Readers pick 25 best things about Kannapolis
By Emily Ford
In honor of the city’s 25th birthday, the Post asked readers for their favorite things about Kannapolis.
They shared old stories about spending every Saturday afternoon at the movies, watching a double feature, two serials and at least two cartoons ó all for 25 cents ó and marching in the A.L. Brown High School band.
They shared new stories about watching the city’s Fourth of July fireworks display from a downtown fire escape and enjoying the reaction of visitors from all over the world at the N.C. Research Campus as a stranger greets them with, “Hey, how y’all doin’ today?”
They watched cars cruise Idiot Circle, the loop of West Avenue from First Street to Vance Street, and they listened to the mill whistle blow at each shift change.
They bring their children to the summer concert series, and they remember the old Christmas parade float that featured live possums.
Here, in no particular order other than item no. 1, are the 25 best things about Kannapolis.
25. Kannapolis Intimidators
24. Village Park
23. Proximity to Charlotte
“We like being close to a big city but not in that city.”
“Small town charm but close to regional big city amenities.”
“Blend of urban and rural character.”
22. Kannapolis Parkway
21. Proud community with unique heritage
20. Gem Theatre
“It gives a great sense of nostalgia, a sense of a bygone era, of simpler times to our modern world.”
18. Dale Earnhardt tribute statue
17. Railroad track runs through the middle of town
“But there’s never been a wrong side of the tracks for folks living here.”
16. Norris Dearmon, Kannapolis historian
15. Cannon Mills
14. G.I. houses, built after WWII for returning soldiers, and the mill houses
13. The late Hugh Alexander
12. The late Carlyle Rutledge
11. Professional, dedicated city employees
10. Convenient to both the beach and the mountains
9. Community of faith
8. Greenway and playgrounds
“Great way to be outdoors with the family and get exercise and play all in one trip.”
7. N.C. Research Campus
“I’m quite pleased to see the town having a rebirth with the Core Lab as its hub.”
6. Village Grill
4. Attractive downtown
3. A.L. Brown High School
2. Safe place to live
And the No. 1 most-often named best thing about Kannapolis:
1. Friendly people