• 70°

How the Grinch celebrated Christmas: Bell tower event draws crowd

Community Calendar

By Rebecca Rider
rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — This year, the Grinch didn’t have to wait until Christmas Day for his heart to grow three sizes larger. The beloved character spent Saturday morning greeting families, hugging children and posing for pictures in Bell Tower Park at the corner of Jackson and West Innes streets.

The Grinch was joined by the man in red himself, Santa Claus. The annual event and photo opportunity attracted crowds of people, and the line to talk to Santa stretched from his perch in the gazebo to wrap around the bell tower.

The event, hosted by Downtown Salisbury Inc., is a way to bring the community together, said Katelin Rice, promotions coordinator for Downtown Salisbury, Inc.

“This is a chance for families from all walks of life to come together as a community and do something fun,” she said.

Rice estimated that by the end of the day, at least 500 people would stop by the bell tower to snag a photo with father Christmas. The grounds teemed with people of all ages, from toddlers to teens to grandparents — all just as excited to get their picture taken, sip hot chocolate or piece together an ornament.

For Rice, that was the heart of the event.

“You see so many people. …There’s no barrier keeping us separate as a community here,” she said.

And the event attracted people from out of town, as well, with families driving in from Statesville or stopping by from out of state.

Rames Traboulsi is from Georgia, but he and his kids were in Salisbury visiting family, and decided to check out the event before they headed home.

“It’s beautiful, it’s very nice,” he said.

Traboulsi was heading back home today, but stopped by and said he liked that it was a community tradition.

Elizabeth Gill was there with 2-year-old daughters Anna and Ava Gill. The family is local, but Gill said it was the first time they’d attended the event. And she learned something surprising about her daughters.

“They’re scared of Santa but they love the Grinch and they love gluing,” she said, laughing.

The two commanded the craft table, wielding glue sticks and stickers to create their own unique Christmas ornaments.

But other children were eager to talk to Santa. Micky Sanchez walked up and handed the big man his Christmas list: a Lego train, shoes and a coat.

“I made him draw a picture with all the things he wanted,” his mother said.

For Rice and Downtown Salisbury, the event was part of a busy holiday weekend. Holiday Night Out kicked things off Friday evening, with Santa and the Grinch and Small Business Saturday wrapping things up. The event also offered free horse and carriage rides for its duration.

Rice said she hoped those attending the bell tower event would take the time to check out the rest of downtown, as well.

“We’ve got tons of people, hundreds of people here, so it’s a good opportunity to talk about shopping small, local,” she said.

The event was free and open to the public. Photos were taken by photographer Sean Meyers, and hot chocolate was provided by Mean Mug Coffee.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-7997-4264. 

Comments

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

BREAKING NEWS

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in 1992 murder of Tutterow couple

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily