‘Christmas Town USA’ returns for 55th year

MCADENVILLE – Each December for 55 years, the town of McAdenville transforms into Christmas Town USA, luring approximately 600,000 visitors as a beacon of holiday spirit.

What started with the stringing of lights on a few trees in 1956 has evolved into a large scale operation in which the local manufacturing company, Pharr Yarns, partners with town residents to place nearly half a million lights on more than 375 fir trees.

This year’s celebration – Christmas Town USA 2010 – runs Dec. 1 through Dec. 26. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. each evening, Christmas light lovers can drive a one-mile stretch through town to view the lights, listen to sounds of the season, and soak in the Christmas spirit.

In recent years, more and more people have decided to walk through town instead of drive, which has added to the festive atmosphere in this eastern Gaston County hamlet.

“While McAdenville is a great place for motorists, probably the most unique experience is exploring Christmas Town USA on foot,” Mel Collins, event spokesperson and vice president of human resources for Pharr Yarns, said in a news release. “You’ll hear chimes from the newly-restored historic bell tower, hear the Christmas carols, and have more interaction with other families visiting Christmas Town.”

All this takes place in a village with a population of just over 600 people.

“It is like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life,” Collins said. “The Christmas you remember – and thought was gone – is still here in McAdenville, North Carolina.”

The red, green and white lights, operated by automatic timers, are available for viewing nightly. Hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. on weekends.  There is no admission charge or parking fees for the McAdenville lights.

For information, visit: www.mcadenville-christmastown.com, or call the Gaston County Visitor Center at (800) 849-9994.

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