Bearstein Orchestra finds new home for the holidays

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The bears are back!

The Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra, who called Founders Hall in Uptown Charlotte home for 20 years, have returned just in time for the holidays.

But this year, fans will have to travel a few miles north to see the animatronic bears perform.

Since the pandemic, the bears have not been invited back to perform at Founders Hall, but following a two-year break, the city of Kannapolis has offered the orchestra a new home at the Kannapolis Village Park as part of the Celebration of Lights.

The event features more than 250,000 lights and holiday displays that run through Dec. 30. There is no charge for admission to the displays, but reservations are required to ride the Winterland Express train.

The Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra is comprised of 18 animatronic bears who perform a 45-minute program of Christmas classics inside the park’s multipurpose room.

The bears perform at the top of the hour, every hour, with a 15-minute intermission in between.

Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 6-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6-10 p.m.

For more information on the event, click here.

According to a post on the orchestra’s Facebook page, the owners are eager to find a permanent venue for next year’s holiday celebrations.

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