Although widely known for motorsports, Cabarrus County’s holiday season is highly anticipated each year, and for good reason. From festive light displays and downtown parades to holiday shopping at the state’s largest outlet and value retail shopping center, there is something merry around every corner.
Now returned for its 12th year through Jan. 16 is Speedway Christmas, one of the Southeast’s largest drive-through holiday light displays. This annual winter tradition is illuminated with 4 million LED lights strewn across a 3.75-mile course with more than 800 individual displays- including some over 80-feet tall (eight stories high). Thursdays through Sundays, guests can park amid the displays and visit the infield Christmas Village to get photos with Santa, shop for gifts and make s’mores by the fire. There’s also an opportunity to catch a drive-in holiday movie displayed on a giant 16,000-square-foot screen or make a reservation to dine at The Speedway Club above the lights. https://www.visitcabarrus.com/events/speedway-christmas/
Down the street from Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord’s Great Wolf Lodge transforms into Snowland from Nov. 28 to Jan. 5. The magical winter wonderland is complete with twinkling lights, daily snowfall in the lobby, visits from Santa and more. https://www.greatwolf.com/concord/waterpark-attractions/events/snowland.
Concord Mills is the state’s largest outlet and value retail shopping center. Here, visitors can wrap up their gift list by visiting over 200 stores including the only Lionel retail store selling classic toy train sets. https://www.visitcabarrus.com/listings/concord-mills/. Within the shopping center is SEA LIFE Aquarium, which hosts the Sea of Lights event featuring thousands of holiday lights now through Jan. 3. https://www.visitcabarrus.com/events/sea-of-lights/
Kannapolis has been undergoing an ambitious revitalization to include a slew of new and independent businesses along West Avenue including restaurants and sweet shops, local shopping and more. https://www.visitcabarrus.com/listings/downtown-kannapolis/. A Kannapolis Christmas is now displaying thousands of Christmas lights with holiday displays at Village Park through the month of December and offering Winterland Express train rides and a visit from Santa. Plus, the ever-popular dazzling nighttime parade will return on Dec. 11. https://www.visitcabarrus.com/events/kannapolis-christmas/
The town of Harrisburg is known for its July 4th Celebration, but this community knows how to celebrate in December, too. Back for another year, Harrisburg’s Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 3 will host an evening of holiday cheer to include food trucks, carriage rides, live performances and more. https://www.visitcabarrus.com/events/harrisburg-annual-christmas-tree-lighting/
Reed Gold Mine, site of America’s first documented discovery of gold, will host its annual Golden Christmas event on Dec. 4 giving guests the opportunity to walk through 450 feet of restored vein work lit with candles. There will also be a special visit from Santa and hayrides to Mansion Hill, weather permitting. https://www.visitcabarrus.com/events/a-golden-christmas/