The Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra has long been a treasured tradition in Charlotte. The 18 animatronic bear musicians could be found year after year in Uptown Charlotte’s Founders Hall, spreading holiday cheer as they performed holiday music, and engaged in spirited banter. It was a must-see event for many kids and adults.
The orchestra is lead by Maestro Leonard Bearstein, and includes three vocalists (Ella, Bubbles and Bentley), a string section, brass and woodwind musicians, and a percussion section with drummer Gene at the helm. Solos by trumpet player William “Wild Bill” and sax player Hodges are two of the high points of the show.
They performed in Founders Hall until 2019, but starting in 2022, have made Kannapolis’ Village Park their home, during Kannapolis’ Celebration of Lights.
If you miss the bears, it’s worth the drive to Kannopolis, because Celebration of Lights is one of the best holiday attractions in the whole Charlotte area.
The Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra will be performing nightly at Kannapolis’ Celebration of Lights and Winterland Express, which takes place at Village Park, 700 W C Street, Kannapolis. Village park is 27 miles from Charlotte.
Check out our huge day-by-day list of holiday events in the Charlotte area! We update it every day!
Celebration of Lights is free to attend. The display boasts more than 250,000 lights. Walk through the park and see if you can spot all “12 Days of Christmas!” In addition, go for a ride on the Winterland Express train or the carousel. Rides are $2 each.
The hours for Celebration of Lights are Sunday to Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m., every night through December 30th, 2023, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The bears will perform at the top of the hour, every hour, with a 15-minute intermission in between sets. They will be in the Village Park Multi-Purpose Room at Village Park, where there is plenty of indoor seating.
Make sure to check out the rest of Kannapolis’ revitalized downtown while you’re there!
More Holiday Events
Check out our growing day-by-day list of holiday events in the Charlotte area or see a few here.