“This event is truly a Raleigh holiday tradition. This is an event where if you’re not quite in the holiday spirit when you arrive, you certainly will be when you leave.”
— Diane Sauer, Raleigh Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Director
A favorite Capitol Broadcasting tradition ushered in the holiday season for area seniors on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. The 59th Annual Golden Years Holiday Celebration took place downtown at the Raleigh Convention Center, where club members filled the ballroom to capacity. Each year CBC is proud to present the event alongside the Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources department, which sponsors the 33 Golden Years Clubs throughout the city.
“Golden Years provides an opportunity to make new friends and discover new talents,” said Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane as she welcomed the crowd. “Thanks so much to Capitol Broadcasting. I’m so happy to be invited here this morning and so proud to celebrate the holiday season with you.”
The morning included a full slate of musical entertainment. As has become a tradition, the Oakwood Waits strolled among the attendees caroling, and then performed several numbers from the stage to open the program as seniors enjoyed a warm breakfast. Shawn “CoCo” McMillan provided an invocation with her rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.” A quartet from the Capital Ambassadors performed a few holiday tunes, Bill Stonehouse crooned a few fun numbers and the Legacy Motown Revue brought some favorites from The Temptations and more.
“This event is truly a Raleigh holiday tradition,” said Diane Sauer, Raleigh Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Director. “This is an event where if you’re not quite in the holiday spirit when you arrive, you certainly will be when you leave.”
Leon Jordon and His Continentals finished off the morning, a big band that got the seniors up on the dance floor. The band has a special connection to a surprise guest at this year’s Golden Years Holiday Celebration. WRAL-TV retired anchor and local legend Charlie Gaddy sang with the band for a year early in its inception. Gaddy appeared in honor of WRAL-TV’s recent 60th anniversary of signing on the air.
Gaddy helped emcee alongside WRAL-TV Anchors Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens while WRAL-TV Anchor Brian Shrader interviewed members of the crowd as part of the program.
Santa and Mrs. Claus meandered through the crowd chatting with seniors throughout the program. At the conclusion, poinsettias were presented to attendees as they headed back out into the cold with the wonderful feeling of warmth the holidays bring.
Be sure to tune in to WRAL-TV at 2pm on Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, 2016, for a “Golden Years Holiday Special”.
SLIDESHOW: 2016 Golden Years Holiday Celebration