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Kannapolis parade, tree lighting Saturday

KANNAPOLIS ó Kannapolis kicks off the holiday season with a parade and tree lighting starting at 4 p.m. Saturday.
The parade will feature more than 100 entries. Recording industry pioneer Eddie Ray will serve as Grand Marshal.
Beginning at Main Street and West D Street, the parade will proceed down Main in front of the David H. Murdock Core Lab before turning left and move briefly up Laureate Way.
Attendees and participants are encouraged to bring toy donations for Toys for Tots. Marines will walk the parade route collecting the donations, which will go to the Empty Stocking Fund sponsored by the Cannon YMCA and Cooperative Christian Ministries.
Food and beverage vendors along the route also will donate a portion of the proceeds from their sales to Toys for Tots.
Once the parade concludes, the festivities surrounding the annual tree lighting will begin in Village Park at 6:30 with the event officially starting at 7.
Twenty-five displays and nearly 100 trees decorated with more than 130,000 lights will be on display this year in Village Park.
Featured exhibits include the soldiers that once stood around the lake in front of Cannon Mills and the Happy Holidays display that floated in the middle of the lake. This year’s event also features a 125-foot tunnel of lights and a 23-foot tall lighthouse.
The tree lighting will include parade awards and performances from the A.L. Brown Marching Band and the Choral Academy, students from first grade to high school.
The night will conclude with fireworks.
People who attend the parade and tree lighting are encouraged to park in existing lots downtown behind Oak Avenue, the parking deck next to the Core Lab, and other surface lots on the edges of downtown. Signs will be in place directing event traffic.
The events are presented by CMC-NorthEast, the Kannapolis Intimidators and the City of Kannapolis.

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