Caroling on The Circle nears third decade

County-wide event serves as food collection location
The performance by El Centro Cultural is always a hit during Caroling on The Circle. BY RON MACARTHUR
November 23, 2012

For many families, putting food on the table is a daily struggle.

With the public’s help, Sussex County government aims to change that and make the holidays a bit happier for those less fortunate. The county has kicked off its annual food drive, and will celebrate the effort during the 29th annual Caroling on The Circle, set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, in downtown Georgetown.

Each year, the community singing event doubles as a food drive for hungry families in Sussex County, drawing hundreds of residents – along with the support of area schools, businesses and civic organizations – who turn out to sing Christmas carols and collect canned goods for area pantries, churches and food banks.

In 2011, the event collected more than 29,000 items for nearly a dozen organizations. Sussex County organizers hope to collect just as many items this year and are encouraging the public to do their part now to “Pack the POD," a portable storage shed that will be set up on The Circle.

County Administrator Todd Lawson said Caroling on The Circle does more than just put a holiday song in the heart. It puts food on the table and gives hope to thousands of people right in Sussex County.

“This is an event so many people look forward to each year, because it does a tremendous amount of good and has a real impact,” Lawson said. “We know there are residents – our friends, our neighbors, even people in our own families – who are still struggling in this economy. This year some families may be struggling even more with a lost job or recovering from superstorm Sandy. So it’s just as important as ever that we all do what we can to make this a success and make a real difference in people’s lives.”

As always, the historic Sussex County Courthouse and The Circle will serve as the stage for an evening of traditional and Spanish carols, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. Local singing artists Ed Shockley, Kevin Short and The Reminders will lead the event. Joining them to perform will be the Georgetown Middle School choir and the El Centro Cultural group.

Following the festivities, free cookies and hot chocolate will be available at the Georgetown Fire Company, one block south of The Circle. The event is free to attend. Participants only have to bring nonperishable food items.

Food items will be collected that night, but donations can be dropped off from now until the end of December, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the county administrative offices building, next to the courthouse, in Georgetown. Donations also can be made at the west complex, off Route 113, in Georgetown, and at the Sussex County Airport terminal building on Rudder Lane, east of Georgetown.

Caroling on The Circle will be held regardless of weather. In the event of rain or snow, it will be moved inside the fire hall on South Bedford Street. For more information, call 855-7700.

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