A Christmas parade and an annual lighting of an 18-foot tree are just a few of the attractions that drive people toward this North Carolina city for the holiday season.
Hickory was recently named the “Top Tinsel Town,” on a Realtor.com list of the 10 surprising cities worth visiting for the holidays.
The city beat other holiday destinations like Eugene, Ore., Buffalo, New York, and Pittsburgh, Pa.
Realtor.com’s ranking was compiled by looking at the 150 largest metros in the country and assessing each on criteria such as the percentage of all employees that are seasonal cashiers, the percentage of all flight arrivals between Dec. 19 and Dec. 23, and toy stores per capita.
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Once all was said and done, the algorithm spit out Hickory as an underrated destination for Christmas.
So what makes the Catawba County city such a great place for the holiday season?
Realtor.com applauded Hickory for taking “its Yuletide festivities” seriously. The city hauls in an 18-foot tree from the mountains each year. The tree is lit by Santa Claus following a Christmas parade downtown, according to the site. There’s also a holiday concert, museum events, and a festive holiday stroll through log cabins in Hart Square.
Another North Carolina town that many people associate with the holidays was omitted from the list.
McAdenville — also known as Christmas Town USA — is known for its bright Christmas lights.
The Gaston County town didn’t make the list, but it has gotten attention for being a notable Christmas destination. In 2015, the town was named the third best place on USA Today’s ranking of “10Best Holiday Destinations,” beating out spots in Norway and France.
LaVendrick Smith: @LaVendrickS