Proclamations: ‘Ring the Bell’ on Christmas Eve

A painting by Lindsay Hutcheson King promotes Ring the Bell Rockmart Day inside of Rockmart City Hall. A push by a local citizen has brought the campaign to Polk County this year.

Whether it’s a jingle bell, a hand bell, a bicycle bell or even a cow bell, Jannah Sorrell is hoping they all will be ringing at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve this year.

And she’s got some support from across Polk County.

The Cedartown resident brought the idea to the city governments of Cedartown, Rockmart and Aragon earlier this month and all three have made separate proclamations proclaiming Dec. 24 — this Thursday — as Ring the Bell Day in each city.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Sorrell said. “I thought it would be something neat to all do something together from the comfort of our own homes. I live in town, so I thought if I could go out on Christmas Eve and hear all these bells it would be something special. I never imagined it would blow up and turn into what it has.”

The proclamations state that residents should go outside on Christmas Eve and ring a bell for two minutes starting at 6 p.m. The goal of the event, Sorrell explained, is to spread Christmas spirit and promote unity throughout the community.

Cedartown’s proclamation states in part that 2020 has been a challenging and unpredictable year that has changed the way we live and interact. Ringing a bell announces the coming or arrival of an event, activity or occasion and the sound of ringing bells is a long standing, cherished tradition and an important part of celebrating Christmas.

“Like I said, it is really to spread the Christmas spirit throughout the community, but I’ve told our children it’s also what is going to help Santa fly his sleigh that night,” Sorrell said.

Sorrell said she got the idea while scrolling through Christmas traditions online. She came across a video of bells being rung throughout a town in the United Kingdom on Christmas Eve and shared it to a Polk County Facebook group.

“I thought it would be something that people could do to celebrate the holiday spirit, especially for those of us who are not able to hold normal family gatherings,” Sorrell said. “And it just exploded.”

Rockmart City Councilman Marty Robinson asked Sorrell to speak to the board about her idea and receive a proclamation. She spoke at the council meeting on Dec. 8, where Rockmart mayor Sherman Ross presented the proclamation, which challenged all other local governments and communities to join them.

The Cedartown City Commission did its proclamation at its December meeting on Dec. 14, and Aragon followed at its city council meeting last Thursday.

“We have our own little towns, but we are all Polk County,” Sorrell said.

Sorrell said she knows of some churches who have bells will be joining in, and singing Christmas carols is encouraged as well. Sorrell and some of her family will be at Moores Soda Fountain on Main Street in Cedartown to celebrate the occasion.

“I would like to thank everyone who has reached out and wants to participate,” Sorrell said. “I think this will be a great event and I’m really excited to hear this all over town.”

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