There’s no other season quite as whimsical and cheerful as the holidays. If we had to make a list of Rowan County events that best exemplified whimsical cheer, Kannapolis’ Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express would top it!


Kannapolis kicks off their Christmas season on November 20, 2021 at 6 p.m. with their Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Village Park. The event will include live music, entertainment, kids activities and fireworks. This annual celebration kicks off the Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express train that call Village Park home for the holiday season.


Every evening from November 20 to December 30, visitors of all ages can enjoy more than 250,000 Christmas lights hung at Village Park in Kannapolis. View the lights by foot or make a reservation and ride the Winterland Express and see if you can find all 12 Days of Christmas! Carousel rides, s’mores and live performances by Kannapolis Singing Bears fill the night. Of course we know that no holiday event is complete without a sighting of Santa! Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in their studio and create ornaments in the Children’s Zone.


In addition to the light displays throughout the park, other activities will also take place each night. You can roast marshmallows and make s’mores or visit with Santa in his studio. Stop by and watch a performances from our very own Kannapolis Singing Bears as they entertain the family with a 30 minute Christmas Carol performance each hour on the hour.  


The Winterland Express takes riders through the lights at the park from 6 – 9 PM Sunday – Thursday and 6 – 10 PM Fridays & Saturdays. Admission to the park and viewing of the lights is free; tickets to ride the train and carousel are $6.00 per row on the train. The train is by reservation ONLY.


For more information about holiday events in Rowan County, please visit our events calendar.