Kannapolis Christmas Parade now back on | Arts & Culture
KANNAPOLIS - Residents and business owners in Kannapolis, upset about a decision by the city council to no longer produce the annual Christmas parade, have taken matters into their own hands.
Late Thursday night, the Cabarrus Events Association announced that it will organize a Christmas parade in Kannapolis for this Holiday season.
The Parade of Lights will be held Saturday, Dec. 11 downtown, starting at 6 p.m, and will be organized by the Cabarrus Events Association.
The original decision made by the Kannapolis City Council on September 13 was that the city would no longer put on the parade, or pay to have it produced.
That decision met with a backlash from residents and business leaders.
"We actually were encouraging citizens to call the city, write the city, email the city," said Ronald Reynolds, owner of Southern Charm in Cannon Village. "We had tremendous response to that."
City officials cited safety concerns and the expense of a nighttime parade, they also cited parking problems as a reason not to have the parade during the day on a Saturday.
Now the Cabarrus Events Association will produce the parade without money from the city. Organizer Brenda Drye told WBTV many local businesses and individuals are making contributions.
The CEA produced the parade in the past until the city took it over last year.
The city will still pay for police, fire, and public works, mostly over time, during the event.
In addition, the event that was to replace the parade and that would be called "Winterfest," has been renamed "A Kannapolis Christmas."
It will go on with various activities. You can see many of them mentioned in the press release provided to WBTV:
The City of Kannapolis Parks & Recreation Department is seeking vendors, choirs, bands, dance groups, non-profit groups and more for its new festival, A Kannapolis Christmas, scheduled for December 4 at Village Park.
Cash prizes will be given for several contests, including a stationary float contest. Civic, church, school and business groups are invited to build stationary floats, with a $500 first place prize in each category (church, civic, school) at stake. There is no fee for non-profit groups entering the contest.
There will also be a gingerbread house competition with prizes given in age groups and no fee for entry.
The City is also seeking entertainment and is opening up the stage at the Village Park amphitheatre to dance groups, church choirs, local bands and others to give Christmas or holiday-themed performances.
The festival will also include crafts, a giant Christmas card competition from local schools, food, rides, a petting zoo, inflatables, Santa, the Kannapolis Singing Bears, games, face painting, caricature artists, and a smores pit.
At dark, Village Park will be officially lit with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, marking the start of the month-long Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express Train.
The application deadline for contests, vendors and entertainment is November 15. For much more information, visit http://kannapolischristmas.com or contact the Parks & Rec office at 704-920-4343.