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Annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and Concord Christmas Parade return

This year’s Parade Marshal is Noelle Rhodes Scott, President and CEO of the Cabarrus Arts...
This year’s Parade Marshal is Noelle Rhodes Scott, President and CEO of the Cabarrus Arts Council.(Submitted photo)
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 3:26 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Holiday traditions return to Downtown Concord next month with the 24th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony sponsored by Uwharrie Bank on Friday, November 19 and the TrueCare Pharmacy 93rd Concord Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 20.

These family-friendly events are free to the public and feature children’s activities, live music and dance, and fireworks.  New for 2021, the city invites attendees of the tree lighting ceremony to participate in a canned food drive hosted by The Salvation Army.

24th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Friday, November 19, 6-8 p.m.

Due to construction of the new Cabarrus County Courthouse and additional development underway in Downtown Concord, the annual tree lighting ceremony will take place in Rotary Square, located at the corner of Union Street S and Corban Avenue SW.  There will be food trucks along Barbrick Ave SW and a kids’ zone featuring inflatables, a rock wall, balloon artist, kids’ train and more on Market St SW. There will also be coloring crafts and glitter tattoos for children and families in Rotary Square.

Event Highlights:

6:00 p.m.         Opening ceremony, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus in City Hall, children’s activities begin

6:00 p.m.         Music from Cannon School Jazz Combo

6:30 p.m.         Performance from Irvin Elementary School Chorus

6:55 p.m.         Performance from Motion Dance Studio

7:20 p.m.         Performance from Dance Expressions

8:00 p.m.         Tree Lighting

8:10 p.m.         Fireworks

New for 2021, The Salvation Army will hold a canned food drive.  In Fiscal Year 2021, The Salvation Army assisted 2,882 families in need thanks to generous donations from the community. Residents and visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to The Salvation Army’s tent located near the main event stage.

The following road closures will be in effect during the tree lighting event:

  • Union Street between Cabarrus Ave and Foard Ave SW will close at 2:00 p.m. with no parking beginning at 12:00 p.m.
  • Market Street SW will close at 3:00 p.m. with no parking beginning at 12:00 p.m.
  • Barbrick Ave SW will close at 3:00 p.m. with no parking beginning at 12:00 p.m.

TrueCare Pharmacy 93rd Concord Christmas Parade, Saturday, November 20 at 2:30 p.m.

The annual Concord Christmas Parade is one of the oldest and continuously running Christmas parades in North Carolina. The TrueCare 93rd Concord Christmas Parade route begins at the intersection of Church Street N and Lake Concord Road, and continues over two miles along Church Street, Buffalo Avenue, and Union Street, ending at the intersection of Union Street and Corban Avenue.

Community organizations, churches, schools, businesses, dance and cheer groups wishing to enter the parade still have time to register. The parade entry form is available online at: http://cabarrusevents.org/

Each year, Parade Marshals are chosen from the local community for their leadership and contributions to Concord. This year’s Parade Marshal is Noelle Rhodes Scott, President and CEO of the Cabarrus Arts Council. Scott is retiring at the end of the year after serving the arts council for 21 years.

Under her leadership, the arts council grew from an all-volunteer council into a vibrant organization responsible for bringing live performances, fine art and hands-on creative experiences to thousands of local children and adults annually. She is the visionary behind arts-for-all initiatives like Students Take Part in the Arts, one of North Carolina’s largest and longest art-in-education programs.

Each year through this program nearly 40,000 students in Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City school districts have the opportunity to see professional theatre, dance and musical performances at no cost to them.  During her tenure, the arts council also created a fine art gallery that features four exhibitions annually.

Admission has always been free.  Her tenure also saw the introduction of the Davis Theatre, an intimate musical venue that brings top bluegrass, Americana and jazz performers to the stage for the community to enjoy.

Also returning this year is the annual Santa Scramble 5K road race.  The race follows the parade route and finishes at McGee Park. To accommodate the race, the parking lot at McGee Park will be closed on Saturday, November 20.  The park will remain open to the public; however, it will only be accessible by the Downtown Connector and McEachern Greenways.

Residents are also advised that the Concord Branch of the Cabarrus County Public Library System on Union Street will close at 2 p.m. on November 20 for the parade.

More information about the tree lighting ceremony and parade are available online at concordnc.gov/Christmas.

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