A large group of SouthCoast carolers surprised and delighted shoppers at the North Dartmouth Mall on the evening of December 16 with a “flash mob” holiday performance. To the Christmas shopper, it appeared to be a spontaneous outpouring of holiday cheer, but in reality, the event began two weeks ago when Mattapoisett native Chad Michael Peters started buzzing about the project on Facebook and Twitter.
By late day on Friday, approximately 200 people had RSVPed “yes” to attend the event, which took place at the Santa station in the mall.
On his Facebook page, Mr. Peters issued a humorous and lively tutorial on how he wanted the carols to proceed. First, revelers would break out into “Deck the Halls” and don their Christmas attire. Then, they would transition into “Silent Night” and hold lighted LED votive candles, and then finish the surprise performance with “Jingle Bells”, complete with jingling.
It went off without a hitch, and just like a “flash”, the mob of over 200-300 people was disbanded within ten minutes of the performance’s start.
“I’m so excited. I feel like a kid waiting for Santy Claus,” Mr. Peters said before the performance. Mr. Peters had been in close communication with Dartmouth Mall security to ensure that the added group would be able to complete the act in a safe manner. As a result, there was added security at the mall.
“We just wanted to come together and share the spirit,” said Mr. Peters. “For many of us, there’s a history with the mall. We grew up shopping at Peerless and eating at Woolworth’s. This [was] also a nice way to give back. People [could] shop before and after the event and spend their holiday dollars on their Christmas treasures.”
Mr. Peters said that he was “amazed” at the number of people who replied that they would attend the event.
Mattapoisett resident Debbie Baldwin brought her granddaughter Autumn Tangney to the event on her way to a Christmas concert later in the evening. “I didn’t practice, but I’m really excited about it,” said Ms. Baldwin, who said that she wanted to videotape the flash mob more than she wanted to participate.
Media – including cameras, video cameras and smartphones – were in no short supply as shoppers and carolers alike recorded the event as it unfolded.
Content after the performance, Mr. Peters said that coordinating a flash mob had been on his “bucket list” and he felt satisfied that it went well.
By Shawn Sweet and Anne Kakley
SouthCoast Flash Mob