Carol on Macomb

Ben Fogt, Host

Carol On Macomb

2020, Ben Fogt

What's the Deal, Grosse Ile?


[0:00] This is a bonus episode of What's the Deal, Grosse Ile? the podcast about the people, places, history, and events that make Grosse Ile unique. I'm your host, Ben Fogt.

Well, I need to tell you that we're taking a break until after the new year with new episodes. So this is just a bonus episode, but I wanted to let you know that we're taking a break and I wanted to tell you about an event that's happening tonight that I hope everyone gets a chance to participate in one way or another.

Tonight the event is Carol on Macomb. It's an event I came up with that starts at 7 p.m. tonight. I came up with it in October as a way to find a way to make Christmas caroling possible on the island during the pandemic. And I'll talk about where it comes from after I give the details here.

A little bit before 7 p.m. what you should do is find an unoccupied light post on Macomb Street. There are about 75 of them. Standed by a light post and then go to the Facebook page for What's the Deal, Grosse Ile, which is WTDGI. When you look it up like that, it will get you to it a lot faster. And then open the video premiere that will start at seven o'clock. I'm hosting that and it's just shy of 15 minutes of Christmas carols.

[1:22] When those Christmas carols start just sing along. Sing out loud and proud. Share it with the neighbors. So of course you could do this from home. You can do it outside your front yard. You could do it in your basement. But I do hope that you'll join us on the street to share our Christmas carols with the community.

So where this comes from I've been fortunate to know some folks from the town of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. It's about halfway between the Maryland border and York, Pennsylvania. and since 1848, before the Civil War, men have been caroling on Christmas Eve. They start at midnight and they sing under each Lamppost in this little hollow of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania until dawn. There are two streets going up each way. They make a cross in the center. They go up each of those hillsides and sing under every lamppost and in front of every carolers house and they do that all night. And people follow them around. We've been fortunate to go do that with them one year, several years ago. But this tradition continued through the wars. This was in the middle of the Civil War. They started about 10 years before the Civil War began. And they continued through the Civil War. They continued through the World Wars. My understanding is the only time they didn't do it was because of a blizzard.

[2:51] And so this is a long tradition, steeped in history. They sing ancient carols that came over from England back in 1848.

[3:02] The only modern song they sing is We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Now I don't want to do that. I just want to sing some Christmas carols. I just want to go out for about 15 minutes on Macomb Street and sing together,

[3:15] Far apart. And I think we found a way to do this. So I do hope you'll join us and I hope it becomes a tradition. Thank you and thank you for listening to the podcast. I sincerely wish you the best and happiest of holidays.

[3:35] What's the Deal, Grosse Ile? is recorded and produced by me, Ben Fogt. You can keep in touch with me through the What's the Deal, Grosse Ile? Facebook page or email me at You can share episodes from Facebook or hear them from the website, And of course it never hurts to subscribe so you can get the latest episodes through your favorite podcast delivery tool like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts, and so many others. Our intro and credit music is Mocktails in the Rain by Antii Luido, which is used through a Creative Commons license. Find more of his music on as Antii's Instrumentals.

Thanks for listening to What's the Deal, Grosse Ile?