It was 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, and as most were tucked into warm beds or on their way there, David Carter took his place as the first in line for Jingle Jam tickets.
Within a couple of hours, dozens joined him at the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, bundled up in jackets and hats and chatting about one of their favorite holiday traditions, the beloved charity concert.
“It’s worth it to lose a little sleep,” said Carter, who makes the 30-minute drive from Oakton, MD, each year. “The moment I walk out of the concert every December, I’m already looking forward to the next one.”
Jingle Jam, set for Saturday, Dec. 10, showcases the talents of 10 musicians who collaborate to bring audiences their favorite holiday tunes with a rock ’n’ roll twist.
The evening show sold out just 45 minutes after sales opened at 5 this morning. As of 10 a.m., there were still tickets available for the 2:30 p.m. matinee show and the 11:30 a.m. Junior Jam kids’ concert.
Rusty Foster, of Leesburg, claimed his spot in line at 2 a.m. Still working to stay warm under a blanket at 4 a.m., Foster said the effort to get coveted tickets to the evening show has become one of his favorite moments of the holiday season.
“We see all the same people every year and have become a little family,” he said. “It’s a tradition now.”
Jingle Jam fans got a bit of sweet encouragement about an hour before the doors opened, when Cerphe Colwell of Music Planet Radio, a sponsor of the event, handed out donuts. Jingle Jam founder Silson Greene also did his part to greet the more than 50 people who had lined up long before the doors to Ida Lee Park Recreation Center opened.
“These are the real Jingle Jammers. They look forward to it every year—God bless them,” he said. “That’s why when you get on that stage, with that kind of love, you can’t help but have a great show.”
Greene and others talked about the sense of community they feel not just at the concert, but among those waiting in line on a dark, cold morning to purchase tickets.
“It’s worth every minute we sit here,” said Nancy Olson, just as she passed around a tin of baked cookies. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
This year’s Jingle Jam band includes Grammy Award-winner Jon Carroll; acclaimed singer-songwriter Todd Wright; Loudoun’s own Gary Smallwood; Grammy Award-nominee Michael Sheppard; sought-after studio guitarist and producer Mark Williams; singer-songwriter Cal Everett, blues singer Mary Ann Redmond; drummer Dan Garvin; songwriter and guitarist Prescott Engle; and songwriter and Jingle Jam founder Greene.
There’s a five-ticket-per-person limit, and all purchases must be made in person at Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, 60 Ida Lee Drive NW in Leesburg. Admission to the afternoon and evening concerts is $25 per person, and $5 per person for the Junior Jam. All proceeds from the shows benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
For more information on ticket sales, call 703-777-1368. For show details, go to tallyholeesburg.com.