Kannapolis Adds Second Winterland Express Train Engine > City of Kannapolis | City of Kannapolis

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Santa on the Winterland ExpressOne of the highlights of “A Kannapolis Christmas” is riding the Winterland Express thru the Twelve Days of Christmas. Tickets are a must have for this very popular attraction.

Now, just in time for the holidays, Santa has delivered a second Winterland Express straight from the North Pole. This new Winterland Express Train Engine will allow the City to handle twice the number of train riders during the holiday season and throughout the year.

The metallic black and chrome CP Huntington G24 Engine #425 will pull three coaches and accommodates adults and children. It has an electric engine and is handicap accessible.

The City’s original bright red CP Huntington Engine #262 is 30 years old and has been an integral attraction at Village Park for years. It will continue to also operate during the holiday season. 

“Our Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express Event draws over 25,000 people to our City each year. Having the new engine allows us to handle twice the number of riders and accommodate all the visitors to our holiday event,” said Gary Mills, Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Director. 

The new engine will make its premiere this Saturday at the City’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. 

A Kannapolis Christmas will officially kick off at Village Park with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony & Celebration of Lights at 6 p.m., Saturday, November 18. The Celebration of Lights will then run thru December 30. The Kannapolis Christmas Parade returns on December 9.

The Celebration of Lights includes thousands and thousands of Christmas lights. Ride the Winterland Express, two g-24 scale replica CP Huntington engines, and count down the 12 Days of Christmas as you view unique holiday light displays. Manufactured in Italy, the Village Park Carousel features 1,800 lights, Brazilian oak decking, and charming hand painted Venetian murals. 

Admission to the Celebration of Lights is free. Tickets are required to ride the carousel and train. $2 per ride per person/pre ride.

Purchase carousel tickets onsite at Village Park. They will be available on a first come basis each evening.

Reserve your seat on the Winterland Express, Sunday thru Thursday, by purchasing tickets online at www.kannapolisnc.gov/Christmas. Walkup onsite tickets will also be available Sunday thru Thursday.

Each weekend, Friday and Saturday tickets may be purchased onsite at Village Park on a first come basis.
Again, this year, kids of all ages will be able to visit Santa. The park will also feature performances from our very own Kannapolis Singing Bears, who will entertain you with a Christmas Carol performance. On various nights local community groups and musicians will perform your favorite Christmas songs.

Additional Information:
November 18 – Tree Lighting Ceremony – 6 p.m. at Village Park, 700 West C St. Celebrate the start of the Christmas season in Kannapolis with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy live music and entertainment. Fireworks will immediately follow the Tree Lighting Ceremony at approximately 6:15 p.m. Free Admission.

November 18-December 30 – Celebration of Lights –Open 6-9 p.m. Sundays thru Thursdays; 6-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) Come to Village Park and enjoy all the beautiful lights and displays in celebration of the holidays. Area choirs and school groups will perform on select evenings between 6 and 8 pm (December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15). Bring your wish list for your visit with Santa – you are welcome to take your photo with him at no charge. Other activities include making a holiday craft, enjoying smore’s around the fire pit and much more. Local craft and artisans be on hand on the weekends so come prepared to do your Christmas shopping. Food trucks will have food and drinks for sale. 

November 24-26 – Begin your holiday shopping Thanksgiving weekend at the Holiday Market. Local vendors and artists will have plenty of holiday goodies to choose from stocking stuffers to those hard-to-find gift items, the market will have something for everyone. The market will be inside Kannapolis City Hall, 401 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Food and drinks will be on sale. Free admission. 

December 9 - The Kannapolis Christmas Parade begins in downtown Kannapolis at 6 p.m. – This special nighttime parade travels through the streets of downtown Kannapolis and usually lasts until 7:30 p.m. If you are interested in participating in the parade as a sponsor or a float entry visit www.kannapolisnc.gov/christmas.