McAdenville, N.C. (WBTV) - Your time in Christmastown USA - one of the best-ranked cities for Christmas lights - will feel a lot different this holiday season because of COVID-19.
There are changes in the works to keep crowds small to prevent any virus outbreaks.
The holiday light special that happens every year, is a 65-year-old tradition. So, arguably, it is a big deal. There will still be lights, but not as big and bright as what we’re used to.
There are trees that wear Christmas lights all year long in Christmastown USA and every year, just about 500,000 people come to this neighborhood to see the holiday spirit in light form. This year, because of COVID-19, there are some Christmas lights and decorations that will remain in the attic this year.
“We’re disappointed that we can’t do it like we used to. Everybody here loves Christmas town, but the safety of our visitors and our residents is foremost in our thoughts and our planning,” said Reid Washam.
Washam is on McAdenville’s town council and helped make the decision to trim the yearly tradition. His house is one of the homes on display for the holidays. He says it wasn’t an easy choice to make but wanted to make sure that Christmastown USA follows all CDC safety guidelines.
“The public health officials told us that we needed to do something to drastically reduce the areas where there’s a congregation,” he said.
To pull that off and cut down the number of visitors, there will be no tree lighting ceremony, no lights along the lake, nor a Yule Log Parade. You’ll be asked to wear a mask, but it won’t be enforced.
“Let’s just hope and pray that we will be in full force next year,” said Washam.
The neighborhood is announcing the changes nearly three months before the Christmas season because many homeowners want people to be prepared for a different experience compared to that of year’s past so there isn’t a big let down.