Spencer nails down plans for Christmas drive-in

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 4, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

SPENCER – The town has finished plans for a holiday event on Dec. 12 featuring a tree lighting, live Christmas music and food from local restaurants.

The Post previously reported Spencer Hometown Holidays was planning an event with a tree lighting, but the details had not been worked out by that point. The plan now is to begin the event at 6:30 p.m. in the Park Plaza parking lot with live music from Asheville bluegrass outfit One Fret Over. Attendees will be able to hear music by tuning into an FM radio frequency from their cars.

Three Spencer restaurants, Belly’s, Pinocchios and Roger Dogs will deliver ordered food to cars. Alderman Sam Morgan said the town did not want to bring in food trucks when it could use its local restaurants downtown.

At 8 p.m. the event will be capped off with a light display and tree lighting of the town’s new artificial Christmas tree.

Morgan said the event is intended to give residents something to enjoy for the holidays. The N.C. Transportation museum’s Polar Express event was cancelled this year, which is normally a major tourism draw in town. However, the museum has substituted a holiday train ride and drive-thru light show.

Morgan said the town and was also exploring a small parade on Fourth Street for children, but it did not seem feasible. There will be a surprise appearance at the drive-in kids will enjoy, he said.

Morgan said the organizers were originally looking at outdoor seating for the event, but with the worsening pandemic and colder weather they decided to move away from that plan.

Assistant Town Manager Peter Franzese came up with the idea to turn it into a drive-in and shuffle people into a semi-circle parking arrangement. Franzese is working with the police and public work departments to create a diagram for the event. Morgan said the town will bring in a flatbed to use as a stage.

“We are not expecting a huge turnout by any means, but again we wanted to focus mainly on offering something for Spencer residents that can hopefully be a stepping stone to more things,” Morgan said.

Spencer Hometown Holidays, the nonprofit in charge of holiday festivities like the event and the light displays throughout town, is taking donations and sponsorships to fund the event and is looking for volunteers as well. Call 704-213-1201 or email samiam262@carolinarr.com.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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