SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Salisbury’s annual Christmas parade, known in recent years as the “Tis the Season Spectacular,” has adopted a unique drive-thru format in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to organizers Shari Graham and Henrietta “Hen” Henderlite, the “Tis the Season Spectacular” parade committee has planned an “alternative” holiday parade.
This event will take place Wednesday, November, 25 from 5:00-9:00, and is being called the “Tis the Season Spectacular: Take a Hometown Ride With Us.”
The route will travel down Main Street from Franklin Street to Horah Street resembling a “mini-McAdenville.” The town of Spencer is planning its own holiday event for 2020.
Instead of parade entries marching down Main Street, parade goers will travel the route in their personal vehicles. Decorating personal cars, busses, or vans is encouraged as is dressing up in your favorite holiday sweater or pajamas.
Participants will see an amazing light show with snow machines, hot air balloons, and stationary floats with live entertainment, such as country star, Tim Elliott, Divided by Four and the Moonglows. All downtown businesses will decorate their storefronts.
The committee is committed to provide funds to help them with decorating costs; as well as manpower, to help them decorate. Some shop windows will have live interactive scenes reminiscent of Macy windows in New York. The event will offer a holiday scavenger hunt for families to participate as they travel the parade route while listening to holiday music provided by WSAT, Memories 1280 AM and 103.3 FM radio.
The Grinch may be atop a downtown building and Elves on Shelves will be scattered along the parade route. Families take a photo and upload to instagram. A drawing will be held from all postings and winning families will receive merchant gift cards.
According to organizers, sponsors are crucial to the success of the event as it will be expensive.
“We are thankful to our Presenting sponsor, Food Lion and to our other sponsors to date, the Law Office of Wallace & Graham, New Sarum Brewery, GCS Global Solutions, Cathy Griffin Century 21 Towne and Country, F&M Bank, The Bernheims Family, David Post, Catawba College, Godley Garden Center, Venue Services/Virtual Sounds, and WSAT,” Henderlite said. "We have made requests for other potential sponsors and hope to add additional sponsors as the planning process moves forward.
Anyone interested in a sponsorship should contact Rowan County Tourism Authority at 704-638.3100. Various levels of sponsorship entitle the sponsor to various benefits.
To reserve a slot in this year’s event, participants can access the sign up link by going to https://tistheseasonspectacular.com/. Click the button, " Drive Through Ticket Reservations" at the top right side of the page. The sign up for time slots begins Monday, October 26, 2020. Participants must reserve a slot in order to participate. These times will be color-coded and can be emailed or picked up by the participant at the Rowan County Tourism Authority’s office.
There is no cost to participate. 110 cars will be permitted per half hour.
Staging for the event will be in the Law Offices of Wallace & Graham parking lot. Santa will greet parade goers at the Main St/Horah Street intersection. Organizers expect all entries to adhere to our Mission Statement: The “Tis the Season Spectacular” is a public parade open to participants to all belief systems and welcomes a diversity of ideas that portrays the goodwill associated with the holiday season.
Participants may not promote special interests on personal vehicles. This plan follows strict Covid safety measures. Parade goers stay in their personal vehicles. All entertainment providers and/or float riders are family members or “bubble” friendly groups.
Spectators will not view the event from the curbside as in the case of a traditional parade. The committee recognizes the traditional parade is not possible this year. It will look different, it will feel different but it is an opportunity to provide an avenue for community unity by ushering in the holiday season together.