Santa Claus with NFL cheerleaders? Only the Carolina Panthers co - | WBTV Charlotte

Santa Claus with NFL cheerleaders? Only the Carolina Panthers could pull it off.

Members of the Carolina Panthers TopCats and Santa Claus danced last year just after the team’s tree lights came on. (Credit: David T. Foster III | The Charlotte Observer) Members of the Carolina Panthers TopCats and Santa Claus danced last year just after the team’s tree lights came on. (Credit: David T. Foster III | The Charlotte Observer)
An estimated 5,000 fans showed up to see the Carolina Panther’ tree lighting ceremony at Bank of America Stadium in 2015. (Credit: Observer file photo) An estimated 5,000 fans showed up to see the Carolina Panther’ tree lighting ceremony at Bank of America Stadium in 2015. (Credit: Observer file photo)
CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) -

The Carolina Panthers are inviting the public to attend the team’s 4th annual Christmas tree lighting Wednesday, featuring one of the region’s largest trees: A 58-foot, 8-inch tall Norway spruce.

It will also be one of those rare moments when the heart warming legend of Santa will merge with the very American tradition of NFL cheerleaders strutting their stuff. The 90-minute lighting show starts at 6 p.m., at the corner of Mint and Graham streets. In years past, as many as 5,000 fans attended the event.

Attendees will be treated to an evening that includes children's activities, holiday movies, festive music and a special visit from Santa Claus. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to relax and enjoy the festivities. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase from a number of local food trucks.

The entertainment will include appearances by Sir Purr, the TopCats Cheerleaders, the PurrCussion Drumline and the Black & Blue Crew. The lighting ceremony will also include performances featuring the Charlotte Bronze Handbell Ensemble and Queen City Groove.

The event will be held rain or shine, and parking will be available from various independent parking companies in the Uptown area.

The tree was harvested in Linville.

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