• 50°

Annual tree lighting brings hundreds to Kannapolis

By Amanda Raymond
amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS – The holiday season has officially started in Kannapolis and the Village Park with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday.

Hundreds of people crowded Village Park to watch as the Community Christmas Tree was lit to kick off the Celebration of Lights.

After attendees sang along to classic Christmas carols like “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night,” Santa Claus was brought out to help start a countdown.

When the crowd’s countdown reached one, the lights on the tree and the star on top were lit up, and fake snow was blown from the tree. The crowd then enjoyed a fireworks show that drew oohs and ahhs from delighted children and parents.

Once the fireworks were over, people dispersed into various lines for hot cocoa, pictures with Santa or a ride on the Winterland Express. The train takes riders through the park to look at all the lights draped on trees and other light displays. The train will run until Dec. 30 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

It costs $2 to ride the train, but admission to the park and walking around to see the lights is free.

Alisha Ryan and her daughter Kayla Crayton said riding the train was their favorite part of the evening. They ride every year.

This year they brought Courtney Stephens, Crayton’s college friend, along with them. She said she was having a good time.

“It gets you in the Christmas spirit,” she said.

Crayton said it is a good community-relations builder.

“It kind of brings the community together,” she said.

“I just think it’s a great thing that Kannapolis offers,” Ryan said.

Lisa Putnal, Tessa Ferguson and husband and wife Victor and Venessa Huaman actually missed the lighting of the tree because they were in line getting hot cocoa. They decided to set up chairs and enjoy their drinks anyway.

Putnal said she enjoyed the event because it is family-friendly.

“You don’t have to worry about anybody crazy,” she said.

Vanessa Huaman said the first time she attended the lighting it was better than she thought it would be.

“It exceeded my expectations,” she said.

Salena and Douglas Burnette came with their daughter Cheyenne and her 4-month-old daughter Sarah. This year will be Sarah’s first Christmas, and they wanted her to experience its full effect.

“It’s memories that you can’t get back so you’ve got to take advantage of it,” Salena Burnette said.

Families can visit Santa in his studio at Village Park until Dec. 30, and Mrs. Claus will also be making special appearances on different nights to read short stories to children. The Kannapolis Singing Bears will perform a 30-minute Christmas Carol each hour on the hour starting at 6 p.m. every night.

For more information, call Village Park at 704-920-4343.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

Comments

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread