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, 2023. The Celebration of Lights will then run thru December 30. The Kannapolis Christmas Parade returns on December 9. The park is located at 700 West C Street in Kannapolis.
The Celebration of Lights includes thousands and thousands of Christmas lights. Ride the Winterland Express, a g-24 scale replica CP Huntington engine, 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 handpainted Venetian murals. Admission to the park and viewing of the lights is free; tickets are required to ride the carousel and train.
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.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 18 at 6 p.m.
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.
Celebration of Lights
November 18-December 30
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. 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. Tickets to ride the train and carousel are $2 per person each. Carousel reservations are not needed. Arrive at the carousel and purchase your tickets at the carousel counter from our staff. For train reservations see the link below.
Train Reservation tickets are suggested for Sundays - Thursdays. No reservations will be accepted Fridays & Saturdays. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis on Fridays and Saturdays.
Maestro Leonard Bearstein and the famed Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra is back this year, spreading their holiday magic in Kannapolis. The 18 animatronic bears will delight children and adults alike with their witty banter, inspiring instrumental pieces, and traditional favorite holiday songs! Visit the Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra in the Village Park Multi-Purpose Room throughout the Celebration of Lights.
The Celebration of Lights also features performances from our very own Kannapolis Singing Bears, the Chuckles Quartet, who will entertain you with a Christmas Carol performance. The Chuckles Quartet are housed outside in Village Park. Both sets of Christmas Bears have an impressive lineup filled with holiday banter, music, and fun.
Admission to the park and viewing of the lights and bears is free; tickets are required to ride the carousel and train. Free parking for Celebration of Lights is avaliable at Village Park.
Winterland Express Reservations and Information
Celebration of Lights weekly schedule can be found here.
November 24-26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
The Laureate Center, 401 Laureate Way
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. Vendors are currated by Handcrafted Market. Food and drinks will be on sale. Free admission.
The Kannapolis Christmas Parade
December 9 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 see below. A limited number of professional floats are available, or you can enter your own float. Float registrations are due November 11.
Register for the Parade:
Any Float Entry
Band and Emergency Vehicle Entry
2023 Parade and Parking Map
Note: The Celebration of Lights may be closed due to inclement weather. Please call 704-920-4343 for up to date information.