An undercover North Korean journalist reporting for Asia Press said there are signs rehearsals for the Mass Games, a choreographed gymnastics performance, has resumed despite earlier directives.
In mid-June, reports surfaced the North Korean leader had ordered the suspension of Mass Games, citing issues with the "content" of the dances.
On Wednesday, Asia Press reported the resumption of rehearsals "could be related" to Xi's visit to North Korea.
North Korea has previously staged Mass Games in honor of visiting world leaders and politicians.
In October 2000, Pyongyang invited U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to watch the performance during her historic meeting with former leader Kim Jong Il. More recently, South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended the Mass Games during his third summit with Kim in Pyongyang, last September.
The performance, involving thousands of athletes, including children, has been criticized for possible human rights violations.
Xi's visit would mark his fifth summit with Kim. It would be the first time he is traveling to North Korea since assuming power in 2012.
Xi spoke directly to the North Korean people on Wednesday in an editorial in the Korean Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun.
Xi, following a tradition of Chinese leaders issuing a Rodong editorial ahead of state visits, said he wished to pursue progress in "dialogue and negotiations" in order to resolve the "Korean Peninsula problem."
Beijing has supported the mutual step-by-step denuclearization of North Korea.
"The Chinese side is willing to work with [North] Korean comrades, hand in hand, and prepare together a comprehensive plan to realize the permanent stability of the region," Xi said in his editorial.
Xi also stressed strengthening China-North Korea relations in his article.