The City of Kannapolis was incorporated in 1984 and is home to about 45,000 people and growing quickly! Kannapolis has a beautiful downtown area that is currently undergoing some updating and they are in the process of building a beautiful new baseball stadium. In the center of the city, you will find the North Carolina Research Campus which is a public-private venture that focuses on food, nutrition and biotech research.
Kannapolis is located on the boundary of Cabarrus and Rowan counties approximately 21 miles northeast of Charlotte. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.5 square miles.
Kannapolis’s name is a direct reference to Cannon Mills Corporation, which once had a huge presence here. Early published name variations include “Cannon-opolis” and “Cannanpolis”. After millworkers called the town “Cannapolis”, J.W. Cannon asked Cabarrus County commissioners to give the town the name, but starting with a “K”. In 1906, J.W. Cannon purchased 1,008 acres in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. Approximately 808 acres of that farmland (along the historic wagon road between Salisbury and Charlotte), became the location of Cannon Manufacturing. In 1914, Cannon Manufacturing became known as the world’s largest producer of sheets and towels.
Grades K-12 are primarily run by Kannapolis City Schools although there are two additional school systems who serve this jurisdiction: Cabarrus County Schools and Rowan-Salisbury School System. In addition, there are several private schools located in the area as well.
Shaw University has it’s Kannapolis CAPE Center located in downtown Kannapolis. It’s location is a short walk away from The North Carolina Research Campus which is part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This center was envisioned by David H. Murdock as a center for improving health through research into nutrition and agriculture.
Parks and Recreation
The city of Kannapolis has been granted accreditation for standards of excellence in quality and efficiency by the National Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. The Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Dept. prides itself on exceeding expectations by offering the highest quality park facilities, a wide variety of programming and excellence with it’s users.
Parks and Recreation maintains many parks including Bakers Creek Park, Veterans Park, Village Park, Walter M. Safrit Park, Kannapolis Middle School Athletic Fields, Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza, the Kannapolis Cemetery and several City owned properties. Click here for more information on the Parks & Recreation Department.
In addition to the wonderful parks in the area, the City of Kannapolis also offers a wide variety of recreational programs and events throughout the year, including trips and athletic leagues. See here for more information.
Of course, no write up about Kannapolis would be complete without mentioning it’s favorite celebrity – Dale Earnhardt. There is even a dedicated park in his name with a 9 foot bronze statue of him. If you are a fan of Dale Earnhardt’s be sure to check out “The Dale Trail”. This trail guides you through the life and legacy of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. This trail takes you down the streets of his hometown and allows you to try Dale’s favorite things and has stops like Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Click here for more information on this unique adventure.