The 33rd Annual Cave Sing at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is set for December 2.
"I understand that Cave Sing has a long tradition here at Mammoth Cave, but this will be my first," said Superintendent Sarah Craighead. "We hope many local residents will return again this year for a fun afternoon underground. The acoustics of the cave are excellent whether listening to performers or singing along."
The idea for the Cave Sing dates back to 1883, when residents held a Christmas celebration inside Mammoth Cave. An article about the event stated, "the halls of the cave ring with joyous carols and the laughter of happy children."
"The Caveman Chorus is back this year," said Johnny Merideth, one of the event coordinators. "We hope visitors will enjoy the a cappella tones of this old fashioned barbershop group. And the Glasgow Brass Quintet will perform in the cave, too. It's a beautiful sound."
The very first Cave Sing was held in 1883, when area residents planned a Christmas celebration in Mammoth Cave. The big local event consisted of carols, laughter and even an adorned Christmas tree. The ten-foot cedar was hauled into the cave and stood in a room known as the "Methodist Church". It was soon draped with ribbons and popcorn under the glowing light of lard-oil lanterns. An early article about the event stated, "the halls of the cave ring with joyous carols and the laughter of happy children."
This year's schedule:
1:15 p.m., storytelling at the Mammoth Cave Hotel Rotunda room.
2 p.m., depart for cave from the visitor center. Inside the cave, visitors will hear the Caveman Chorus and the Glasgow Brass Quintet in the "Methodist Church" room accessed through the Historic Entrance.
3:30 p.m., complimentary refreshments are served at the Mammoth Cave Hotel and Santa Claus arrives.
Please remember, Cave Sing requires walking up and down a steep hill and climbing steps. Participants should dress warmly in layers and wear comfortable shoes or boots. Even though the cave air stays at a constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit, windchills in the entrance are much cooler.
For further information, call 270-758-2180.
Note: Tour requirements regarding white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats: While there are no known harmful effects to humans, WNS is responsible for the deaths of millions of hibernating bats across the eastern United States since its discovery in 2006. WNS has not been found in Mammoth Cave to date, however, park staff are taking precautions to minimize the spread of WNS fungus to or from Mammoth Cave. When going on a Mammoth Cave tour, do not wear clothing or shoes that have been worn in other caves or mines. All participants on cave tours must walk across aggressive turf mats to clean footwear immediately following the conclusion of their tour.