Pike Market Senior Center Caroling Contest Draws Thousands

The Beaconettes sing with humor, dress in wild costumes,
and have a great time. Photo by Jeremy Lange.

Even kids get into the act—these from Mount Vernon High School.
Photo by Jeremy Lange

The Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition, now in its 26th figtabulous year, is both a very popular destination event and a fundraiser for Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank. This zany event attracts teams of carolers from widely diverse communities and backgrounds. We see high school student choirs, workmates from a variety of businesses, families, and social groups.

Every caroling team has an interesting story of why they first got connected to Figgy Pudding. The  Beaconettes have a lovely story:

About 13 years ago, their team leader, Lynn, was at home on Figgy Friday when she received a phone call from her husband, who was downtown with their kids looking at the holiday windows. He said, "You have to come down here … I just ran into this musical event … it's a lot of fun … you have to see it!" Lynn went downtown, experienced Figgy Pudding and, with her family, made Figgy a part of their annual holiday tradition.

About six years ago, Lynn, and a few of her friends (also Beacon Hill residents) started gathering to sing. They are not professionals; they just like to sing. At one of their song sessions, Lynn got the idea of forming a Figgy Pudding Caroling Team. They did just that and have been one of most popular teams at Figgy every since. They sing with humor, dress in wild costumes, and have a great time—all while raising money for Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank.

Many teams are fiercely loyal participants of Figgy. About three-quarters of the teams return every year. There are several ways to compete, and the teams all seem to find their niche competition.

Since joining about 12 years ago, Starbucks Coffee Carolers have consistently won the Figlanthropy Award. In total, Starbucks carolers have raised $350,000 for the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank.

Last year's judged award winners were The Carol Brunettes (Most Creative) and Mount Vernon High School (Best Choral). Last year's People's Choice Award went to the aforementioned Beaconettes.

—Zoe Freeman, Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank

26th Annual Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition

Friday, December 7, 2012
5:00 p.m. pre-show
6:00–8:30 p.m. caroling competition
Downtown Seattle & Westlake Center

Caroling team registrations and donations to Figgy Pudding benefit the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank, providing for older adults and families living in poverty—emergency food, nutritious meals, social services, employment, wellness classes and activities that promote social connection. There is no cost to come and watch!

For more information, visit www.pikemarketseniorcenter.org or e-mail the Head Figlet at zoe.freeman@speakeasy.net.