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Members of the “Long John Carolers” surprise the employees and customers at Lowes Foods on Saturday. Kellen Moore | Watauga Democrat.

Originally published: 2012-12-24 20:39:26
Last modified: 2012-12-24 20:39:26

'Long John Carolers' mob Boone

The unconventional singing troupe dubbed the “Long John Carolers” reconvened Saturday in Boone for their 40th year of Christmas caroling.

The tradition started in 1973 as friends Toby Atwood and Terry Carroll, residents of Boone attending N.C. State University, decided to jump into their skivvies and entertain the campus as a way to blow off steam after final exams.

The tradition stuck, and now multiple generations of family and friends participate in the annual voyage to grocery stores, malls, nursing homes and private homes to bring good tidings to residents.

The event is always B.Y.O.L.J. — bring-your-own-long-johns — and the carolers have adapted several song lyrics to suit their colorful attire.

Instead of, “walking in a winter wonderland,” the carolers sing, “walking in our winter underwear.”

“We usually hurt from laughing so hard by the end of the night,” Carroll said.

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