Christmas sing, parade, concert bring Muncie IN together during holiday

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - A great feeling of community spirit overcame DWNTWN Sunday afternoon during the 77th annual community Christmas Sing followed by a parade to light the community Christmas tree. 

 Whether it was the hundreds of Muncie students singing and dancing at the Fieldhouse or group of youth from Motivate Our Minds who smiled when the Christmas tree was lighted in Canan Commons, the great feeling of community was in the minds of those who attended.

More than a dozen music groups entertained and enlightened the crowd after months of conflict over closing Southside High School. It was great to see the championship Spirit of South Marching Band on center stage at the end of the sing.

 And singers and dancers of Cole Academy Dancers were among the crowd favorites besides singer and celebrity Dale Basham's reading of how The Grinch Stole Christmas with the Grinch lurking around the Fieldhouse.

Vikki Jeffers did a great job directing traffic among about a dozens acts including hundreds of choir and band members,

Jeffers thought more people were in the stands Sunday, which filled the Fieldhouse with about 5,000 people.

 Mayor Dennis Tyler agreed, saying people should come together at Christmas, a time of giving and charity besides humbleness and gratitude.

Some of the crowd pleasers were the big finish by the Spirit of South Band that had both music and color guard action to awe the audience.

And some of the old, favorites of the Fieldhouse were there including Jay and Shirley Pittinger, who were guardians for Central Alumni Association with its display of championship sports banners.

 A few hundred people braved cold weather to watch the parade of local officials and others who marched from the Fieldhouse to Canan Commons to see the lighting of the community Christmas tree.

 The mayor talked about what a wonderful time of year it was to bring people together and help others in need.

The Muncie Fire Department put the Grinch in the aerial bucket so he could light the tree that towered over the downtown park.

Youth groups ranging from Motivate Our Minds to the Muncie Ballet made the gathering special as youth dominated the crowd.

There was even more Christmas at Emens Auditorium with America's Hometown Band conducting a great Christmas concert with the help of the Royerton Elementary School Choir and other groups.

America's hometown of Muncie always puts on its best, as band director Roger McConnell said with Christmas classics filling the community auditorium celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Melody Stader & Eli Brunsman enjoy the evening. Photo Credit: Staff Photo