Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
During the holiday season traditions are likely to play a significant part of any celebration.
Leaving milk and cookies for Santa, cooking certain foods such as turkey or ham on Thanksgiving and Christmas, opening gifts on Christmas morning, singing Christmas carols, reading holiday stories and watching holiday movies are traditions that families participate in. This year the Town of Franklin is continuing a new tradition begun last year by a little boy that just wanted the community to come together.
Daniel Candelario is an 11-year-old boy who, after seeing the movie “The Grinch” wished that the town could come together like the Who’s in Whoville did, and sing Christmas carols and hold hands.
Daniel’s wish came true last Christmas Eve when a crowd of more than 200 people gathered at the town square and did just that. Strangers held hands, smiled, and sang Christmas carols. Mayor Bob Scott was so impressed by this event that he promised to make it an annual event for the town of Franklin. So this year, Daniel and his interpreter, Carolanne Elliot, will be at the Town Square at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve to continue the new tradition, “Christmas Singing on the Square.” Who would have imagined that a young child’s wish would come to fruition and bring the town together, if only for a few hours, on Christmas Eve?
Daniel is a very humble child from a modest home with loving parents and two siblings. Although Daniel is deaf, he enjoys feeling the vibrations of the music. This year Daniel turned 11 and entered fourth grade at East Franklin Elementary School. He attends Cartoogechaye Baptist Church, which he loves, and is very much into sports. Daniel is going to play basketball next year and he loves Stephen Curry, who plays point guard, on the Golden Warriors Basketball Team in San Francisco. This past year, Daniel was on the Macon County Youth Football League as a “Mite” whose team took first place at the championship series. Daniel loves sports of any type. He is very excited for the Christmas Eve singing this year. On his Christmas wish list is sports outfits and memorabilia from the Golden Warriors and Stephen Curry shoes.
Daniel’s wish for this Christmas is for everyone to come to the Town Square on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. to sing and be happy and he wants to hug as many people as he can.