Caroling in the Caverns to raise money while getting people in the holiday spirit
Saturday, December 7, 2019, is the Grottoes Ruritan Club's ninth annual 'Caroling in the Caverns' event.
It is put on each year to raise money for the South River Boys and Girls Club and Ruritan scholarships.
Mark Keeler, the president of the Grottoes Ruritan Club, said that the idea came about years ago for the fundraiser because it is something unique. He said it is a great way for the community to get in the holiday spirit while making a difference.
"I think the fundraiser gives them the opportunity to give back to the community, just as the music groups are, just as the rest of us are as well, and it's a nice time of the year to do that as well," said Keeler.
Each person gets a lit candle and enters the cave for a self-guided tour. There will be four different musical groups performing Christmas songs. The groups are: Valley Brass Quintet, Peggy Counts & Friends, Shenandoah Valley Pipe Band and Cantore.
"Our music groups are the heart and soul of this event. They are all dedicated to giving back to the community. They donate their time and talent, play awesome music for two hours straight, and still return year after year," said Keeler.
Ashley Collier is the tourism and parks director for the town of Grottoes, and she said that the town enjoys the partnership.
"I think it's so great to be a part of an event that, where the Grand Caverns and the town of Grottoes and the Ruritan Club come together to bring a very unique event to the community that they can look forward to every year," said Collier.
The event has grown each year. The first year, there were around 250 people in attendance and last year, attendance topped 1,000 people.
There will most likely be a wait, with tours running every five minutes, so those who plan to attend should dress warm – the cave, as always, stays a steady temperature, but it will most likely be colder outside.
The event costs $5 for adults and is free for children 12 and under with the donation of new arts and crafts supplies or games for children.
The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.