The Nadas’ spirit of giving12/16/2015
In one of the better traditions of the year in Des Moines, the time has come for The Nadas’ annual Silent Night Christmas show and Toys for Tots benefit drive. Now in its 13th year, the show has evolved gradually from a full-blown, themed event, into something more personal and laid back. The band plays a mix of traditional Christmas songs and Nadas originals (including a Christmas song of their own), and the United States Marines are on hand to collect donations for their Toys for Tots program. However, this year the band is adding a new wrinkle.
“At first, it had a lot of media sponsors, and everything was kind of firing on all cylinders,” recalled guitarist Jason Walsmith. “We always had a Santa Claus passing out candy, carolers — all of that. Over the years, a lot of that has fallen by the wayside.
“We purposely scaled it back,” he continued. “But we also had all these fans in other markets who had heard about the show but never had seen it. So, we’ve scaled it back into something that we can put in almost any venue, and now this is the first year that we’re taking it on the road.”
Taking the event on tour requires a little extra planning. In many ways, Silent Night is no different from any other tour — something that The Nadas are extremely familiar with. However, rather than just taking a Christmas show on the road, the band wanted to keep its connection with the Marines and the Toys for Tots program intact and help with donation efforts in other towns. Since there is no centralized way of handling logistics, Walsmith contacted Marine offices in each market individually.
“Here in Des Moines, the Marines just know that this show is happening every year, so setting that up is kind of on autopilot at this point,” Walsmith explained. “But we had to reach out to each city and kind of explain how our system works here and see if they could adapt to that. So, in every city, Marines are going to come out, set up a receptacle and collect toys at each show.” CV