Ready to see Christmas Town USA in a whole new way? If you’re among the half million people who make the trek to McAdenville to see this former Gaston County mill town decked out in lights, we challenge you this year to observe the trees. Sure, the picturesque homes are dazzling all lit up, but the hundreds of trees along the 1.3-mile route are stars, too:
There are roughly 30 Norway Spruces around the lake. Nearly all of them were planted at the same time in the early ‘80s to replace aging trees.
To the left of the YMCA, you’ll see two Deodar cedars, as well as a large spruce that organizers believe is one of the oldest trees on the Christmas Town USA route.
Apparently, there’s a bit of a run of Deodar cedars west of Charlotte. According to local lore, a traveling salesman decades ago hit up various small towns and sold a whole crop of them throughout the region.
As you come into town, you’ll find Legacy Park on Elm Street. The two oldest and most notable trees are an elm and a cedar. Both are too big and aging to wrap in lights, but this year organizers will light the elm from underneath. The park is where the annual Yule Log Ceremony commences, this season on Dec. 13.
● Of the nearly 400 decorated trees, about two-thirds are evergreens.
● The lights remain on most of the bigger trees year-round, but are removed from the smaller trees.
● The entire process of prepping, showtime and dismantling takes 6 months.
● Christmas Town USA was inspired by the McAdenville Men’s Club when its members decorated nine trees in 1956. Pharr Yarns continued the tradition and still supports it today, with in-kind help from Gaston County, local municipalities, the Department of Transportation and various police and fire agencies.
● The lake in the center of town is man-made, around 1939
● Every year, Pharr Yarns plants 12 new trees to ensure Christmas Town USA endures. Last year, Main Street got a good dose of baby evergreens
Christmas Town USA runs Monday-Friday, 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 5:30-11 p.m. through Dec. 26. You can walk or drive. Free.