Christmas Town USA is just a short drive from Charlotte, North Carolina, and if you need a little boost to get into the Christmas spirit this year, it’s not only free, but a must see.
Although it had humble beginnings, the Christmas spirit was strong in McAdenville, North Carolina in 1956 when the men’s club decorated a few trees around the community center with the assistance of town administrators and W.J. Pharr, president of Pharr Yarns. The lights were a hit with the townsfolk so it became a tradition, with more lights added each year. By 2004, over 375 trees were draped in lights.
McAdenville Becomes Christmas USA with the Help of 450,000 Lights
Thousands of lights are used to turn this small textile town of less than 700 residents into a Christmas showpiece each year. Decorated trees range in size from 6 to 90 feet, with a total of 450,000 strewn upon the trees. Bright lights adorn trees that circle the lake in the middle of town, their colorful lights casting reflections that increase the beauty.
Visitors who want to walk through the town to admire the lights can park in one of three parking lots for free. The lots are located behind the McAdenville Baptist Church/Caromont Clinic, behind the Village Restaurant on Main Street, and by the lake in the middle of town.
Others choose to drive through the town–because of the popularity of Christmas Town USA, traffic wends slowly through, giving driver and passengers ample time to view the lights. Another option is to take a hayride through town, although your group’s hayride must be pulled by a motor vehicle, and not an animal.
Christmas Town USA in the Media
Lest you think this small town attraction is just that–a small town attraction, think again. Christmas Town USA has been the focus of many a news story. From Charles Kuralt on the “Morning Show” in 1980 to Guideposts Magazine in 1989, word of McAdenville and its Christmas spirit has spread.
The town has garnered international attention, too, with Cable Network HGTV including it in a 2000 special “Christmas Across America.” Many other media outlets have also shared the town’s Christmas tradition with viewers and readers.
The official “lighting” occurs December 1st every year, with the lights burning bright through December 26th.
Directions to McAdenville.