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Carolighting tradition could go silent

Nov 10, 2010 9:57:00 AM - thestate.com
Hark! The heralded children’s voices at the half-century-old Carolighting ceremony might fall silent this Christmas season.

All ye South Carolinians will be left to merely behold the soaring tree on the State House grounds.

“We’re not going to have it this year. We’re hoping to have it next year,” said Paul McClanahan, president of the Columbia Breakfast Optimist Club, which helps organize the event that dates to 1956 on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving.

It takes about a year to organize the state’s top high school bands and choral groups as well as a handbell choir and all the behind-the-scenes help for the event that ends with the governor throwing the switch to light the tree, McClanahan said Tuesday. There are 19 days left before the Carolighting’s scheduled Nov. 28 date.

The problem has become a lack of talented senior volunteer leaders willing to dedicate the vast amount of time the event requires, McClanahan said.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)