Caroling in the Caverns
Blanchard Springs, AR
December 14, 2013
This is the Visitors Center at Blanchard Springs in Northeast Arkansas. On a recent trip to Mountain View, Arkansas, we took in Caroling in the Caverns, which takes place 216 feet below the Visitors Center. It's a must-do at the Christmas season. A brief elevator ride takes a visitor down to an entirely different world, where special lighting among the formations casts a magic spell and wonderful singers complete the magic with Christmas songs and carols. It's fairyland down there! It took a mere 70 million years, give or take a few millennia, to produce such natural beauty. Mother Nature really showed out in Blanchard Caverns.
|Stalactites/Stalagmites and audience being seated for Caroling in the Caverns|
Carolers dressed in seasonal splendor strolled in from somewhere behind the bleachers and the scene was set. Behind and beside the carolers were the lighted formations. The following musicians entertained us with delightful Christmas music: Robert Gillihan (mandolin, vocals), Mary Gillihan (vocals), Marion Spear (vocals), group leader Pam Setser (guitar, dulcimer, spoons, vocals) Pati Long (vocals), Ron Haynes (guitar, vocals), and Abby Spinks (vocals). Not only was their music wonderful, they also did a masterful job in moving around in darkness and on a damp cavern floor. The singers moved left, then right, then center somewhere under our bleachers delighting us with their music in the acoustically-perfect cavern room.
|L to R: Ron Haynes, Pati Long, Pam Setser, Marion Spear, Mary Gillihan, Robert Gillihan, Abby Spinks|
The carolers selected the following songs: Angels We Have Heard on High; Beautiful Star of Bethlehem; Little Drummer Boy; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; Just an Ordinary Day; Do You Hear What I Hear; O Holy Night; Silent Night; Away in a Manger; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Mary, Did You Know; There He Is (solo by Abby Spinks); Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; Neighbors (a Charlie Sandage song); 12 Days of Christmas (Ozark style); Let It Snow; Jingle Bells; I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; In the Bleak Midwinter; Go Tell It on the Mountain; and Silent Night.
This writer recommends a weekend in the Ozarks any time you can get away, especially for Caroling in the Caverns. In addition, the Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce hosts Cupid in the Caverns (Feb. 14-15, 2014) and Celtic in the Caverns (March 15-16, 2014). Shows are generally at 2:30 and 4:30 pm (Central). There are good hotels, motels, and B-and-B's in Mountain View, AR. Splendid restaurants will suit just about every taste.
For more information:
Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce: Phone (Tickets/Info): 870.269.8068
Toll Free: 888.679.2859