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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

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In Holiday Guide

The natural reverb in the Cave of the Mounds makes it perfect for caroling.

Caves echo with real holiday rock music


A lot of folks descend the stairs into the Cave of the Mounds in Blue Mounds, west of Madison, and marvel at the great acoustics.

That's one natural feature that makes the annual Caroling in the Cave Music Series so perfect for the caverns, which we dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of Wisconsin a couple years ago.

The fact that it's 50 degrees down there isn't to be ignored in late November and early December, either.

Now in its eighth year, the two-day Caroling in the Cave event is slated for Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-7 this year. In the past, the event had run three days at the start of December.

A Sing-Along Tour in the cave every Sunday in December at 1:30 p.m. was added last year and continues in 2014.

"The sound of the music in the cave is totally unique, as you can imagine," says Cave of the Mounds General Manager Ann Wescott.

"(It's a) most heavenly experience under the earth you'll never forget," adds the Caves' Paul Krupin.

On Saturday, there are tours from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and performances by greenTONE a cappella at 5 and 6:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the same tours run from 10 until 4 – with the 1:30 sing-along caroling tour – and the Festival Choir of Madison performs at 3 p.m.

Adding to the atmosphere, hundreds of candles will illuminate the main chamber during the performances.

Santa will be available for photos before and after the music, there are free crafts and activity sheets for kids from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Visitors are also encouraged to hike or snowshoe the nature trails all weekend.

New this year is a Wisconsin wine, beer and cheese reception on Saturday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

"This event continues to grow every year," says Westcott. "We have had many sold out performances as well as some with space available."

Admission is $10 for adults per performance, $5 for kids ages 2-12. A portion of the proceeds benefit non-profits selected by the performers.

You can purchase tickets online in advance. There is seating for about 60 during the performances and the remainder of space is standing room only.

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