This tiny 600-person town 17 miles from Charlotte is known as Christmas Town USA

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McAdenville, a 600-person town located less than 30 minutes west of Charlotte, is celebrating its 62nd year as Christmas Town USA.

The quiet waterside textile town attracts national attention for its free annual light display produced by residents. The festive event featuring 500,000 lights has been a tradition in McAdenville since 1956.

Christmas Town USA is open daily through December 26.

The lights are on rain or shine weekdays 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday  5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Visit Monday through Thursday nights to drastically cut down on your traffic wait time.

The 1.3-mile light display route is accessible by car or on foot and takes approximately 30-45 minutes to drive.

There is only one route through town, which can be entered from Wilkinson Boulevard / US 74/29 or I-85.

Free parking is available in lots behind McAdenville Baptist Church, on Poplar Street, beside the lake and at McAdenville Elementary School. You can park in any of these locations to continue on foot.

Depending on where you’re coming from, I recommend entering on the Wilkinson Boulevard side of town, parking at McAdenville Elementary and walking through the light display.

You can swing by McAdenville Wesleyan Church, located directly across the street from the elementary, for free hot cocoa to fuel your trek.

The majority of the residential displays are found on and around Wesleyan Drive from the elementary school to the firehouse, which is about a quarter-mile.

There is more to see beyond where my map cuts off on Main Street but this gives you a general idea of the main route and walk times

Once you get to the firehouse, you’ll get a sweeping view of the lake display from the bridge, which is also one of the best-lit spots for family photos and selfies.

See?

From there, continue on to Main Street to explore the shops and additional residential light displays. Be sure to stop by See Jane Bake for a treat and 115 Main for gifts and souvenirs.

See Jane Bake

115 Main

If walking isn’t an option or preference, you can always drive through just the same. Traffic is just a lot slower that way.

Either way, there’s only one route through town, it’s not a big place and police are directing traffic. You won’t get lost and you’ll get to see everything.

Here’s a look at what to expect:

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director