By Steve Lyttleslyttle@charlotteobserver.com
The Gaston County town of McAdenville has transformed into Christmas Town USA.
For the 54th straight year, hundreds of buildings in the town are decorated with lights and other holiday displays. The switch to turn it all on was flipped at 4 p.m.
McAdenville's lights – which annually attract an estimated 300,000 vehicles – date back to 1956, when Pharr Yarns installed lights at its plant and worked with residents to put lights on homes.
The lights will be on from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. weekdays and from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 26. This is an all-volunteer effort, and there is no charge to see the lights.
A new touch this year, town officials say, is on the J.M. Carstarphen Bridge, which has been decorated with lights and can be seen by motorists who drive through the center of town. Motorists coming from U.S. 74 should look to the right when crossing the lake, and visitors coming from Interstate 85 should look to the left.
Directions to Christmas Town USA
McAdenville can be reached off Interstate 85 or U.S. 74.
From the Charlotte area, take I-85 southbound to Exit 23 (Lowell-McAdenville), and follow the traffic flow. Or take U.S. 74 westbound, cross the South Fork River, go another mile, and turn right on Wesleyan Drive into McAdenville.
From Gastonia and points south, take I-85 northbound to Exit 22 and follow the signs. Or take U.S. 74 eastbound to Wesleyan Drive and turn left into town.