Letter-to-the Editor: Holiday Caravan Parade Needs Communities Help to Encourage YOUR Community High Schools to Participate

Posted on September 24, 2017

Board of Directors, Holiday Caravan, Inc., Rowan County, N.C.

♦ The Holiday Caravan Parade has a long history in Rowan County and is viewed by many as a tradition marking the of the holiday season. The all volunteer board is extremely dedicated to the continued existence as one of Rowan County’s holiday events. There were many hurdles to overcome during those years, but we are thankful for “you” the residents, businesses, schools, grandparents, parents and students. “You” make this event happen for Rowan County.

Historically, schools have always played a major part in this event and through the School Board’s support all of Rowan-Salisbury High Schools have participated. The Holiday Caravan Parade invites Rowan-Salisbury High Schools to participate and in recent years a few have chosen not to participate. The timing of the parade, size, and staging creates some obstacles. The school board was willing to work on solutions. Now more than ever we need for them to hear from us.

Recent changes to the school calendar for the Thanksgiving timeframe, implemented last year,  shutdown Wednesday.  At who’s request? Are these the same individuals who don’t want to come to Salisbury, yet take advantage of others thru taxpayer funds and the same vacation time their co-workers are entitled too?

This letter is not designed to throw any one individual under the bus, but to understand how one individual has the ability to control the participation of a school or influence the decisions of other schools in the event.  In turn, giving the individuals undue authority and manipulation of an already uneven playing field created with the Fine Arts Academy and draws from other strong band programs within the county.

The Holiday Caravan cannot show enough gratitude and thankfulness toward East Rowan, North Rowan, Salisbury and West Rowan High Schools for their continued support of the parade.

We all are part of Rowan County and should support Rowan County. We all should be frustrated as all Rowan County residents and businesses contributed, willing or not, to the creation of a multi-million dollar school The Fine Arts Academy.

The Fine Arts Academy led by a band director on vacation, has no backup support staff to fill in during his absence and is not paid enough to participate in the Holiday Caravan Parade. The Holiday Caravan Parade provides $200 to each Rowan-Salisbury High School Band to help with transportation cost, equally and fairly, unlike other parades that the fund is based on appearance demands, while other Rowan Salisbury High School bands in attendance go uncompensated for attendance. Also, within the school budget the band departments receive a per head fixed amount for each band student that includes among other things participation in parades. The Holiday Caravan Parade, provides scholarships opportunities to students from all Rowan County Schools, not just those that choose to participate.

Please reach out to your Salisbury-Rowan School Board members to voice your concerns. Each member’s contact number is listed at the bottom of this article.

Dr. Richard Miller (North) 704-637-0318

Travis Allen (West) 704-762-6103

Alisha Byrd (Salisbury) 704-798-6436

Josh Wagner (East) 704-798-3451

Susan Cox (Southeast) 704-798-6714

Jean Kennedy (Special) 704-633-7428

Dean Hunter (South) 704-224-5288

Posted in: Articles