McAdenville lights up for the holidays

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Each December, the quiet little town of McAdenville in Gaston County comes alive in spectacular fashion for the holidays. Almost overnight, the town transforms into “Christmas Town, USA,” which has been consistently ranked in the top 5 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Public Holiday Lights Display.

See hundreds of trees covered in lights and homes and yards decorated for the holidays along the 1.3-mile route.

Christmas Town, USA, will shine nightly from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 1-26.

The official start on Wednesday begins with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. in front of the Pharr Family YMCA. The switch will be pulled at 6 p.m.

The annual Yule Log Parade and Ceremony are set for Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. Visitors are invited to gather on the lawn of the Pharr Corporate Office, and at approximately 5:50 p.m. the small parade will begin. The parade will end at Legacy Park with the lighting of the Yule Log at 6 p.m.

There is no charge to view the lights, and you can tour the town on foot or by car.

Know before you go

If possible, plan to visit Monday through Thursday. Traffic increases greatly Friday through Sunday.

To help control traffic, some entrances to McAdenville will be closed to the public during display hours. Designated entrances are accessible from Interstate 85, U.S. Highway 29-74 and North Carolina Highway 7. Click here for directions and recommended routes.

If you choose to walk through the tour, there are five free parking areas in town:

1. Behind McAdenville Baptist Church and Caromont Clinic.

2. On Poplar Street, behind the town’s business area.

3. Beside the lake in the heart of Christmas Town.

4. McAdenville Elementary School at 275 Wesleyan Dr.

5. Catawba Riverkeeper Boathouse on Dickson Road.

Street parking is also allowed in the business area.

For more information, click here.

(WATCH: Christmas Town, USA, through the years)