By: Lauren Harper
McAdenville, North Carolina, or Christmas Town, USA as it is popularly called, has revamped its town for another year of festive Christmas lighting. On December 3, the town had its official lighting ceremony, which featured a group of elementary school children and the mayor to throw the switch to start the fun.
Featuring about 500,000 lights on around 375 fir trees, Christmas Town, USA is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year. Each year, the city welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to its lighting phenomenon, and this year there are expected to be around 600,000 people walking or driving through the town to experience the lights, Christmas caroling and chimes. This Gaston County town holds about 600 people who all take part in the holiday cheer. Nearly every house in the town’s 1.5 square mile radius is decorated to show their Christmas spirit with lights, lawn decorations and blow ups.
The idea for Christmas Town, USA began in 1956 when the McAdenville Men’s Club decided to use lights to decorate the trees around the McAdenville Community Center. The traditional colors of Christmas, red, white and green, were all used that year to show the town’s Christmas spirit, and a manger scene was put up as well. Since then, the lighting has been led by Mr. J. M. Carstarphen, the Chief Executive Officer of Pharr Yarns, who oversees all of the lighting and continues to keep the Christmas Town tradition thriving.
All trees that are used in the town are live ones, and they range from six to ninety feet in height. One of the main attractions is the lake, situated in the center of the town. The lake features a fountain with lighted jets of water that fly up to 75 feet into the air. Along with the lighted trees and fountain lights, there is also a 46-foot-wide display of Old Man Winter that blows snowflakes into the air. Residents start preparing for the Christmas Town as early as August when they begin stringing lights, checking for broken ones and readying their houses for the winter show.
Christmas Town, USA is an amazing display of Christmas lights that is open for everyone to enjoy. Running through December 26 and open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, this town is a very family-friendly spot that appeals to all ages. Christmas Town is located only about half an hour away from Fort Mill, so this holiday break, be sure to check out McAdenville’s spectacular lighting show and get a hearty dose of Christmas spirit.