McAdenville transforms into Christmas Town USA in all its glory on Thursday, December 1.

The Christmas season will officially begin in McAdenville with the annual lighting ceremony, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 1. The ceremony was moved from the Pharr YMCA to 102 Main St., Lakeside, downtown. McAdenville.

At 6 p.m., a McAdenville Elementary student will pull the switch to turn on more than half a million red, white and green lights scattered across the small township of Gaston County. From then on, the lights will shine every night until Monday, December 26.

The best way to see the lights is on foot, says McAdenville, Steve Rankin.

About 100 people showed up to take in the sights and sounds of the season at the 19th Annual Christmas Town USA Tree Lighting held in front of the Pharr Family YMCA in McAdenville on Monday night.

Rankin also noted that streets closed to car traffic — such as the church and the academy — are open to walkers.

Here is an overview of things to know if you are planning a 2022 visit to Christmas Town USA:


5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. every evening from December 1 to December 26. No, there will be no extended hours on weekends this year.

How to get to town

A bit of Christmas town.

Only three McAdenville entrances are open when the lights are on. NC 7 traveling east from Gastonia and Lowell; I-85, north and south; US 74 traveling west from Charlotte.

Traffic enforcement is provided each night by off-duty officers from Highway Patrol, the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gaston County Police Department.

What to see

A large nativity scene in front of McAdenville Baptist Church

More than 250 conifers covered with more than half a million red, white and green lights.

A large lake surrounded by dozens of decorated conifers.

The historic McAden Mills bell tower, which was built in 1883 and from which seasonal music is played each evening.

Over 100 private homes fully decorated for the Christmas season.

And the Yule log ceremony?

This year’s Yule Log ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 15 on the lawn of Pharr Yarns’ head office.

A small parade will carry the yule log to Legacy Park, where the yule log will be placed in an outdoor fireplace. It will be lit around 6:00 p.m.

Following the illumination, the Christmas Town Festival will begin, highlighted by performances of Christmas music by choirs from area schools and churches.

And yes, Santa Claus will be present.

Updates throughout the upcoming holiday season can be found at www.mcadenville-christmastown.com.

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