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Kannapolis: High-Tech Small Town

I have lived in Kannapolis my entire life and I couldn't be happier. The city can be found just northeast of Charlotte with a population of about 43,000. It may be best known as the home of the Earnhardt family. Dale Earnhardt is arguably the best NASCAR driver of all time. Earnhardt was born and raised in Kannapolis as were his children. Kannapolis also claims Elizabeth Safrit, Miss United States. Elizabeth came in third place at the Miss World competition of 2014. That's not bad for a small town where everybody seems to know everybody else! Formerly, Kannapolis was known as the number one towel manufacturer on Earth. Cannon Mills was founded in the town in 1887, and before long the mill was making over 300,000 towels every day! The company went completely bankrupt in 2003 and the doors were closed forever. But North Carolinians -- especially those from Kannapolis -- never admitted defeat. Soon a new industry for biotech research was developed on the old Cannon Mills site. The research center is known as the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) where universities, corporations, and healthcare organizations work to develop advances in human health, agriculture, and nutrition. The center has had a major economic impact on the area. I am a stay at home mom evolved into a soccer mom! My three boys are going through the Kannapolis City School system. My oldest just started at the A. L. Brown High School, and he is excited about joining some of the sports teams there. Growing active boys like to eat so I often take them to our favorite restaurant, Lee's Sandwich Shop. Lee's has been around since 1949, and it is located at 902 Central Drive. It might look like a hole in the wall to visitors, but the locals know it has the best food in town! There are a number of things to do in Kannapolis. The Gem Theater is an old movie theatre built in the 1930s. It shows first run movies at reasonable prices. NASCAR fans will love the Stewart Haas Racing attraction where you can watch the mechanics work and purchase NASCAR merchandise. You can also spend a day at Village Park where you can ride the train or play in the splash pad. If you need more things to do, Charlotte is less than 30 miles away. It is not only the largest city in North Carolina, it is the second largest city in the whole Southeastern US! You know there is plenty to do there!
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AreaVibes ContributorPosted on Jul 22, 2015
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