(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)
Neighborhood residents and visitors got into the holiday spirit with the help of a few distilled spirits recently, as they joined in on the second annual Hyde Park Main Streets Holiday Carol Pub Crawl.
More than 40 carolers joined the tour this year, an expansion over the 30-odd carolers who took part in the first crawl in 2010. They began their night with practice and a champagne toast at Riverside Theatre Works and then wound their way through Logan and Cleary squares, from Townsend’s to Rincón Caribeño, El Rancho Café, Master McGrath’s, The Hyde, and finally Annabelle’s.
Cheryl Murphy, a neighborhood resident for 35 years and president of the Hyde Park Art Association, led the singing last year. She took a more low-key role this year but brought a group of friends from the Sacred Heart School in Roslindale, where she teaches art.
“Oh, we’re having a great time,” she said. “It’s beautiful weather, number one. It’s fun to come out and sing songs and have a good time, and also a way to help promote the businesses and the restaurants in the area, so that people have an opportunity to sample some of the great offerings that they have.”
For Sheila Zozula, who also teaches at the school, the night was a chance to embrace the season despite the unseasonably warm weather.
“I think it’s really great because it’s not very cold [and] it doesn’t seem like the Christmas season yet, so I think it’s getting me into the spirit,” said Zozula, 25. She said she was “terrible at singing,” but a gifted back-up dancer and was prepared to support the other carolers that way.
“I heard there was free food and friends, and I thought I could add a couple dance moves, a little Christmas spirit. And they’ve accepted me, even though I can’t sing,” she said. “You can mouth the words. It’s fine.”
Amie Luna has lived in Hyde Park for almost five years, but she missed last year’s pub crawl because she didn’t hear about it in time. This year she made sure not only that she wouldn’t miss out, but that none of those closest to her would either. She recruited her husband, Hector Luna, as well as her best friend, her cousin, and her cousin’s husband.
“They had a lot of fun last year, I heard,” said Luna, 30, who found the night was living up to her expectations. “I’m having a blast. It’s a lot of fun singing; I think everyone’s in a good mood, which is a good thing.”
Her husband Hector Luna, 35, has lived in Hyde Park since he was 6. He said that while this was his first time at this event, it wasn’t his first pub crawl. “Not at all,” he said. Luna said he didn’t consider himself much of a singer, but he was singing along “here and there” and enjoying himself.
The caroling brought joy not just to those who joined in but also to some of the diners who were surprised to have the live entertainment with their dinners. Quincy resident Bob Manning and his “sweetheart” Sarah Feeney, who lives in Dorchester, were having dinner in Townsend’s when the carolers entered in their Santa hats and began singing.
“I said, oh my God,” said Feeney, who declined to give her age but said she was a senior citizen.
“We were shocked,” Manning said. “It’s really nice that they do it. Not many people do this anymore.”
(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)