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Rod and Connie Krebs and their family said "thanks for the memories" with the dedication of a 5,000 pound bronze sculpture depicting the five original Glen Rock Carolers.

The carolers, garbed in their traditional high hats, woolen greatcoats, gloves and multi-colored scarves, arrived aboard the Steam Into History Train, and during the program, performed the original four carols first sung in 1848.

For many it was truly a fitting moment in history.

"It is unbelievable. This is like a step back in time with the train and the carolers, who are a treasured tradition in Glen Rock," resident Sue Good said.

The speeches were interspersed with the singing of the carolers and there was a brief history of the early days of Glen Rock.

Rod Krebs talked of how he and Connie and their daughters all grew up with the tradition of the carolers and of how the singers "exemplify the Christmas spirit." Krebs paid for the monument as a gift to the community.

As the moment came to unveil the statue, a hush fell over the crowd, estimated at about 500 people, and then the drape fell away and the statue, bathed in bright light, was revealed to a delighted audience.

"It's amazing. A wonderful gift to the community," resident Sandy Fair said.

For Gloria Ream, who grew up hearing the carolers on Christmas Eve, the moment was overwhelming.

"I had tears in my eyes," she said. "The carolers are Christmas to those of us who grew up in Glen Rock."

The tradition of singing carols in Glen Rock began in when five men, possibly homesick and missing family and friends, introduced the English tradition of singing carols in the streets to their new community

The carolers are depicted as they probably appeared in 1848. They are not wearing high hats and great coats but probably their everyday apparel.

Video: Watch the unveiling, hear Rod Krebs speak, listen to the carolers

But one has a bag of peanuts slung over his shoulder with one or two in his hand. Another one is carrying a cane, and one appears to be carrying a sturdy stick, possibly it was his job to serve double duty as the dog pelter. And then there is the lantern, much like the one carried today.

Not a lot has changed really. Yes, the town is larger with more people, and but the tradition continues. Their journey will begin at the stroke of midnight with the singing of the first carol at the traffic light and will end on Christmas morning at the break of dawn where they gather around the borough Christmas tree to sing the final songs of the night and close with the Doxology.

Maybe Judy and Floyd Bubb, who were born and raised in Glen Rock but now live in St. Augustine, Florida, put it best.

"It's beautiful," she said of the sculpture.

"It was worth traveling back to Glen Rock to see this and to hear the carolers for the first time in 15 years," he added.

This article is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record/Sunday News.