• 70°

Santa and the Grinch ring in Christmas season at Bell Tower

If you saw the Grinch in downtown Salisbury Saturday, don’t panic — he wasn’t here to steal Christmas.

Salisbury kicked off the Christmas season with a bang Saturday, as more than 400 parents and children made their way to Bell Tower Park in downtown Salisbury for crafts, snacks, carriage rides and the opportunity to meet Santa and, of course, the Grinch.

The annual event typically sees 200 to 300 participants, but Downtown Salisbury, Inc. Promotions Director Mollie Ruf said the beautiful weather lent a hand to this year’s high attendance numbers.

She said they even started things a little early because people showed up before the event started at 10 a.m.

“I think it’s one of the few events in the community where you can get a picture with Santa,” Ruff said.

For the first time in several years, free carriage rides from Triple Springs Horse Farm were available for participants.

“The horse and carriage has been super popular,” Ruf said. “It’s been a long line all day.”

This was also the first time the refreshments were provided by local restaurants, newly opened Chick-N-Ale on Innes Street and Mean Mug, which will open on Fulton Street in the coming weeks.

Ruf said Santa and the Grinch draws people in because it’s an opportunity for them to “share in the merriment of Christmas.”

“These people come to this event every year,” she said.

In hopes of drawing people downtown, Santa and the Grinch coincided with Small Business Saturday — a nationwide movement that encourages people to shop at small, local businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“It really brings a lot of life into downtown,” Ruf added.

For many, the Santa and the Grinch event has become an annual Christmas tradition.

Amanda Savage said she’s been bringing her family since Emma, her 6 year old, was 1.

“This is kind of an annual tradition for us,” she said. “It’s something we enjoy doing.”

“My oldest thinks Santa actually lives right here,” Savaged laughed.

Her younger daughter, Anna, said her favorite part was seeing Santa.

“I told Santa I wanted my baby,” she said.

Allison Lineberry said her family has come for the past four or five years, as her daughters, Hannah and Gracie, along with their friend, Delaney Fisher, fervently colored Christmas tree ornaments.

“I love that downtown Salisbury does this,” she said, adding, “We love that the Grinch is here. That’s a special touch.”

The Sprosty, Giddings and Valdepeñas families were experiencing Santa and the Grinch for the first time.

“We love it,” said Lori Valdepeñas.

The families traveled down to Rowan County all the way from Richmond, Va., for the Polar Express train ride at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.

As they were looking for something to do, they found out about Santa and the Grinch through Downtown Salisbury, Inc.’s website.

“It’s really cute,” Jackie Giddings said.

For those who missed out on Saturday’s event, Santa and the Grinch will return to Bell Tower Park Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., along with rides in antique fire trucks. Bell Tower Park is located at the corner of Fulton Street and Innes St. in downtown Salisbury.


China Grove

Reaper’s Realm owners promise beefed-up security after weekend shooting


Contractor expands local footprint, takes on county’s coronavirus projects


Home Improvement: Holiday gifts to spark home improvement ideas


Political Notebook: Local parties will host watch parties for presidential debate


China Grove man cited for driving through school field


October closure hearings set for Faith, Enochville elementary schools


Police say man gave false name after high speed chase, crashing into lumber truck


Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county


Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning


New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses


Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call


Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?


Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak


Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation


Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3


New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day


In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising


From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community


In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help


Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system


School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures


Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice