The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to miss a lot of things we normally enjoyed every year. Earlier this year, Apple-TV acquired the exclusive rights to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. While the beloved Halloween special didn't air on ABC, as it had in previous years, those who didn't have a subscription to Apple-TV ($4.99/month) were still able to stream It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for free.
That won't be necessary to enjoy A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. When Peppermint Patty invites everyone to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving, even though he's going to see his grandmother, and Snoopy decides to cook his own version of a Thanksgiving meal with help from his friends, you can watch this Sunday evening (Nov. 22nd) at 7:30 on Charlotte public tv, WTVI, channel 42. That is, of course, provided you have cable or a great outdoor antenna--without one, you can't receive channel 42 in Lincolnton, Shelby or Hickory and most of Gaston County. If you have cable, you can also watch it on UNC-TV. If not, you may be able to receive either WUNG (channel 58) or WUNE (channel 17) over the air even with an indoor antenna. The day and time are the same.
This weekend is normally the beginning of the holiday parades. Hickory's Christmas parade would have been Friday night and Maiden's Saturday in normal years, but this year, almost all towns in our area have canceled their parades. There will be a parade--in reverse--in downtown Newton this Saturday evening. From 5:30-7:30, residents and visitors are invited to celebrate the lighting of Downtown Newton by driving through and seeing all of the stationary, lighted Christmas floats. The 'parade' will end with a drive-by Santa experience where kids can drop off notes and wave to Santa.
Lincolnton's parade was canceled, but a group decided to hold an event not sanctioned by the City. It's being called a "Saving the Spirit of Christmas Crawl & Cruise-In" and it will happen Sunday November 29th. From 1 - 5 PM, food trucks will be parked along Main Street in the central business district, and vintage cars and trucks as well as seasonally decorated golf carts, motorcycles, etc. will gather in the parking lot behind Carter Bank at the intersection of E. Main & N. Cedar streets.
The "Christmas Crawl and Cruise-In" group says they will have 'Santa' in the lot beside Burton Farms General Store at 317 E. Main St. and Apple Queen Ava Parnell is also scheduled to be there.
The City had planned to have a drive-by 'visit with Santa' before Christmas since Santa's House wasn't being done this year. That way, they hoped to keep Santa safe while allowing children to see him, wave and holler at him from vehicles, and get a candy treat. Since Lincolnton's 'Santa' Jim Helms passed last weekend due to COVID-19, no new plan has been announced.
Cherryville, while not holding a parade, is planning a Main Street Holiday Market and Small Business Weekend Friday (Nov. 27th) 10 - 7 and Saturday (Nov. 28th) 10 - 5.
As mentioned, most area towns have canceled their parades. Belmont was the last to do so. They eventually decided to do what Newton is doing. The City of Belmont and the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce will have a “Cruise Thru Christmas" Tuesday December 1st from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. It will be a drive thru event. Decorated floats will remain stationary as spectators drive past. Parade attendees will enter from US 29-74/Wilkinson Blvd. onto Main Street where floats will be parked in the north-bound lane of Main Street beginning at Woodrow Ave. and continuing to the intersection McLeod and Main Streets.
McAdenville has scaled back its Christmas celebration this year. The lights will go on December 1st and you can drive through and see them until December 26th from 5:30 - 10 PM nightly, but events like the Tree Lighting Ceremony, Christmastown 5K, and Yule Log Ceremony won't be held.
If you want to see lights and are willing to pay for it, Charlotte Motor Speedway's "Speedway Christmas." Admission is $30 for a car, $50 for a van, and $175 for a bus. The 11th edition will feature more than four million lights over a 3.75-mile course that includes most of the oval as well as the infield. Visitors can tune their radios to 101.3 FM for Christmas music synchronized to the light display. The Christmas movies return to the giant screen Thursday-Sunday nights (this weekend's movie is "Elf"). Sound for the movies is available on another FM frequency.
New this year, a 50,000 sq. ft. ice skating rink has been added. Tickets will cost you extra.
If you're satisfied to spend the weekend at home by the fireplace, you can still enjoy some entertainment. This Saturday evening, the Western Piedmont Symphony will present the Maestro’s Quintet, a livestreamed performance that features Maestro Matthew Troy’s String Quartet and Pianist Gregory Knight. The performance will feature pieces by Mozart, Schubert and Faure’s Piano Quintet in D Minor with Gregory Knight on Piano. Tickets for this livestream are $25. The livestream will begin at 7:00, with the performance beginning at 7:30. Please sign in by 7:00 in case of technical difficulty. CLICK HERE to purchase a ticket.
Also happening this weekend is the Denver Farmers Market in front of Pursuit Church in downtown Denver from 8 AM until noon Saturday.
Be sure to check our COMMUNITY BILLBOARD at the bottom of our home page for other things happening.
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