The year 2020 has really given all of us a reason to pause and re-think how we will approach the holidays. So many people already have their Christmas decorations up because we want some happiness and for most, seeing Christmas lights brings that joy to us.

This year, leave it to “The Party Peeps” of Shari Graham and Hen Henderlite to come up with the perfect holiday parade this year called, “Tis the Season Spectacular… Take a Hometown Ride with Us.” The best part is it’s FREE!

Take a Hometown Ride with Us this year to bring in the holiday cheer!


A Parade with a Twist

This year there will be no sitting out in the weather (cold, warm, rainy, or snowy)! No! This year you can ride in the comfort of your own car and enjoy driving down Main Street starting at Wallace & Graham and down to Horah Street. This is an event that will take place in your car as you drive down to see the excitement planned for everyone this year where The Hallmark Channel, McCandenville, and Salisbury all meet to officially kick-off our holiday season!

I was excited to speak with Shari, and trust me she is one busy lady, so grabbing some time was definitely fortuitous! I asked her how she got involved in the holiday parades and she shared with me, “Tamara Sheffield approached me and Hen, and asked for our help … three years later we are still involved!” She told me, “we don’t have a ‘we can’t’ or a ‘no’ in our vocabulary!” I have to believe her especially when she shared with me all that they had planned!


The Reverse Parade

The “reverse parade” this year to me will almost be like riding inside a snow globe!  As you drive you will see a winter wonderland on Main Street. You will see a live nativity scene, snow will be blowing, live music by Divided By 4 who will be performing in front of the courthouse, the Moonglows, The Tim Ellis Band will be performing a laser light show in the Square, there will be hot air balloons, floats with dance troops performing, carolers, fun inflatables, WSAT will be playing Christmas music while live on the parade route, Memories 1280 AM and 103.3 FM radio, and of course the merry ole elf himself, Santa Claus will be there for all of us!


Tim Ellis from the Tim Ellis Band will be performing a laser light show in the Square!


Like the past few years, the Grinch will be creeping around trying to steal the Christmas Spirit from us all on top of a building in downtown. So, stay alert for that! You’ll also see some of the Elves on the Shelves around on the route so be sure not to be naughty! If you and your family take pictures be sure to upload a family picture to “#tistheseasonspectacular” on Instagram because a drawing will be held from all the postings and the winning families will be receiving merchant gift cards! Can you say “cheese?”


Watch out for the Grinch while you’re at the parade!


Stores are primarily expected to be closed, but they are participating by decorating their store fronts. I have already been noticing the holiday decorations going up in town! Our stores downtown always do a great job of encompassing the Christmas Spirit and I always enjoy shopping local in them! Store fronts will be interactive with the parade so watch for that as well. Restaurants should be open as usual in case you work up an appetite riding around!


A nutcracker standing guard outside of AnnaCraig Boutique!


Bring Your Holiday Spirit

Speaking of riding around, the “Party Peeps” are encouraging folks to decorate their cars to drive in the parade! So, bring your own Christmas spirit to the parade and show everyone how you can ride in style!  Shari shared, she “hopes people arrive in decorated cars and wear their Christmas pajamas!” I asked her if there would be any kind of a competition and she said let me give credit to my husband, Bill Graham, for saying this, “this should be a celebration and not a competition.” I totally agree! This should be and will be a celebration. This is a great way to show COVID-19 that we can still have fun and maybe even create new traditions.


Photos from last year’s Christmas event!


I heard Rowan Tourism mentioned several times throughout the planning process and now you’ve seen me mention them. They are helping to facilitate time slots that are set aside for the parade which begins at 5:30 p.m. The time slots are in increments of 30 minutes each. The parade at this time is slotted to take the last cars down at 9:00 p.m. Visit for more information. The plan is to have 110 cars in each time slot. Cars should arrive before their slotted time and line up in the parking lot of the law offices of Wallace & Graham. There will be a guide car to lead the parade down Main Street.


‘Tis the Season!

Shari mentioned all the many sponsors that have helped to make this event possible. Special thanks to the Presenting Sponsor, Food Lion and other sponsors, The Law Office of Wallace & Graham, New Sarum Brewing, GSC Global Solutions, Cathy Griffin Century 21 Towne and Country, F&M Bank, The Bernheims Family, David Post, Catawba College, Nancy Stanback, Carolina Curbers, Salisbury Animal Hospital, Salisbury Motor Company, Matt & Gwinn Barr, KMD Construction, Hotwire, Novant Health, Godley Garden Center, Venue Services/Virtual Sounds, and WSAT. (More people were asked and could have been added since my interview.)

I think a lot of us get stuck in the “this is the way we have always done it” mode and 2020 has given us the challenges of trying to do the same in a new way. ‘Tis The Season Spectacular has certainly done just that and I can’t wait to drive through it! I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to decking the car out, putting on the jammies, and pouring some hot chocolate in a thermos to ride in style down the newest parade route in town!