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‘Candlenights’ event draws out-of-towners

December 23, 2018

HUNTINGTON - Huntington’s good boys, the McElroy brothers, brought their comedy advice podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” to the Jean Carlo Stephenson Auditorium in City Hall on Saturday night for their annual “Candlenights” celebration, a live-recorded episode of the podcast.

The show consists of “eldest brother” Justin McElroy, “middlest brother” Travis McElroy and “sweet baby brother” Griffin McElroy giving farcical advice to the masses and delving into the nuances of Yahoo Answers submissions through witty banter. “Candlenights” is their all-encompassing holiday celebration.

All the proceeds from ticket sales went to Recovery Point.

“Still Buffering,” a podcast by sisters Sydnee McElroy, Teyler Smirl and Rileigh Smirl, sponsored its second annual Candlenights Star campaign to raise money for the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia. The campaign sold 795 stars that were displayed onstage with the names of each of the donors.

The live podcasting event is known to attract out-of-towners from far and wide, some from as far as Alaska, Switzerland and the U.K. The approximately 700 tickets available sold out within minutes, which only accounts for a small fraction of the podcast’s worldwide listeners - the podcast is estimated to get millions of downloads per weekly episode.

Karen Cardona, 18, Julia Hance, 20, and Nathan Quaintance, 18, took a 16-hour road trip from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota just to see “Candlenights.” Cardona and Quaintance said they have been keeping up with the brothers’ podcast for a few years, while Hance said she is a more casual listener.

They visited some iconic Huntington spots mentioned in the show, including Safety Town and the 14th Street West antique district, and plan to make a stop at Jolly Pirate Donuts. They also stopped at Sheetz and Bojangles, which they said do not exist in Minnesota.

One might ask why someone would travel hundreds or thousands of miles to Huntington just to see three locals talk to each other on a stage.

“It’s very much part of people’s day-to-day lives,” Cardona said. “They upload an episode every Monday, and people might listen to it on their way to work or while they’re doing stuff, so they’re kind of part of your routine. So it’s amazing to meet these people who are part of my life in a way.”

Cardona likened going to “Candlenights” to meeting a celebrity.

Jill LaFear, of Ackenpucky, the design firm responsible for the “Candlenights” set that consists of light-adorned ladders, said the event highlights the brothers’ love for their hometown.

“The coolest part about it is that the McElroys could do this in a bigger city that would be much easier to access,” LaFear said. “But for them to do it here, it shows their commitment to Huntington.”

“I think it’s strange that people travel from Alaska and Australia but nobody from Huntington really knows about it,” said Seth Cyfers, also of Ackenpucky.

Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.

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