Celebrating 35 Years of the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition

The Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank is celebrating 35 years of its annual Figgy Pudding fundraising caroling competition this year.

This heart-warming tradition attracts nearly 10,000 people every year to enjoy holiday music and has become a holiday tradition for many Seattle locals and families to celebrate the season and community. This is an enchanting event for all ages.

Since its inception, this event has raised over $1 Million for the Pike Place Market’s Senior Center and Food Bank.

Volunteers and Figgy carolers team up to support the Senior Center and Food Bank as they help low-income adults and families experiencing food insecurity, inadequate nutrition, homelessness, social isolation, and lack of opportunity.

So What is Figgy? Each year, dozens of caroling teams and holiday shoppers fill Westlake Center on Figgy Friday to raise money for the Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank.

The first, second, and third place Figlanthriopy Awards are given to the teams that raise the most money. These teams are the headliners at the mainstage sing-off. The categories of Best Choral performances and Most Creative teams are selected by the Famous Figgy Judges, and the People’s Choice team is selected by popular vote. The top two teams in each category compete in a sing-off on the Figgy Main Stage. The Get Figgy With It award is for the team that raises the most money during the one hour the teams sing on the street.

 

How Figgy Came About-  This caroling extravaganza was formed in 1986 by the former Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank Executive Director, Daniel Knutson-Bradac. Daniel wanted to create a fundraising event unlike any other. His vision was to form a unique opportunity for community engagement that was enjoyable to all.

Figgy Pudding brings together three main players, Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank, local businesses, and Seattle citizens. Figgy Pudding hosts them all under the umbrella of holiday cheer and the celebration of its people coming together to support one another.

Who Can Participate? Whether someone is a professional singer or a beginner; anyone can join in. Figgy Pudding also relies on hundreds of volunteers to be a success and Seattleites always answer that call. Volunteer positions are able to enjoy the fun while still helping out.

Caroling teams of 5 and more are made up of friends, families, and businesses from every field. Anyone with 4 others can join.

Seattle businesses have joined in the fun including Starbucks and AARP but you will also see lawyers harmonize, accountants dressed up as angels, baristas dancing, and other splendid pairings.

Who Does Figgy Benefit? Proceeds from Figgy Pudding support The Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank. Since its creation in 1986, Figgy Pudding has raised over $1 million for The Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank.

Caroling teams raise 70% of Figgy fundraising before the event. They ask co-workers, friends, or family to donate to this cause. On the evening of the event, there are several opportunities to raise additional funds. One way we do this is by having holiday helpers present and ringing joyful bells to alert visitors that there are cash donation boxes available.

Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank provide a range of services that rooted in their mission statement:

“In Downtown Seattle, the Pike Market Senior Center strives to make each day better and safer for older adults; the Pike Market Food Bank serves people of all ages who face hunger. Together, we provide services, activities, and support to promote healthier, more self-sufficient and fulfilling lives.”

The Pike Market Senior Center

The Pike Market Senior Center (PMSC) was formed due to the community’s need for a place where seniors could gather and socialize. As the community grew, so did the services that PMSC provided. About 1,500 seniors visit each year for free meals, healthy activities, and access to skilled social workers.

Free breakfast and lunch are served to people ages 55 and older every day at PMSC. A dietician consults each meal to ensure it’s nutritious. Before COVID, meals were served in a congregate setting so that seniors could socialize and, in turn, combat senior isolation.

Free fitness and socially engaging activities, like walking groups, yoga, and wellness education programs are available at the PMSC as well.

Skilled social workers are also available to help clients find shelter and housing, access to medical care, and to connect seniors with assistance programs like social security and food stamps.

The Pike Market Food Bank

The Pike Market Food Bank (PMFB) joined with the Senior Center in 1981 and serves food-insecure residents of any age. PMFB offers free groceries, ready-to-eat meals, and home delivery for qualified residents of Downtown Seattle. Over 6,600 residents are clients of PMFB.

The Food Bank provides upward of 900,000 pounds of groceries and over 50,000 hot nutritious meals each year. Through the community of Seattle’s support of the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition and Fundraiser, locals have immensely helped increase PMSCFB’s capacity to offer life-sustaining services.

Watch last year’s virtual event