-9.1 C
Monday, January 20, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

A-carolling we go, as covered bridge hosts annual sing-along on Monday night


Woolwich proposes 5% tax hike for 2020

Budget talks underway this week, Woolwich council is looking at five per cent hike in property taxes, a...

News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind....

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...


clear sky
-9.1 ° C
-6.7 °
-11.1 °
66 %
1 %
-7 °
-5 °
-1 °
1 °
3 °

Recently repaired and opened to traffic, the West Montrose covered bridge will be pedestrian’s only for a while next Monday for a much better reason, as community members gather for the annual carol sing.

The BridgeKeepers organization is hosting the outing that harkens back to a Christmas tradition as carollers channel the holiday spirit. From O Holy Night to Deck the Halls, the song list includes a mix of traditional and fun-filled songs we all know and love.

“When I was a kid we used to go door to door and knock on doors, sing carols, and you’d get a quarter or something for singing a couple of songs,” said Tony Dowling, who originally came up with the carolling event back in the late-‘80s.

Instead of walking through the neighbourhood, neighbours from near and far come to the bridge for the atmosphere of a traditional Christmas.

“It’s just an opportunity for people to get together and celebrate and socialize for the season,” he noted.

Soon after moving to West Montrose, Dowling and his wife went for a walk one winter night through the bridge, and as Dowling started to sing Silent Night and thought to himself, “Holy cow that sounds pretty good.” That quickly sparked an idea for Dowling as a member of the Elmira Kiwanis Club, and together they helped to turn it into a tradition that brings out some 100 carollers each year.

Due to the busy holiday season, the Kiwanis Club passed on the carolling event to the BridgeKeepers to carry on the tradition. The West Montrose group has pared it back somewhat, as the event had become something of victim of its own success.

“There were too many people for the bridge to handle,” Dowling said. “After that, we scaled it back just because we thought if we’re getting hundreds of people out, it’s just not the community event we have envisioned.”

One of the main concerns about the event this year was whether the bridge would be repaired in time for the event, says Dowling, who had been keeping up with the progress of the restoration work.

When the bridge was closed down earlier this year due to a crack in two of the supporting beams, there was a flashback to nearly 11 years ago when the same thing happened, explained Dowling.

“It was a concern – we had this happen when there was a beam broken on the bridge and it was actually closed through the Christmas season,” he said.

Even with the closure, the event continued on, however, as people gathered in a church parking lot where the group had parked the covered bridge float used for the Santa Claus parade.

“We sort of just gathered around that covered bridge and sang so we still had a covered bridge carol sing,” Dowling recalled.

Now with the bridge repaired and back to full strength, there is an opportunity to gather and sing for this year’s event. In previous years the carollers would stand in the middle of the bridge but that became too much so now the singers are asked to go towards the north end of the bridge to meet and join in on the festivities to avoid any hardship to the bridge.

After a night of singing there will be hot cider and cookies provided by the general store in West Montrose. The BridgeKeepers are also asking people bring donations for the Kiwanis Food Drive that will help the local community.

Those who want to take part in the festivities are asked to meet at the north end of the West Montrose bridge on December 9 at 7 p.m.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


The new face of health promotion

There’s a new face around the Woolwich Community Health Centre. Gebre Berlihun has taken on the role of public health promoter after the retirement of 25-year employee Joy Finney in October.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

New app a one-stop shop for region’s waste program

Not sure when your garbage will be picked up? What’s currently allowed in the recycling bin? There’s an app for that.

Kings win two more to keep streak alive

The Elmira Sugar Kings extended their 2020 winning streak and their hold on the conference standings with a pair of wins over the weekend.

EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind. That’s not a passing fancy,...

Applejacks extend winning streak to three

The new year continues to be good to the Wellesley Applejacks, who picked up a pair of wins over the weekend to make...

Choir to bring the sounds of Africa to Elmira

An Elmira church will play host to a lively performance by an internationally-acclaimed children’s choir from Uganda, Africa. The Watoto...
- Advertisement -