Christmas Town, USA ready to switch on the lights - | WBTV Charlotte

Christmas Town, USA ready to switch on the lights


Christmas Town, U.S.A. will switch on its famous holiday light display Friday, welcoming thousands of visitors to the little Gaston County town.

This year marks the 57th year McAdenville has kept its Christmas tradition of lighting up the entire town. Visitors can walk or drive through the display every night from Friday, Nov. 30 until Christmas. The lights glow from 5:30 to 9:30 pm weeknights and 5:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Friday, Nov. 30 at 4:30 pm the town will kick off the festivities with a tree lighting ceremony at Legacy Park off Elm St.

Steve and Shirley Rankin have been decorating their McAdenville home for about 50 years. Steve also runs the Christmas Town U.S.A. website.

While the Rankins continue the tradition in the older section of town, many families including Ron and Margie Eby decorate in the newer neighborhood less than a mile away.

"We just enjoy it," said Ron Eby. "It's just fun."

The Ebys moved into their home five years ago and jumped right into the Christmas spirit.

"At the new houses, we've gotten into it as much or more than the older section. They kind of do the traditional and we've got all the new decorations," said Ron.

No matter which part of town McAdenville residents live in, they all love showing off their claim to fame.

"We like to have folks come in, and we walk them through town and Steve loves to tell the story about the Christmas lights," said Shirley Rankin.

It's a story that unites the people who live in McAdenville with a common goal: to keep the lights glowing for many years to come.

"As far as Christmas Town, we want to keep it like that forever," said Ron Eby.

"I hope they last another hundred years," said Rankin.

Traffic Pattern

The N.C. Department of Transportation will be providing travel information over the next several weeks to motorists attending events in McAdenville. Events start tonight and continue through Wednesday, Dec. 26.
Overhead signs and portable message signs will be utilized to provide notifications about ramp closings and alternate routes:

  • Spectators driving from Charlotte are advised to use U.S. 74 (Wilkinson Boulevard) into McAdenville; an alternate route is from I-85 South to exit 27 (N.C. 273) to U.S. 74.
  • The ramp from I-85 North to exit 23 (N.C. 7) will be closed nightly during events.
  • Spectators driving north on I-85 are advised to use exit 22 (Lowell).
    For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type "" into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.
    For more information on this event, visit

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