Holiday Caravan gains non profit status; will seek donations | Community Spirit
SALISBURY - Provided to WBTV by Pearson DeBoer Creative Solutions:
The Holiday Caravan Parade Association (HCPA) recently received its 501c non-profit status, marking the start of a new era for one of the largest events in Rowan County.
The Holiday Caravan Christmas Parade is estimated to draw more than 100,000 people to the main streets of Spencer and Salisbury, North Carolina each year. The 2012 edition will be held on November 21st.
"Non-profit status for our parade means that individuals and companies who support the parade with donations, purchasing floats and sponsorships will be able to deduct the cost," said Timothy Livengood, president of HCPA.
A volunteer board has been producing the parade since taking over the event from the Rowan Business Alliance two years ago. Livengood said that there may be a misperception in the community that the parade "just happens" and it doesn’t cost anything to produce.
"The truth is that the parade annually costs about $35,000 to put on," said Livengood. "And it recent years it has essentially been a break-even venture."
According to Livengood, the board is working on some initiatives to put the parade on stable financial ground. Holding a fundraising St. Patrick’s Day dinner/dance to occur this Saturday night, March 17th, at the F & M Bank Trolley Barn is a step in that direction. Tickets, donations and sponsorships can be obtained by calling the parade office at 704-636- 5335 or by contacting Livengood at email@example.com.
The Salisbury sales and marketing firm, Pearson DeBoer Creative Solutions (PDCS), has also been engaged to develop a new website and secure sponsorships for the 2012 parade.
"2012 marks the 60th year since of the first committee organizing to produce the first parade," said Patrick Pearson, president of PDCS. "We need to come together as a community and celebrate this iconic event."
The PDCS and the parade board will be actively seeking major corporate sponsors so that the parade association can establish some reserves and possibly a scholarship fund for the parade queen and other exemplary students.
The Christmas Parade began rather simply in 1952, when the Spencer Jaycees took on the project of buying and installing Christmas lights for their community. In 1960 the Spencer parade and a parade produced by the Salisbury-Rowan Merchants Association merged and the route was lengthened. 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 nearly 150 entries and has grown to become one of the biggest in the Southeast.
More information on the 2012 parade can be found at www.holidaycaravanparade.com.
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