If you want to visit one of the top-ranked Christmas towns in the U.S- add McAdenville to your list.
Nicknamed “Christmas Town USA,” there are few better places to celebrate the holiday than this small North Carolina town that’s about 15 miles outside of Charlotte. And Christmas-loving visitors come in droves to make merry—more than 600,000 of them every year. For a town with only about 650 residents, the events calendar is positively packed with things to see and do, beginning right after Thanksgiving.
It all kicks off with the Christmas Town 5K, which draws about 1,200 runners.
And of course, one of the most popular events is the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, where one lucky child is chosen to flip the switch and illuminate the tree for the holiday season.
The pièce(s) de résistance, however, are the incredible holiday light displays at businesses and homes throughout the town. The tradition began way back in 1956 as a way to add some spirit to the community center, and has since grown into a town-wide spectacle, with nearly everyone decking their halls with red, white, and green lights. In addition, there are more than 375 lit trees and more than 200 wreaths attached to poles. The best part? It’s a labor of love, with all lights and wreaths maintained completely by volunteers, and free admission for all sightseers.
View this post on Instagram
Another season of the amazing @christmas_town_usa lights display begins tonight with the tree lighting ceremony starting at 5pm 🌲 Over 250 Evergreens, covered with more than one-half million red, white and green lights along with 160 beautifully decorated homes is a sight you don’t wanna miss! . 🗓 Monday-Friday 5:30-9:30 pm Saturday-Sunday 5:30-11:00 pm . 📸 Steve Rankin
If all of that wasn’t enough, McAdenville has a particularly unique tradition: the Yule Log Parade, which has been marching through downtown every year since 1949. All are welcome to join in as a festively-decorated yule log is pulled to the town’s Memorial Yule Log Fireplace.
If you’re planning on visiting any time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, try to plan your trip for a weekday. The crowds get positively crazy this time of year on the weekends, making it a bit of a headache to navigate around town by car.