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Caroling Competition rings in Fishline funds

POULSBO — There’ll be jingling bells, little drummer boys and chestnuts roasting on open fires downtown as area choruses have themselves a merry little Christmas competing in the Sleigh Bells Caroling Competition Dec. 8.

The fundraising event will run from 3-5:30 p.m., and all proceeds go to benefit North Kitsap Fishline.

Ten groups so far have signed up to rock around the Christmas tree at the annual holiday hop, showcasing their tunes to support area residents in need.

Event organizer Carol Ostheller said this is the second year the competition has taken place, though it’s already growing in numbers. Last year brought in $1,400 for Fishline.

“Sleigh Bells Caroling Competition is turning out to be a really interesting thing,” she said. Ostheller started the event in part to bring music to the streets of Little Norway, but a deeper reason soon surfaced. “There really is a need in this area, so we’re going to sing. It’s an interesting way to have people donate because they get something for it.”

And get something for it donators shall, as singing groups of all kinds and skill levels are invited to join in the fun.

“The choruses come in with an initial donation and then that donation determines if they are first, second or third place. It is not what they sound like,” Ostheller said. Though each group brings in a donation they’ve either come up with themselves or raised, collection boxes are also placed in front of each group during their performance, and the winners are chosen after both amounts have been factored.

“It’s open to the public, all this fabulous entertainment, and they come along and drop money in front of the choruses they like,” Ostheller said. “It’s like voting.”

Awards are also given out in categories, including People’s Choice, Best Choral Performance and Most Original Performance. The event is produced by the Kitsap Carolers.

Ostheller said groups already slated to appear include last year’s winners the Sweet Adelines, along with the Kitsap Chordsmen, Doctor Keys, Sound Wave, and the Kitsap Caroling Kids.

See’s Candies chocolates will also be sold at the event to benefit Fishline, and the Sons of Norway’s Leikarringen children’s dance group will perform.

Funds raised will go toward Fishline’s emergency food boxes, back-to-school backpacks, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, the Christmas Toy Shop and thrift store operations.

“I’m just doing this for the fun of it actually, just for the caroling and to help with Fishline,” Ostheller said.

A sing-along with The Hometown Band will follow the caroling event. For more information on how to enter and the event schedule, visit www.caroling4food.com or call (360) 779-7219.

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