Cabarrus Christmas celebration events begin Nov. 20

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 15, 2020

Events modified to comply with COVID restrictions

KANNAPOLIS — The City of Kannapolis Christmas Celebration will look different this year. The Grinch (COVID) has impacted the usual holiday events but the city is working with community partners to 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, Nov. 20. Join in 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,” by Clement Moore, featuring Mayors Bill Dusch of Concord, Darrell Hinnant of Kannapolis, John Crump of Midland, Del Eudy of Mt. Pleasant, Steve Sciascia of Harrisburg and Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners Chair Steve Morris and a visit from Santa Claus. Get all the information on all the virtual and in-person activities throughout Cabarrus County on the Cabarrus Virtual Holiday Celebration Facebook Page.

After you watch the virtual tree lighting ceremony, join in from Nov. 20-Dec. 30 at the Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express located at Village Park, 700 West C Street. More lights have been added — there are now 250,000 lights and fun for your family to enjoy. Admission to the park and viewing of the lights is free.

The Winterland Express train runs every evening from Nov. 20-Dec. 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 appropriate planning 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, at

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. 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 — Due to COVID restrictions, there will not be a Christmas parade. The Christmas parade is expected 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 the city by Nov. 30. Customer letters are $2 and include decorative envelopes and postage from the North Pole.

Holiday Take-Home Activity Kits — Other holiday activities 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, go to

Other Cabarrus County holiday events

  • Journey Through Time—Virtual Concord Holiday Parade
    A 92-year old tradition will continue, although in a different format than in years past.

Join the Cabarrus Events Association, with support from the City of Concord, CabCoTV, and TrueCare pharmacy, in a journey through time, highlighting unforgettable memories of years past.

The 92nd Annual Concord Christmas Parade will keep its tradition of helping to ignite the holiday spirit. Sit back in the warmth and dry comfort of your home to enjoy tidings of joy—and even a possible check-in from a special guest!

The parade will premiere on Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. on, CabCo TV (Spectrum Cable, Channel 22), and It will rebroadcast on CabCo TV at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. from Nov. 21-Dec. 31.

For additional information, go to

  • Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt
    Dorton Park, Concord

    Dec. 15, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. slots

    Under a cloak of darkness, kids and families will use flashlights to search the park’s fields for candy canes. The event also includes a trackless train ride, artificial snow machines, and an onsite Christmas craft.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, participants will need to register for a one-hour time slot. Available times are 5 to 6 p.m., 6 to 7 p.m., and 7 to 8 p.m. Each time slot accommodates 20 spaces to prevent crowding in the park and promote social distancing.

Registration is available through Concord Parks and Recreation’s online system or by calling 704-920-5600.

To make a Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt reservation, click go to

Continue to check back for more information on holiday events or visit the Cabarrus Virtual Holiday Celebration Facebook page @CabarrusVirtualHoliday.

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

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