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The new route is the same distance but will offer more areas for the crowd to watch the parade comfortably with the incredible backdrop of the North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis City Hall & Police Headquarters and the new West Avenue Streetscape.

The Kannapolis Christmas Parade will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in downtown Kannapolis.

Outgoing City Council member Roger Haas will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

This year, the parade will follow a new route through downtown Kannapolis.

Haas has a 30-year legacy of community service. He decided to not seek re-election this year after serving on the City Council for four nonconsecutive terms.

He is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University, with a degree in business, with additional management studies at Cornell University. He retired from the U.S. Tobacco Co., where he was Southeast regional vice president. After retiring, he started his own company, AIM Tours, a travel and tour company.

Over the years, he has been active in the Kannapolis Rotary Club as a board member, American Red Cross volunteer and board member, United Way, former Kannapolis Chamber of Commerce board member, 600 Festival committee member, Cabarrus County Tourism Authority chair, Partners for Progress chair, Cabarrus County Planning and Zoning Commission chair and the Concord-Kannapolis Transit Authority. He has served as a volunteer in the school system, teaching the fundamentals of business to seventh-graders.

In 1996, Haas was instrumental in advocating and securing funding for the construction of the Kannapolis Train Station, the only Amtrak location in Cabarrus County.

He was one of the first people to support the Minor League Baseball stadium at its location on Lane Street and received a $40,000 grant from U.S. Tobacco for its construction.

As a member of the Partners for Progress, he led the effort for the liquor-by-the-drink referendum in the city.

He is a member of First Baptist Church, where he has served as a Sunday school teacher for 23 years.

He is married to Kathy and has three children and three grandchildren.

The new route is the same distance but will offer more areas for the crowd to watch the parade comfortably with the incredible backdrop of the North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis City Hall & Police Headquarters and the new West Avenue Streetscape.

The parade will begin at the intersection of Main Street and Laureate Way at the parking deck of the North Carolina Research Campus, travel down Laureate Way past Kannapolis City Hall & Police Headquarters, turning on West Avenue at the Gem Theatre and traveling down West Avenue ending at the intersection of Vance Street and West Avenue.

Thousands of lights decorate the parade entries, which make it one of the holiday’s most special nighttime events in the state.

The parade is sponsored by Cannon Pharmacy and the city of Kannapolis. Cash awards will be presented in the categories of bands, churches, civic organizations and schools.

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