Mixup brings Christmas tunes in August

Aug. 14, 2014 @ 08:09 AM

Kristy Campbell and Helena Vanhorn strode down West Avenue armed with large cups of hot coffee to fortify themselves against the unseasonably temperate and pleasant weather as songs about snow, silver bells and flying reindeer echoed through downtown Lenoir under clear and sunny skies Wednesday morning.

Downtown workers and visitors, used to the easy-listening music that usually plays from a series of speakers mounted on downtown streetlights, were amused and confused to find the air filled with Christmas music.

“It makes you realize Christmas is around the corner,” Campbell said. “I think it’s fun. It was unique to hear ‘Rudolph’ this morning.”

“It brings a smile to your face,” Vanhorn added. “I know I smiled.”

Burl Sprouse, IT specialist for the City of Lenoir, is the one who ostensibly controls the music, which comes from a satellite feed, but he

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wasn’t sure what happened Wednesday.

“It’s like the Ghost of Christmas Past snuck in and did it,” he said.

Sprouse said he actually didn’t notice the music when he arrived downtown about 8 a.m., but all his fellow employees were singing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” He didn’t catch on, though, until his boss asked that he please fix the music.

About 9:45 a.m., Sprouse switched the music back to the correct channel, but by then the holiday spirit was already being felt.

“Maybe we’ll get snow soon,” said Patti Nelson, who works at The Hair Shack on Main Street. But she wasn’t going to hold her breath.

“It’s a little too soon,” she said.