Glen Rock Carolers Memorial
59 Water Street
Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
When I recently visited the fabulous Ruins Park, I also discovered the bronze sculpture of the original Glen Rock Carolers. What a great tribute to a tradition that dates back to 1848!
Every Christmas Eve at midnight the members of The Glen Rock Carolers Associated begin their seven mile stroll singing traditional songs and handing out peanuts to the crowd. Their walk generally ends six or seven hours later at the Community Christmas Tree. Yes, my friends, that’s SIX or SEVEN hours later!
The first members of what would become The Glen Rock Carolers Association
Mark Heathecoate, Charles Heathecoate, Mark Radcliffe, James Heathcoate, and George Shaw
The Heathcotes with walking sticks, Mark Radcliffe with his bag of peanuts, a bassoon for James Heathcote, and a stick (known as a “dog pelter”) for Mr. Shaw
This magical Christmas tradition began with five English immigrants who perhaps longed for the holiday customs of their former country. I have been aware of the tradition, but I hadn’t heard about the bronze tribute dedicated to them in 2014. This event has been on my “to-do” list for a number of years. I’ve had a hard time convincing friends or family to relinquish other Christmas Eve plans to travel about an hour south and witness it. Perhaps this year I’ll finally cross it off of my list.
Amazingly, it has never been cancelled or postponed due weather or other circumstances in the nearly 170 years of its existence. The group is all the more charming as they wear great coats, capes, and tall hats in the English tradition. At the stroke of midnight, the carolers begin their circuit through the streets of Glen Rock and end with the singing of the Doxology at dawn.
The group is composed of 50 caped members, a number of life members who have sung for at least 50 years, and associate members. Persons seeking membership in the group are required to serve as associate members until the death or resignation of a caped member.
The monument’s plaque (click to enlarge)
Watch the video of benefactor, Rodney Krebs, speaking during the monument’s dedication.
– The Official site of the Glen Rock Carolers