That time of year when you get to roll out of bed to a beautiful white Christmas snowfall, watch the Christmas parades, listen to holiday music, and set up the Christmas tree.
But it’s also the time of year for caroling.
And this year, the East Aurora Carolcade 2021 is gearing up to return bigger and better than ever!
But here’s the thing.
If you’ve never been to one, you might be asking yourself: What exactly is the Carolcade?
Well, we’re glad you asked!
Let’s rewind time, and ask the Ghost of Vidler’s Christmas Past to show you exactly what this event means—not just to Vidler’s, but also to East Aurora and Main Street in-general.
*The Ghost of Vidler’s Christmas Past waves a hand. You hear jingle bells, and snow swirls around you as you fly through a time portal… headed for the past.*
As the Ghost of Vidler’s Christmas Past leads you out of the holiday time portal, you realize that you’re standing directly in front of Vidler’s.
The Baltimore Colts had won the super bowl that year, and Vidler’s had experienced another amazing year in East Aurora.
Had you looked through the window back then, you might have seen Bob Vidler stocking shelves, and Ed Vidler working the counter.
You might have also seen a small group of Girl Scouts enter the store.
“Mr. Vidler, do you mind if we sing Christmas carols in front of your store?” they ask.
“Well, that sounds wonderful,” Ed replied, with his usual twinkling smile.
The scouts proceeded to sing a collection of beautiful Christmas carols in front of the store… After which, Ed gave them all some candy as his way of saying thank you.
But see, an idea was born in Ed Vidler’s mind that beautiful winter day.
“What if we made this an annual tradition?” He thought to himself…
Fast Forward To Christmas Season Of 1972…
As it turned out, Ed loved the idea of people singing Christmas carols in front of the store.
And so, this year, he placed an ad in the advertiser.
He invited “any bona fide Christmas carol group” to come sing in front of Vidler’s. And once again, candy was promised as a “thank you” for the beautiful singing and caroling.
A handful of other civic minded folks and main street merchants also joined along with Ed in this endeavor. They worked together to promote this ‘carol sing,’ which was officially named The Carolcade.
It was a huge success, and a cherished community tradition was begun.
As the ghost of Vidler’s Christmas past zips forward, pulling you through time, it says:
“The Carolcade has now taken place for 49 consecutive years. What began as a handful of Girl Scouts has now morphed into an event that brings 3,000 to 3,500 singers every year, gathered on East Aurora’s Main Street. The event is so big, so grand, so merry, and brings so much holiday cheer to Main Street that the village even closes down traffic for an hour for the sing-along. It always takes place the last Saturday evening before Christmas, as long as that date doesn’t fall on December 24th… and goes from 7 pm to 8 pm.”
“But what about the Covid lockdown in 2020?” You may ask.
To this, the ghost would slow down your ascent through time, and come to a stop.
As you walk through the portal, you see barren, cold, empty streets.
It’s a cold, dreary Saturday evening in 2020.
At first, you might be disappointed.
“Of course,” you think sadly to yourself. “Vidler’s had to cancel the Carolcade because of the Covid virus, right?…”
But then, your ears would detect the faintest hints of music, drifting through the Christmas air.
Wait a minute… is that… is that music coming from the roof?
Sure enough, as the Ghost of Vidler’s Christmas Past uses a sprinkling of Vidler’s holiday magic to lift you into the air, you see Rob Goller—the Town Historian, and Carolcade song leader—along with Don Vidler, singing from the rooftop to keep the tradition alive and well.
The 2020 East Aurora Carolcade was even featured on WBBZ TV.
The event couldn’t take place as usual. But Vidler’s kept up the tradition.
Heading Back To Present Day, 2021…
Woo! What a journey!
It’s good to be back.
And yes, the East Aurora Carolcade 2021 is absolutely moving forward as planned.
East Aurora Main Street!
Just track down Vidler’s, and you can’t miss it!
For the latest news, be sure to ‘Like’ the event on Facebook.
To all of you who are reading this, thank you for taking part in our little ‘Vidler’s Ghost of Christmas Past’ journey.
We wish you a merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and most certainly a happy new year!