You can’t tell me that Christmas stuff doesn’t get earlier and earlier every year, and I’m not even talking about the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July.

There’s Christmas stuff everywhere already, and many of the stores didn’t even wait until the Halloween stuff was out of the way.

Santa used to arrive with the Christmas parade in Concord, set for Nov. 23. It looks like he’s already here.

No. 1

Festive Five. Carolina Mall and other malls owned by the Augusta, Georgia-based Hull Property Group are hosting Festive Five celebrations next week with singing and dancing all week, Monday, Nov. 18, through Friday, Nov. 22, from 4 to 8 p.m.

The performers will be at Center Court at Carolina Mall. You can vote for your favorite group online at thefestivefive.com. Voting starts Monday and runs through midnight Christmas Eve. The complete lineup is on the website.

The act with the most votes will win the title of Concord’s Festive Favorite. The winner will receive the 2019 Festive Favorite award and be revealed in a special announcement from the mall.

No. 2

The Next Great Pop-Up Shop. The opening of Concord’s Best Dressed Kids and Lovely Lines Boutique, the two winners of The American Dream Project’s search for Concord’s Next Great Pop-Up Shop will be Monday, Nov. 18.

The Carolina Mall and Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce then will kick off the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting in front of each store Tuesday. Lovely Lines will have its ceremony at 4 p.m. followed by Concord’s Best Dressed Kids at 4:30 p.m. The two stores will be celebrating their grand opening throughout the day with specials, events and giveaways.

No. 3

The new businesses. Owned by Rob and Leanne Stevenson, Concord’s Best Dressed Kids is a unique local shopping opportunity for high-end children’s clothing, accessories and gifts. To celebrate the opening of the pop-up location, they are offering 20 percent off all Thanksgiving styles and 20 percent off Christmas ornaments. Santa Claus will also be in store from 4-5 p.m. Tuesday and available for free photos. The store is just off Center Court.

Lovely Lines Boutique is a fast-growing women’s boutique in Kannapolis, owned by Erica Earnhardt-Wilson and Jessica Eudy. The store is focused on clothing for women with curves and also offers accessories, handbags, jewelry and custom shirts. To celebrate their Concord location, they are giving away a free gift to the first 50 purchases and hosting a raffle for a gift basket valued at $100.

“We can’t wait for these two pop-up shops to open in the Carolina Mall. They bring something new and unique to the shopping experience at the mall that we believe shoppers will really enjoy,” said Coles Doyle, marketing director for Hull Property Group. “It was so much fun to search for Concord’s Next Great Pop-Up Shop, and these two shops have been working hard designing, merchandising and marketing their new stores in time for the holiday season. There are so many wonderful entrepreneurs here in the Concord area and across North Carolina, and we have enjoyed getting to work with the Stevensons, along with Erica and Jessica, who truly have a passion for what they do.”

Both stores will remain open throughout the holiday season. To learn more about Concord’s Best Dressed Kids, visit www.concordsbestdressedkids.com and Lovely Lines Boutique visit www.lovelylinesboutique.com. To learn more about The American Dream Project and future pop-up opportunities, visit www.dreambighere.com.

No. 4

The Polar Express begins today. The N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer will begin service to the North Pole onboard The Polar Express Train Ride starting today, Nov. 15. The magical story comes to life when the train departs Barber Junction Depot at the N.C. Transportation Museum for a 70-minute round-trip journey to the North Pole.

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the story as they are whisked away on The Polar Express.

Once onboard, hot chocolate and treats are served as passengers read along with the classic children’s book, “The Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg.

Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child is given the first gift of Christmas — a silver sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car lead passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to the N.C. Transportation Museum.

The journey runs through Dec. 22 on select dates. Exact dates, fares and excursion times are available by calling 704-469-5231 or by visiting www.nctrans.org. Ticket prices for children (ages 2-11) range from $32 to $42 and for adults from $38 to $48, depending on date and class of service.

Parlor class and first-class seating are sold out; however, coach class and deluxe coach class seating remain. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride.

No. 5

McGill carwash sold. Lanny Lancaster sold his car wash and property at 380 McGill Ave. to Rowan Rock and Timber Company. Rowan Rock’s unique metal sign went up on the property immediately, and workers appear to have taken most of the equipment and started to ready the property for its new use.

According to a Certificate of Compliance from the city of Concord, Rowan Rock plans to use the 1,900-square-foot building to store tools.

Lancaster, who owns several car washes, said he is slowing down many of his business activities and plans to use some of his free time to travel to see his son, Larken, play baseball for Wheaton University.

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If you have a Friday Five, story suggestions or something I can rant about, email mplemmons@independenttribune.com.