Food Lion has agreed to be the presenting sponsor of the Holiday Caravan Parade through 2014. The Holiday Caravan Christmas Parade draws up to 100,000 people to the main streets of Spencer and Salisbury, N.C., each year. The 2012 edition will be held on Nov. 21.
“We are excited to have Food Lion’s commitment to support the parade for the next three years,” said Timothy Livengood, general chairman of this year’s parade. “Their financial support will help offset the expenses associated with having a quality parade.”
Salisbury-based Food Lion supported the parade for several years and has historically been the largest contributor, according to Livengood.
“We are pleased to support the Holiday Caravan Parade, and look forward to continuing our support of this local tradition in our hometown market,” said Donnie Cauley, Food Lion district manager for the Salisbury, N.C., area.
Livengood added that the Holiday Caravan and its marketing partner, Pearson DeBoer Creative Solutions (PDCS), is actively seeking additional corporate sponsors and parade entries to help fund the parade, which costs $35,000-$50,000 to produce each year.
The Holiday Caravan Parade is a nonprofit organization. A volunteer board has been producing the parade since its inception. Over the years the board has become the sole organization responsible for the production of the parade.
Livengood said that there may be a misperception in the community that the parade “just happens” and doesn’t cost anything to produce.
“The truth is that the parade annually costs a minimum of $35,000 to put on each year,” said Livengood. “And those funds have to come from corporate support and parade entries.”
The parade started small in 1952, when the Spencer Jaycees took on the project of buying and installing Christmas lights for their community. In 1960 the Salisbury-Rowan Merchants Association and Salisbury Jaycees became involved and the route was lengthened to include the two cities. In 1962 the parade became known as “The Carolinas’ Loveliest & Liveliest” parade. In 1963, the parade’s directors held a contest to search for a more original name. Carl E. Weinbrunn submitted the winning entry: Holiday Caravan. Each year the parade has more than 150 entries and has grown to become one of the largest in the Southeast.