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Cabarrus Magazine

Cabarrus Magazine's 2018 Holiday Guide

Nov 14, 2018 08:19PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
The weather is colder, Christmas decorations are already out -- it must be that time of year again!
We know that it might be tempting to want to stay in by the fire with some hot chocolate and a good book, but there are so many great things happening in Cabarrus County that you won't want to miss. 

Tree lightings, Santa and live music, oh my!  We've compiled everything that's fun to do this holiday season below. Don't see your favorite event included? Feel free to add it for free to our calendar and comment here with the link. We just might add it to our guide! 

Below is our list of holiday events happening in the area, separated by category.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies & Parades

'Tis the most wonderful time of the year! That means tree lightings and parades are bound to fill up your schedule. Find out when and where you need to be to catch these fun holiday events. 

City of Concord's 21st annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 16

Thousands will fill Downtown and kick off the 2018 holiday season the weekend before Thanksgiving, starting with the City of Concord's 21st annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 16. Sponsored by Atrium Health and Uwharrie Bank, the annual event will once again feature family entertainment, Santa, and the grand finale of fireworks at 8:30 p.m.

The evening of fun in Downtown Concord builds up to the Tree Lighting in Bicentennial Plaza. Activities will be focused in the area between Church Street S, Union Street S, and Means Avenue SE. Cabarrus County is providing the launch location for the fireworks show in Parking Lot 2 between Church Street S and McCachern Boulevard SE. The Bicentennial Parking Lot will close at 12:00 noon, and Cabarrus County Parking Lot 2 will close at 3:00 p.m. the day of the event. Union Street S between Cabarrus and Corban Avenues will be closed to all vehicles during the event.

Event Highlights:

6:00: Motorized trolley, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa in City Hall, and children’s activities begin
6:30: Opening ceremony
6:40: Music from Irvin and Patriots Elementary Schools
7:05: Music from Greater Cabarrus Homeschool Chorus
7:30: Performance from Dance Expressions
8:00: Music from The Fuzz Bucket Music Company
8:30: Tree lighting and fireworks!

Concord Christmas Parade - start Nov 17 2018 0230PM

Concord Christmas Parade - Nov 17, 2018 2:30PM

7th Annual Event for RE/MAX Leading Edge with a float in the Concord Christmas Parade. Look for us as we ride down the parade route with the world famous RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon Basket. An... Read More » 


Kannapolis 2018 Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony - start Nov 24 2018 0600PM

Kannapolis 2018 Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony - Nov 24, 2018 6:00PM

A Kannapolis Christmas will officially kick off at Village Park with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m., Saturday, November 24. The Celebration continues through the Christmas Ho... Read More » 


80th Annual Kannapolis Christmas Parade

December 8

The 80th Annual Kannapolis Christmas Parade presented by Cannon Pharmacy begins at 6 p.m. on December 8th, 2018. 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 visit this website

Harrisburgs 2018 Christmas Tree Lighting - start Nov 30 2018 0600PM

Harrisburg's 2018 Christmas Tree Lighting -Nov 30, 2018 6:00PM

Join us behind Harrisburg Town Hall for the Official Lighting of the Town's Christmas Tree! Local groups will perform on stage, craft vendors will be on site as well as food, free horse a... Read More » 


Harrisburg Lights

Calling all Harrisburg Residents....

We want to see you decorate your home for the holidays! The best decorated home will win a prize! Why not, what do you have to lose? Get out your lights and decorations and go to town!

If you have any questions, call Harrisburg Parks & Recreation at: 704-455-7275. 

Local Holiday Performances

Looking for some festive performances this holiday season? We've put together some great things happening in the Cabarrus County area that you won't want to miss.

The Festive 5 Holiday Event

November 12-November 16

This is a five night event to kick off the holiday season at the Carolina Mall. We actually wrote more about it in our article, "The Carolina Mall is Kicking Off the Holiday Season with The Festive Five Event." 

Join the community for a five night performance competition to kick off the holiday season. Performers will be performing live in the Mall to spread holiday cheer. Supporters can vote for their favorite performance throughout the week of the event.

Voting opens November 12th and will remain open until November 18th. The act with the most votes will win the title of the city's Festive Favorite! The winner will receive the Festive Favorite award and be announced in a special Facebook live event. Learn more here.

Christmas Extravaganza - start Nov 25 2018 0730PM

Christmas Extravaganza - Nov 25, 2018 7:30PM

The Seventh Spectacular Year for Charlotte's Favorite Christmas Show! SPECIAL GUESTS:Cynthia Harris, SopranoCharlotte City Ballet Encore Dancers Holiday SingersCombined Choirs of: Sout... Read More » 


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Nov. 29 - Dec. 16

In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids--probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won't believe the mayhem - and the fun - when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on!

​This delightful comedy is adapted from the best-selling Young Adult book, and has become a holiday staple for groups across the United States! Features plenty of great roles for children and adults, a few favorite Christmas Carols, and a lot of laughs at the Old Courthouse Theatre

Get tickets here. 

The Barefoot Movement Holiday Show - start Dec 01 2018 0400PM

The Barefoot Movement Holiday Show - Dec 1, 2018 4:00PM & 8:00PM

Back by popular demand, this young, fun bluegrass band will return to the Davis for 2 shows! Read More » 


Photo courtesy of Mark Owensby

Annual Christmas Concert Series Hosted by the Piedmont Choral Society - Dec 7 & 9, 2018 7:00PM

The 50 voice Piedmont Choral Society presents its Christmas Concert series featuring elegant arrangements of familiar carols and seasonal favorites, accompanied by professional instrument... Read More » 


Holiday Activities & Jogs

What do wine trails, egg nog and Santa have in common? They all are part of a fun list of activities happening in the area! 

Santas Wonderland - start Nov 10 2018 0500PM

Santa's Wonderland - Nov 10 through Dec 24, 2018 5:00PM

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and arrives at Cabela’s for the first time-ever in Charlotte. Families are invited to e... Read More » 


Egg Nog Jog 5K

November 17

Christmas may still be more than four months away, but local runners should start breaking out the elf hats, dusting off the Santa suits and getting ready to jingle all the way through the Eggnog Jog 5K. Registration for the Nov. 17 festive holiday fun opens today with pricing incentives offered to those who register early. 

This year's course will wind through more than 3 million lights, including a tunnel of lights, hundreds of displays, and a lights-to-music section set up for the ninth year of  Charlotte Motor Speedway's Speedway Christmas holiday light show. The run will finish with a grand fireworks display presented by NGK Spark Plugs. Last year's Egg Nog Jog 5K saw a record number of participants as more than 2,400 festive runners, joggers and walkers made their way through the light show on the eve of Speedway Christmas' kickoff. 

Learn more here.

Holiday Spirit Trail

November 23-25 & December 7-9

The Holiday Spirit Trail is back, but now you have a choice of 2 separate weekends to experience this great, fun adventure of going to new places (or visiting old friends again) and sampling amazing offerings.   

You have 3 days to complete the trail and gather your wreath and ornaments.  If you get them all, send Cougar Run Winery a picture to have a chance to win a gift certificate to one of the venues.  This year Embassy Suites Hotel off Bruton Smith Blvd (on John Q Hammons Dr) and Silver Fox Limo are offering discounts to our Holiday Spirit Trail guests.  Reservations are required to take advantage of these discounts and you must tell them you are a Holiday Spirit Trail guest.  

The first weekend is November 23-25, and the second is December 7-9. Learn more here

2018 Winterland Express  Celebration of Lights - start Nov 24 2018 0600PM

2018 Winterland Express & Celebration of Lights - Nov 24 - Dec 30, 2018 6:00PM

The Winterland Express train runs every evening from November 24th – December 30th (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 6-9 p.m., Sundays – Thursdays, and from 6 – 10 p.m., Frida... Read More » 


Christmas at the Library

November 29 - December 22

Christmas at the Library offers an excellent half-day, or all day, option for guests at The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte.

Guests can enjoy the self-guided Journey of Faith tour, holiday shopping at Ruth’s Attic Book Store, carriage rides through sparkling light displays, caroler performances, a live nativity, and special offers each day of the week. While at the Library, guests are invited to enjoy dinner and holiday goodies at the Graham Brothers Dairy Bar, and a walk through the Graham Family Homeplace. Christmas dinner with all the trimmings at the on-site Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Headquarters is also available.

Parking and admission are always free. Open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

A Golden Christmas - start Dec 01 2018 1000AM

A Golden Christmas - Dec 1, 2018 10:00AM

Take a candlelight tour during daylight hours at the Reed Gold Mine at “A Golden Christmas” celebration Saturday Dec. 1, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. See how miners in the early 1800’s would have ... Read More » 


2nd Annual “Christmas At Cabarrus” Holiday Market

December 1, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Looking for a great way to get into the Holiday spirit? Join us on Sat., Dec. 1 from 10 am to 5 pm and shop for everyone on your list and support local small business! We will have 100+ vendors onsite for the 2nd Annual “Christmas At Cabarrus” holiday market! There will be handmade crafts, jewelry, artists, services and other vendors setup to help you find that perfect gift. The best part is, they’re ALL local businesses in our community!

We will have a letter to Santa writing station and hot chocolate for the kids, and the kids at heart. Stay tuned for more details, and be sure to mark your calendar now! Cheers!

Frostbite 5K - start Dec 15 2018 1000AM

Frostbite 5K - Dec 15, 2018 10:00AM

The FUN RUN is a one mile run starting at YMCA drive, running through Village Park onto Loop Rd and back. Children of all ages and parents with strollers are welcomed.THE FROSTBITE 5K is ... Read More » 


Handmade Holiday Market

December 15-16

Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company is hosting their two-day popup market on Dec 15th and 16th. Come shop local and grab all your goodies before someone else outshines you in gift giving!

Expect to find Pottery, Accessories, Jewelry, Woodworking, Paintings, Pet Supplies, Fiber Art, and MUCH more!

Come put your money where your heart is, and shop local.

Happy Holidays everyone! 

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