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Christmas Town USA in McAdenville

One of the Carolinas' most beloved holiday traditions, the Christmas Town USA lights in McAdenville, is happening nightly through Dec. 26.

MCADENVILLE, N.C. — It's the most wonderful time of the year in McAdenville when the small Gaston County town once again transforms into Christmas Town USA

Hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through McAdenville each December to see the Christmas lights display. Last year, McAdenville was named one of the most festive towns in the country for its amazing light display and holiday spirit. Christmas Town USA made USA Today's 10Best list for its public light display in 2020 and 2021 and is once again in the running for the best public holiday light display in the country.

This year's Christmas Town USA light display starts Thursday, Dec. 1, and runs through Dec. 26. The lights will be on from 5:30 p.m. until 10 each night. This year's yule log ceremony will be on Thursday, Dec. 15 following a small parade through downtown. 

Christmas Town USA kick-started the 2022 holiday season with the annual tree lighting in downtown McAdenville. The switch was pulled at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 to start another Christmas Town USA season. 

This year, Christmas trees made out of lights are dazzling over the pond downtown. 

WCNC Charlotte spoke with families that drove from all over the Carolinas to see the lights on their opening night. One family came from Clinton, South Carolina, which they said was an hour and 45 minutes away. 

Janie Seals said it's a tradition and her favorite part is, "getting together with family and just spending time with people."

In addition to extravagant holiday lights and decorations, visitors enjoyed live performances,  hot cocoa, and Christmas carolers on the opening night.

Directions to Christmas Town USA lights

Interstate 85 North

Northbound traffic will take Exit 22, turn right and follow directions to McAdenville

IMPORTANT: Starting at 5:30 p.m., Exit 23 will be closed daily to northbound traffic. 

Interstate 85 South

Southbound traffic will take Exit 23 for North Carolina Highway 7, turn left and arrive in McAdenville. 

IMPORTANT: When traffic backs up to the South Fork River, state troopers will direct all vehicles across Highway 7 and onto I-85. Drivers can then take Exit 22, turn right and follow directions to access the lights show. 

U.S. Highway 29-74 from Gastonia

Drivers will follow the highway until reaching Main Street in Lowell. There will be two car dealerships where traffic will turn left onto South Main Street. Follow directions to Christmas Town. 

U.S. Highway 29-74 from Charlotte

Follow the highway until you reach Wesleyan Drive, approximately 20 miles from Charlotte. Wesleyan Drive is just beyond the South Fork River bridge on U.S. 74. Drivers will turn right onto Wesleyan and follow it through McAdenville. 

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