Once home to the world’s largest manufacturer of household textiles, Kannapolis offers everything from a revitalized downtown district packed with local dining and boutique shopping to sporting events, motorsports attractions and music history.

In 1906 J.W. Cannon purchased the farmland that later became Kannapolis to open a new textile mill, Cannon Manufacturing. By 1914, Cannon Manufacturing was the world’s largest producer of sheets and towels. Today, the City thrives as home to the North Carolina Research Campus, motorsports history and innovative racing facilities, exciting small businesses, and so much more.

gem theatre exterior


“Have a Blast” at a Kannapolis Cannon Ballers Minor League Baseball game at the beautiful Atrium Health Ballpark. If there’s no home game, feel free to stop by the ballpark to enjoy the concessions, splash pad and playground.

Or you can catch a movie at one of the oldest single-screen theaters still in operation at the Gem Theatre. Originally opened in 1936 then rebuilt in 1948, the Art Deco-style landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

beer poured into a glass
plate of steak and shrimp

Food and Drink

Dine on classic steakhouse fare at Chophouse 101, or stop in for a quick helping of authentic Latin street food like Venezuelan arepas and Dominican empanadas at Sabor Latin Street Grill. Grab a drink and pay it forward at both Old Armor Beer Company and Local Patriot Roasting Co., veteran-owned hangouts where you can buy a drink in advance for a veteran or first responder.

curb museum

Music and Motors

Less than a mile from downtown, the history of two of North Carolina’s favorite pastimes are housed in one spectacular location. The Curb Museum for Music & Motorsports hosts the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame on one end and a racing museum on the other. Take a peek at NASCAR, IndyCar and other race cars, including cars driven by Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. At the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, the exhibits showcase the legacies of artists like Thelonius Monk, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and The Avett Brothers, among others. Each October, the museum hosts an induction ceremony for the next class of hall of famers.

family poses in front dale earnhardt statue

Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza

A trip to Kannapolis isn’t complete without an immersion into the life of hometown hero, Dale Earnhardt Sr. Kannapolis honors the NASCAR legend at the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza where the centerpiece is a nine-foot bronze statue of the man himself. The plaza is just one stop in Cabarrus County that tells the story of Earnhardt’s life and honors his legacy.

Upcoming Events in Kannapolis

Nov 20 – Dec 30, 2023

Celebration of Lights 
Village Park

Experience the festive atmosphere of Christmas in Kannapolis, North Carolina throughout the entire month with the Celebration of Lights. This dazzling event, held at Village Park, showcases over 250,000 lights from November 18 to December 30 (excluding Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).

Dec 9, 2023

Kannapolis Christmas Parade
Downtown Kannapolis

Head to Downtown Kannapolis on Saturday, December 9, 2023 for an evening parade. The parade begins in Downtown Kannapolis and is sure to get you and your loved one in the holiday spirit!

Explore More of Cabarrus

Exciting experiences are waiting for you in each of Cabarrus County's five communities.

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