Christmas in the village


Kannapolis’ Cannon Village offers holiday fun for the whole family

By Christie Barlow
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While families have barely finished their Thanksgiving celebrations, Cannon Village in Kannapolis is already gearing up for their Christmas activities.

Little elves in Cannon Village have been hard at work, spreading the Christmas spirit decorating the town and planning for the holiday season. About 10 different events and activities are on the agenda to help folks prepare for the holiday season.

“To me, it’s more of an intimate hometown feeling,” said Ronald Reynolds, the owner of Southern Charm & Christmas Shop in Cannon Village. “The feeling is more small town celebration. It sets the atmosphere for Christmas where people can bring the whole family and enjoy shopping with the kids.”

Right on the heels of Thanksgiving, Christmas kicks off in Cannon Village on Friday, Nov. 23 with the Farmer’s Holiday Market. The farmers market will run both Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farmer’s market is a chance for visitors to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, desserts jellies and jams and one of a kind handmade crafts.

In addition to the Farmer’s Market, Jeff Whittington will provide live music for visitors. Whittington will perform on multiple instruments on both Friday and Saturday starting at 11 a.m. and continuing to 5 p.m. He will return to Cannon Village to perform on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m., as well as December 8, 15 and 22 from 2 to 5 p.m.

“Jeff Whittington is a multi-talented artist who plays six instruments,” said Phyllis Beaver, the director of marketing for Atlantic American Properties, Inc., who organizes the Christmas activities at Cannon Village. “One of our favorites we like, and he’s so talented on, is the hammered dulcimer. I love seeing him riding the horse and carriage playing his banjo with people traveling around the village.”

Just in case visitors haven’t heard enough holiday music, Dickens Carolers will be on hand both Friday and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 25 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The performers, dressed in 18th century colonial costumes, will get shoppers in the Christmas mood, singing various Christmas Carols. Like Whittington, the Dickens Carolers will return on Saturday Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22 from noon to 2:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Besides music, there will be horse-drawn carriage rides touring the Village and face painting for those interested.

The highlight of the opening weekend for many, will be the presence of Father Christmas himself. On both Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Santa Claus will be on hand and ready to hear what visitors are hoping to see under their tree this year. Santa Claus will be available throughout the holiday season on Saturdays at Cannon Village.

“We have hundreds, probably thousands of pictures really, of children sitting on Santa’s lap,” Beaver said. “In the past 10 years, I’ve taken thousands because I always think ’this is priceless, I’ve got to get it.’ Santa is still the biggest draw. The Santa Claus we set up is a great photo opportunity for people to create a Christmas memory.”

The holiday fun continues at Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. For $2, kids can come out and enjoy a meal with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The breakfast will feature story time with Mrs. Claus and a juggling comedy act. There will also be a North Pole mailbox so kids have a chance to get their letters to Santa delivered. Those interested can visit Village Park across from Cannon Village at 6 p.m. for the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The Jingle Bell Jam and the Kannapolis Christmas Parade will both take place on Saturday, Dec. 8. The Jam allows kids to get involved in the parade by building a jingle bell instrument they can shake as they walk in the parade. The Kannapolis Christmas Parade starts at 6 p.m. and winds its way through the streets of the Village.

“The parade kind of gets it all started going into the Christmas season,” Reynolds said. “The parade really lets you know Christmas is here; with the wreaths going up and all the flowers. I can’t really think of any other place you can go and have the same atmosphere. It’s just the uniqueness of it all.”

• Contact Christie Barlow at [email protected] or 704-789-9140.

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