The public is invited on Saturday, December 8 at 6:00 p.m., to the annual caroling event sponsored by the Minnesota City Historical Association. With the infusion of historical commentary on a number of selections, residents and friends of Minnesota City in solo and ensemble selections will present an evening of entertainment and information on December 8. The historic First Baptist Church, 140 Mill Street, which houses the artifacts of the Minnesota City Historical Association, is the site of the presentation. An annual central attraction of the celebration is the presence of the Edwin and Judy Maus’ horse drawn wagon. Assisted by their son, Bryce, the family provides rides through the village following the in church program and caroling. In addition to the horses, children are annually interested in the gift and candy bags that are found under the tree, imitating the custom of celebrations at the Minnesota City churches since their beginnings.
This year’s program music and recitations will focus on the sounds of the season. A timely carol/recitation will be “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the Civil War. The verses that denote the conflict are often omitted from popular singing; they will be narrated/sung on December 8. Then from each accursed mouth the cannon thundered in the South. And with the sound the carols drowned Of Peace on earth, goodwill to men. It was as if an earthquake rent the hearthstones of a continent and made forlorn the households born Of peace on earth, goodwill to men. (Longfellow, ‘I Heard the Bells…”)
The original organ of the historic Baptist Church will be featured in renditions of Jean Gardner, longtime organist at the church and member of the Baptist First Ladies Aid which owns and maintains the building. The Estey organ was purchased in 1880 for $125.00 according to church records. Photos of organ detail and a panel of material related to bells of area churches (Minnesota City, Rollingstone, Stockton, and Minneiska) will be available for attendee perusal.
Refreshments will be shared at the event; the public is invited to the free of charge event.