The Coral Gables Caroling Competition will get anyone who attends in the holiday spirit. It has been an eagerly awaited holiday tradition in the City Beautiful since 1987 when the 550 Building first presented the city with its spectacular poinsettia tree that became the backdrop for the competition.
Recognition goes to Merrick Festival director Sally Baumgartner for her vision in creating this choral competition that gives the community’s young people an opportunity to showcase their talent and win dollars to support their programs. Baumgartner’s passion for the competition and selfless efforts have enabled the event to grow considerably over the years.
It has become a much-anticipated event for the school choirs, their supporters and thousands who make this part of the holiday tradition.
“This event is free to the public and is truly a wonderful holiday gift to residents and visitors alike,” Baumgartner said. “We are most grateful to all those who have donated funding to make this event a reality year end and year out.”
Join the crowd in front of the 550 Biltmore Building over five nights beginning Wednesday, Dec. 4, running through Sunday afternoon, Dec. 8. Middle school performances are Wednesday and Friday evening; high schools perform on Thursday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon from 3 until 6 pm. All evening performances are from 7 until 10 p.m.
Since 1990, the competition has provided “bus money” for each participating school — without which many of the public schools would be unable to participate. The bus money levels the playing field and makes it possible for the inner-city schools to compete along with independent schools, offsetting the costs of their transportation to the competition.
Each school receives a minimum of $175 for bus money — more if the year’s budget permits. Funding for the buses this year is generously provided through a grant from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council
For information on the event, visit online at www.merrickfestival.net