This will be the last year a concert of holiday tunes whistles from the New York Wire building on Christmas Day.
The concert, which began in 1889, will go on, but organizers of the York Factory Whistle Concert are looking for a new stage since New York Wire announced earlier this year it would close its plant at 441 E. Market St. and eliminate 170 jobs there.
"This concert's being dedicated to the employees of New York Wire," said Jeri Jones, a member of the committee that plans the annual concert.
Jones said the company has indicated it will give the factory whistle to the committee so the tradition can continue in another location. Hopefully, that will be somewhere in York City, he said.
"There are some things in the works that I can't talk about," he said.
This year's concert will begin at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday. Whistle master Donald Ryan usually performs about 20 minutes of Christmas carols and patriotic songs, Jones said.
New York Wire dates back to 1888, and the well-known holiday whistle concert started the next year, in 1889. The tradition died off but resumed in 1955. And it's been going ever since.
Concert organizers are confident they've fixed a problem that cut last year's performance short, Jones said.
On Christmas Day 2011, an
air compressor overheated in the middle of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and again during "Silent Night." Organizers have replaced the generator that powered the compressor, Jones said.
"Hopefully, that isn't going to happen this year again," he said.
Everything went smoothly at the two-hour rehearsal on Saturday, he said.
"The air pressure was great, and everything went well," said Jones.
It is difficult to estimate the number of people who take in the concert, because cars are parked blocks away with people tailgating, Jones said.
The sound can be heard for about a five-mile radius or more, depending which direction the wind is blowing.
"It's the only place in the world this is being done," Jones said.
-- Erin James may also be reached at ejame firstname.lastname@example.org.