Salisbury’s ‘Tis the Season Spectacular promises some spectacular sights and surprises

Christmas parade and tree lighting is one week from today
The wreathes are up, but where is the big gold star that usually hangs in the square in...
The wreathes are up, but where is the big gold star that usually hangs in the square in downtown Salisbury?(David Whisenant-WBTV)
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:50 AM EST

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Each year Hen Henderlite and Shari Graham seem to out do themselves when it comes to the ‘Tis the Season Spectacular.

The Holiday Caravan parade in Spencer and downtown Salisbury was replaced in 2018 after controversy regarding an entry. Graham and Henderlite took over, created a “new” parade, and promised an experience that would be dazzling.

“Our goal was to make this a community parade that everyone who lives in Rowan County would be represented and I feel that we achieved our goal,” Henderlite said at the time.

The duo delivered on that promise. Big crowds witnessed the parade in 2018 and 2019, and when the pandemic struck in 2020, Henderlite and Graham came up with the idea of a “reverse” parade where the entries were displayed on the sidewalks in downtown Salisbury and the attendees drove through in their cars.

“You get in with your family and your friends, we’re hoping will decorate their cars, wear pajamas, drink hot cocoa, in a perfectly safe environment,” Graham said at the time. “Live entertainment, interactive windows, snow machines, incredible inflatable characters, there’s tons of stuff.”

The traditional parade returned in 2021, but with the new addition of the “Holiday Spectacular in the Park,” that included a concert and lighting of a 25-foot-tall community Christmas tree at the Bell Tower Green Park.

So what about this year? Can they top what they’ve created? Henderlite says be prepared to be dazzled.

“123 entries… lots of entertainment and music,” Henderlite said.”10 marching bands, 7 dance troupes, 41 floats and 35 vehicle units… a Chinese Dragon, a 32″ long neck dinosaur… Divided by Four, Drag queens, Mariachi Band, the Oasis Go Karts and much much more!”

Those bands include: Livingstone College, Salisbury High Marching Hornets, Marching Cavaliers of North Rowan, West Rowan Marching Falcons, Cross Creek Pipes and Drums, Oasis Pipes and Drums, Alexander Central High, Jesse Carson High School, North Hills Christian School, East Rowan High, and the Quality Education Academy.

Henderlite also added a tantalizing tidbit related to one of Salisbury’s most familiar Christmas decorations, that for now...isn’t in place.

“The star at the square is not hanging… hmmm… why?” Henderlite said. “Too Much Sylvia, Los Gallivanes Mariachi band. Santa, stilt walkers, Ross the balloon guy, food trucks, Tis the Season Spectacular brew from New Sarum and Mean Mug Coffee.”

Franco Goodman and Brenda Goodman family will light the Stanback Christmas Tree Wednesday, November 23rd at dusk. Franco and Brenda offered to sponsor the 2022 tree during last year’s event. They own and operate Goodman Millwork and the family has done so for over 100 years, Henderlite says.

The Grand Marshal this year is Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten. Organizers said they want to applaud his tenure as Rowan County Sheriff and congratulate Sheriff Auten on his upcoming retirement.

The parade will take place on Wednesday, November 23rd at 2:00 p.m. in Spencer and 3:00 p.m. in Salisbury.