Kannapolis Christmas Celebration Begins November 20 > City of Kannapolis | City of Kannapolis

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The City of Kannapolis Christmas Celebration will look different this year. The Grinch (COVID) has impacted our usual holiday events but we are working with our community partners to ensure we are able to celebrate the holidays in a safe and healthy manner.

A Kannapolis Christmas will officially begin with the Cabarrus Virtual Holiday Celebration and Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7 p.m., Friday, November 20.  Join us on Channel 22 (CabCoTv) and watch as the Cities of Kannapolis and Concord virtually light their Christmas trees. The program will include musical performances, a special reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a visit from Santa Claus. Get all the information on all the virtual and in-person activities throughout Cabarrus County by visiting the Cabarrus Virtual Holiday Celebration Facebook Page.

After you watch the Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony join us from November 20 thru December 30 at the Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express located at Village Park, 700 West C Street. We have added more lights – we have over 250,000 and fun for you and your family to enjoy. Admission to the park and viewing of the lights is free.

The Winterland Express train runs every evening, November 20 – December 30 (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 6-9 p.m., Sundays – Thursdays, and from 6 – 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays.  Ride the train through the park and count down the 12 Days of Christmas as you view unique holiday light displays.

This year you will need to make a reservation and pay in advance to ride the Winterland Express. Reserve a row on the train for $6. A row can typically hold three children or two adults with a maximum of three people per row. There will be nine rows available per train ride. If there are any unsold rows, per train ride, those will be sold each night at the Village Park ticket office on a first come basis.

This reservation process allows us to plan appropriately for every train ride and to be as safe as possible. Social distancing and masks are required. The train will run every 15 minutes. This allows staff time to appropriately sanitize the train between rides. Make your reservations now, as seating is limited, by clicking this link – www.kannapolisnc.gov/christmas.

Favorite activities such as making s’mores around the fire pit and listening to the Singing Bears perform return as usual. Again, this year, kids of all ages will be able to visit Santa in his studio each night. However, children will not be able to sit on Santa’s lap (we do not want him to be sick and unable to travel on Christmas Eve). You will be able to take a free photo with him.

The model train display and carousel will not be part of this year's event due to indoor mass gathering COVID restrictions.

COVID health guidelines will be followed at each activity location. Masks, social distancing and hand washing are required.

Additional Information:

Christmas Parade - Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions there will not be a Christmas Parade. We expect the Christmas Parade to return in 2021.

Letters to Santa - If you cannot visit Village Park to see Santa, he will be writing custom letters to children. If you would like to sign up your child to receive a letter from Santa contact us by November 30. Customer letters are $2 and include decorative envelopes and postage from the North Pole.

Holiday Take-Home Activity Kits - Other holiday activities we will have for you and your family to enjoy including kits that you can pick up and do at home. These are: Turkey Time Thanksgiving Crafts, Holly Golly Popcorn Kits, Christmas Activity Grab Bags, Take & Bake Sugar Cookies, and Make a Cinnamon Christmas Tree Ornament.

For more information on the holiday celebration, activity kits, Santa letters, and up-to-date schedules visit: www.kannapolisnc.gov/christmas.