Lake Norman Magazine

Holiday Highlights

Christmas in Davidson parade
Christmas in Davidson parade

Holiday PopsUnder the direction of conductor Alfred E. Sturgis, the renowned and innovative North Carolina Symphony will perform such favorites as “Silver Bells,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” plus popular audience sing-along tunes. Dec. 5 and 11, 8 p.m., Dec. 12, 7 p.m., and Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. Statesville Civic Center. The NCS will also perform Holiday Pops at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, 115 W. Main St., Lincolnton. Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 11, 8 p.m., Dec. 12, 7 p.m., and Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Cornelius Arts CenterEnjoy many fun and creative holiday events and activities at the Cornelius Arts Center, where students both young and old can make holiday-themed art projects. Classes include instructions on how to create such festive items as ceramic tree ornaments, birdhouses, wind chimes, wreaths, and picture frames. There’s also a Holidays Around the World class, which teaches students about holiday festivities and traditions from other countries. And kids are sure to enjoy Santa’s Mailbox, where they can mail a letter to Santa. Old St. Nick will also be on hand to share cookies and cocoa with kids on select days. The Cornelius Arts Center, 19725 Oak St., Unit 1, Cornelius. 704-896-8823. For details on the time and prices of the different classes and events, go to

Lincoln Cultural CenterLocated in the former First Baptist Church in a classic Revival-style 1922 building, the Lincoln Cultural Center houses the county’s first historic museum and is also a hub for cultural activities, including the 5th annual production of The Nutcracker: A Children’s Ballet, which features local dance students. Dec. 14, 7 p.m., and Dec. 15, 2 and 7 p.m. James W. Warren Citizens Center, 115 W. Main St., Lincolnton. Adults $12, seniors/12 and under, $8.

Latta plantationThis living history farm and nature preserve in Huntersville is hosting several holiday events. Christmas Tea and Craft is a fun afternoon for mothers and daughters during which they can learn about the history of Christmas while enjoying specialty holiday teas and making crafts. Dec. 7, 1-3 p.m. $25 per mother/daughter pair, $10 for each additional daughter. The cost includes a fan, craft materials, tea, and snacks. Pre-registration is required. During Latta Plantation’s Candlelight Christmas event, guests can step into an 1820s Christmas evening and tour the historic plantation at night, where they can visit animals in the carriage barn, see couples in period costumes dancing, cooking demonstrations, and more. Dec. 14, 6-9 p.m. $8 for adult, 5 and under free. Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville. 704-875-2312.

Christmas in DavidsonAn annual tradition since 1988, Christmas in Davidson is a wonderful three-day event sure to please the whole family. With the charming downtown area decorated in lights, visitors can enjoy trolley and carriage rides, shopping at dozens of quaint shops, and exploring the Holiday Village, with entertaining shows on the Davidson Library stage, dozens of specialty vendors, a doggie fashion show, live nativity scene, arts and crafts, a Christmas Tree Village with 25 decorated firs, along with ice skating at the South Main Square. There’s also the popular 31st annual North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade, which features hundreds of floats. The parade, which starts in Davidson and heads south on N.C. 115 to the Cornelius Fire Department, is Dec. 7. at 1 p.m. Christmas in Davidson is Dec. 5-7, with most of the events held between 6 and 9 p.m. and centered on Main Street near the college campus.

McAdenvilleOnly about 30 miles southwest of Lake Norman, McAdenville is one of the region’s most popular holiday destinations, attracting some 500,000 visitors each year. The town’s 650 or so residents transform the small hamlet into Christmas Town USA every year, with more than 450,000 red, green, and white lights strung on nearly 400 trees. While the light show is spectacular—particularly the warm holiday glow reflected off the town’s central pond—it can take a while to drive through the half-mile route. If you’d prefer to walk, there’s parking available off the town’s Main Street. Dec. 2-26.

Huntersville ChristmasBring your family and friends to downtown Huntersville to see the town transformed into a magical winter wonderland, complete with a snow slide, a visit from Santa and his elves, and holiday stories with Mrs. Claus. During the festivities enjoy food from local restaurants, dozens of craft vendors, children’s games and rides, and holiday shows. Dec. 14, 4-8 p.m. Huntersville Town Center, 105 Gilead Road, Huntersville.

Mooresville Holiday Light SpectacularDowntown Mooresville is transformed into a holiday wonderland every night with an orchestrated light and music show, featuring more than 75,000 lights. Organized by the Mooresville Downtown Commission, James Family Christmas, and community volunteers, the light show takes place at the Mooresville Town Hall lawn on N. Main Street. The eight-minute shows begin at dark and repeat until 9:30 p.m. In addition to the light show, Mooresville also hosts several downtown holiday festivals, with Santa visits, music, horse-drawn wagon rides, snacks, and special gifts. The festivals are scheduled for Dec. 6, 13, and 20, from 6-8 p.m. The Holiday Light Spectacular is through Dec. 25. Mooresville Town Hall, 413 N. Main St., Mooresville. Parking is available off Church Street.

Carolina ChristmasWith about three million lights, Carolina Christmas at the Charlotte Motor Speedway is the region’s largest light show. The drive-through holiday production also features hundreds of colorful displays, a Santa’s Christmas Village (open weekly from Thursday-Sunday) with a Bethlehem-themed village, s’mores pits, kids’ games, food, music, photos with Santa, and more. Through Dec. 31, excluding Christmas day. 6-10 p.m. $20 per vehicle. Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5555 Concord Pkwy. S., Concord. 704-455-3267.

Statesville Christmas ParadeGather the family and head to downtown Statesville for the sights and sounds of the holidays at this annual parade. Sponsored by the 30th Masonic District of North Carolina. Dec. 8, 3 p.m. 704-878-3436.

Davidson Community PlayersThe popular and award-winning performing arts group presents Miracle on 34th Street, a classic play that features a single mother and her daughter who wonder if a department store Santa might be the real Mr. Claus. Complete with sound effects and cleverly scripted commercials, DCP will transform the Armour Street Theater into a radio studio and invite the audience to become part of the magic. The universal theme of hope in times of uncertainty makes Miracle on 34th Street one show not to miss. Dec. 5-22. $20. Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour St., Davidson. 704-892-7953.

North Mecklenburg Community ChorusAs part of its mission to build a dynamic and inclusive choral community, this Cornelius-based nonprofit is performing several holiday shows this month. A Merry Carol of the Bells will offer a diverse array of secular and sacred holiday tunes. Dec. 2 and 9, 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Huntersville First Baptist Church 119 N. Old Statesville Road, Huntersville. NMCC’s other show is Swingin’ with Santa, which features an eight-voice ensemble in a family friendly Christmas concert with a special appearance by Santa. Dec. 7, 3 p.m. Huntersville United Methodist Church, 14005 Stumptown Road, Huntersville.

Zootastic Christmas Wonderland of LightsSince it first opened in 2009, this exotic animal zoo has hosted the Christmas Wonderland of Lights, with over one million lights decorated along a two-mile drive-through route. After the light show, park the car and enjoy pony rides, petting zoos, concessions, marshmallow roasting pits, visits from Santa, and more. Through Dec. 31. Friday and Saturday, 6-10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, 6-9 p.m. Zootastic Park of Lake Norman, 448 Pilch Road, Troutman. $5 per person.