Spencer will celebrate holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve
By Steve Huffman
SPENCER ó The town of Spencer is looking to celebrate a long holiday season this year.
Ted Williams, president of the Spencer Business Association, outlined for members of the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night plans for the Spencer Hometown Holidays.
The celebration, Williams said, kicks off Thanksgiving night with the lighting of the Spencer Christmas tree and an appearance by Santa Claus.
The event continues through New Year’s Eve with a fireworks display.
In between, there will be a tour of homes, trolley and carriage rides, a singing Christmas tree and a street dance.
“The town needs a certain image,” Williams told aldermen. “When we’re finished, this is going to be a big deal.”
Williams compared what Spencer has planned with festivities that occur in other municipalities. He noted that the recent ’70s Night Out in Salisbury drew a large crowd and was a financial success.
Spencer’s celebration, Williams said, would draw on such activities and add more.
“The purpose of Spencer’s Hometown Holidays is to highlight the historic town of Spencer and to invite the entire county to celebrate the year-end holiday season,” read a press release that Williams distributed. “Downtown Spencer will be decorated from one end to the other with lights outlining the buildings, lighted angels along Main Street, poles wrapped with garland, trees filled with Christmas lights and a stage set up for entertainment.”
Williams reminded aldermen that such a celebration doesn’t come cheap and said members of the Business Association are looking for sponsors to help finance the festivities.
Members of the Business Association have broken donors into the following categories:
– $100 is a tree sponsorship, helping decorate a tree along Main Street.
– $150 is a building sponsorship, helping decorate a downtown building with lights.
– $500 is a Santa sponsorship, helping ensure that Mr. Claus is in the downtown area each weekend of the event.
– In addition, bronze, silver and gold sponsorships are available to add more value to the community event.
A donation of $1,000 denotes a bronze sponsor while $2,000 is silver and $5,000 is gold.
It’s estimated the cost of the celebration will be $19,950. So far, $1,800 has been collected.
According to Williams, each sponsorship level comes with, at a minimum, a tax deduction for the amount of the sponsorship, use of the Spencer Hometown Holidays logo and listing in the Salisbury Post and other advertising media as a community supporter.
Those wishing to donate or in need of more information are asked to call Debbie Barnhart at 704-213-1200 or Ted Williams at 336-456-9363.
In other matters handled at Tuesday’s meeting, board members:
– Voted to reimburse whenever possible those who’d donated to the planned revitalization of the Spencer Library. Plans for that work have been put on indefinite hold.
Aldermen said initial estimates for the work were about $1.8 million and that figure grew to $2.5 million. Donations included $10,000 from the Spencer Jaycees.
Aldermen said donors who could be identified would be reimbursed. Money from donors who can’t be identified would be placed in interest-bearing funds.
– Approved a 2008-2025 land-use plan for the town that was prepared by Benchmark. The plan had previously received a favorable recommendation from an advisory committee and from members of the planning board.
– Annexed 2.8 acres belonging to Rod Whedbee on Spencer’s north end near the proposed High Rock Raceway.
– Heard from Police Chief Robert Bennett, who said he’s recently hired two new officers. The board also waived a moratorium on hiring, giving Bennett permission to hire two more patrol officers and a part-time reserve officer.
– Waived the hiring freeze so the department of public works could hire a semi-skilled laborer.
– Heard from former Mayor Pro Tem Randy Gettys who serves as a member of the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission. Gettys invited board members to an event sponsored by the commission on Sept. 9 at Catawba College where Mark Sweeney, an industrial site consultant, will speak regarding what it takes for a community to win when it comes to industrial relocation.
The event is scheduled for the same time as the aldermen’s September meeting. They discussed delaying the start of that meeting, but took no action.