Christmas in Historic Chatham will feature musical presentations to delight all. Pipers will open the festivities on Friday, December 1st as they lead the procession of lantern carriers, Yule log bearers, and children to the steps of the Pittsylvania County Courthouse for the traditional Festival of Carols. Area church choirs and choral groups will lead the crowd of citizens and visitors in singing Christmas carols for all ages. Following the Yule Log Celebration, area teens will make their own music at the popular “Soundcheck,” an open-mic venue on Main Street.
Saturday, December 2nd, offers a wide variety of musical presentations starting with music for the young at “Breakfast with Santa” in the fellowship hall of Chatham Baptist Church. Tickets for children at $3 and adults at $5 may be purchased in advance by calling Debbie Snydor at 432-3466. Children will enjoy breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, receive gifts, play historic 18th century games, and listen to Christmas stories. They may also want to have their faces painted and have their pictures taken with Santa.
Musical presentations featuring the organ at Emmanuel Episcopal Church played by music director, Kenyon Scott, and special entertainment organized by Rev. Lloyd King of Cherrystone Baptist Church will take place at 10:30 and at 11:30 following each of the carriage tours of “The Doors of Chatham” on North Main Street.
A highlight of the Christmas weekend will be a special historic concert given by Kinney Rorrer and the New North Carolina Ramblers at 12:30 in the auditorium of the Educational and Cultural Center on Pruden Street. This old-time string band draws its style and repertoire from pioneer country recording artists such as Charlie Poole, the Carter Family and Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers. Various members of the band, composed of Kirk Sutphin, Jeremy Stephens, Darren Moore, and Kinney Rorrer, have played at The Alaska Folk Festival, The University of Chicago Folk Festival, The Smithsonian Folk Festival, The Berea Folk Festival, Port Townsend Fiddle Festival and The Ferrum Folk Festival among others. WVFT (89.1) broadcasts a weekly bluegrass and old-time music show called “Back To The Blue Ridge” co-hosted by Seth Williamson and Kinney Rorrer.
Christmas in Historic Chatham will conclude with a special offering from 4 area churches. A Christmas cantata entitled “An Early American Service of Lessons and Carols” will be presented at Watson Memorial United Methodist Church at 3:00 PM. No one will want to miss the opportunity to conclude the weekend with this gift of music from many of the citizens of Chatham.
Whatever your taste in music, Chatham is a must for December 1st and 2nd. All musical events (apart from Breakfast with Santa) are free of charge and open to the public. “Three Hundred Years of Christmas in Chatham” is sponsored by Chatham First, Inc. The spirit of Christmas Present is waiting for you in Chatham!
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Copyright © 2006 Patricia B. Mitchell.