Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

'12 Days' Tradition ; the Origin of the Bridge Road Bistro Carolers

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

'12 Days' Tradition ; the Origin of the Bridge Road Bistro Carolers

Article excerpt

Talk to the bartenders at Bridge Road Bistro and none of them is 100 percent sure how or even when the singing of "12 Days of Christmas got started at the bar, but they have a fair idea of why it stuck around. "We're a neighborhood bar. We're part of the community up here, bartender Brian "Hutch Hutchison said. "People don't just come here to celebrate. They come just to see their friends.

Hutch does remember they weren't the ones who began what has become a yearly tradition at the restaurant, which returns around 6 p.m. Saturday night.

Responsibility for the annual holiday merriment belongs at the doors of Rory and Kim Isaac and Dave and Sandy Campbell.

Over the phone from his office in Houston, Texas, Rory Isaac said it all began with a Christmas party at their home in Charleston back in 1997 or 1998.

"I had a good friend in St. Albans named Steve, Rory Isaac said. "He's a really good guitar player, and I like to sing. So I thought if we got a lull in the party, we could play some Christmas carols.

They did and people liked it.

Rory Isaac said they had a pretty good crowd of people, about a dozen couples, and his wife, Kim, wanted to bring everybody into the singing.

"So, we did the 12 Days of Christmas,' and we had each of the couples take a verse, one of the days, he explained.

The Isaac's Christmas parties got bigger and bigger over the years. The crowds pushed upward of 50 or 60 people and they got their neighbors, Robert and Sherri Wong, to cater the annual event.

Singing the carol as a group, breaking it up became a tradition, with the employees of Bridge Road Bistro, their servers and bartenders, taking up parts in the song.

"It was just a lot of fun, he said.

But then in 2009, Rory Isaac's job with MRC Global took them to Texas, and while he and his wife still maintain a home in Charleston, throwing a big Christmas party didn't seem to make a lot of sense. …

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