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McAdenville lives up to reputation as Christmas Town, USA

O, Christmas tree

Christmas music is played for the carolers. The street through McAdenville twists and turns its way throught the village passing hundreds of Christmas trees with thousands of colored lights. . photo by Wayne HInshaw, for the Salisbury Post

By Wayne Hinshaw

For the Salisbury Post

McADENVILLE — It is hard to image any town in the country having more Christmas spirit that the small textile town of McAdenville in Gaston County.

Located off Interstate 85 south of Charlotte, the town has received national coverage in print and on TV since 1956 and earned the nickname “Christmas Town, USA.”

The idea of decorating the entire town for Christmas was suggested by the McAdenville Men’s Club in 1956. It spread like wildfire to the point that the town today has 600,000 annual visitors to view the traditional red, white and green decorative lights on 375 trees that line the streets.

All the homes, big and small, are decorated for the big show.

There are some 30 plus trees around the town lake where the lighted trees’ reflections in the water looks like a double vision of Christmas spirit.

In the center of the lake, an illuminated fountain of sprays water high into the night air with rotating colors of red, white and green.

The drive from one end of town to the other through the winding streets takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but it can take an hour on really busy nights. Most drivers go through town with their headlights off or only use parking lights.

The best way to absorb the beauty of the decorations is to take a walking tour, stopping for long looks. The entire route is just over a mile.

Traditional Christmas carols fill the air, broadcast from the 1881 Mill Tower. An “old world” decoration of carolers is always placed in front of the town library.

The lights are on timers, so they come on exactly at 5:30 every evening and go off at 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and at 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in all types of weather. Crowds are lighter Monday-Thursday nights and very heavy Friday-Sunday.

The light show starts on Dec.1 and ends Dec. 26.

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