, everyone comes to this.”

This year’s crowd was smaller than years past because of wet weather over the weekend, but that didn’t matter to long-time caroler Patty Killelea.

“We had a small crowd, but it was a quality crowd,” she said.