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McAdenville turns on Christmas lights for 64th year

Dec 05, 2019 10:38AM ● By Carolyn Henwood

By Alan Hodge

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The switch was flipped last Monday that turned on the dazzling Christmas lights in McAdenville. The lights will be turned on nightly until Dec. 26.

The ceremonial lighting event was held in front of the  Pharr Family YMCA in downtown McAdenville. As is the tradition, a student from McAdenville Elementary School had the honor of throwing the breaker.

The student that was selected  to turn the lights on this year is Nathaly Sanchez Reyna. She is the daughter of Jacinta Reyna Diaz and Abraham Sanchez Reyna.

She is in Mrs. Prillaman’s Kindergarten Class. She lives in Gastonia. She has a pet dog named Cookie. Her favorite thing about school is playing at recess. She doesn’t care for working with crayons. Her favorite thing to do at home is to play with her dolls. She also likes to play with Cookie. Her favorite food is spaghetti and she likes to snack on cookies and strawberries. Her favorite colors are pink and purple. Nathaly is very excited about flipping the switch to turn on the “Christmas Town USA” lights this year.  

There is no charge at all to tour Christmas Town USA.   

Those who are planning a visit by automobile or bus, the best time to view the Christmas Lights is Monday through Thursday. You also can enjoy the lights Friday through Sunday, but traffic  is heavier on these days, and waits of  30 to 45 minutes or longer  are not unusual. The lights are on Monday through Friday from 5:30pm until 9:30pm Saturday and Sunday 5:30pm until 11pm. Please keep in mind, the lights are on timers and will turn off automatically at the times listed above, regardless of  how many cars remain in line. 

Christmas Town USA Questions and Answers

Why do the lights turn off at 9:30pm weeknights? McAdenville is a small textile town, with several plants located in town and several on the outskirts. The plants operate 24 hours a day, with the night shift changing at 10 P.M. The heavy traffic created by the lights would make it impossible for employees  to reach their jobs on time, if the lights were kept on until 11pm weeknights. 

Can you park and walk ? Yes. Parking is permitted almost anywhere in town, even street parking. A large parking lot is available next to the lake in the middle of town. Also, another large parking area is located behind the small business district in downtown McAdenville. Walking through town is a great way to see the lights. However, if you do walk, please do not litter the streets. 

Town Ordinances regarding the lights- 

Section 8-1 - Temporary Vending Prohibited During December. No person may during the month of December operate a temporary concession within the Town of McAdenville. A temporary concession shall include; but not be limited to: the selling or giving away of any goods, food, beverages, merchandise, literature or services or in any other way solicit persons within the town limits.

Section 10-11- Prohibition of Horses and Livestock.  No person shall ride or walk any horse, mule, donkey, llama, alpaca or other ungulate or ruminant that is used to transport people equipment or materials within the Town of McAdenville during the month of December between the hours of 4pm. . and 11pm. It shall not be a violation of this section if the horse, mule, donkey, llama, alpaca or other ungulate or ruminant use has been approved as a part of a Special Event Permit issued by the

Town pursuant to Chapter 7, Article III of the Town of McAdenville Code of Ordinances.

Section 10-12 - Prohibition of Animal - Drawn Vehicles-No person shall operate or allow to be operated any vehicle; including, but not limited to: any cart, carriage, wagon, trailer, or sled, drawn by any animal; to include but not limited to: any horse, mule, donkey, llama, alpaca or other ungulate or ruminant within the town of McAdenville during the month of December between the hours of 4pm  and 11pm. It shall not be a violation of this section if the use of an animal-drawn vehicle has been approved as a part of a Special Event Permit issued by the Town pursuant to Chapter 7, Article III of the town of McAdenville Code of Ordinances.

Section 5-19 - Operation of Unmanned Aircraft (Drone)- No person may, during the month of December...launch, land or operate any unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from within the Town Limits of McAdenville. 

How long is the route thru Christmas Town? The route is approximately 1.3 miles long, on weekends it may take 30-45 minutes to drive the full route, most weeknights it will take less time. 

Entrance and Exit Points- There is only one route through Christmas Town. If you enter town from Interstate 85, once you get to the town limits, continue through town until you reach U.S. Highway 29-74. At this point you will leave Christmas Town. If you enter town from U.S. 29-74 (coming from the Charlotte area) continue through town until you reach Interstate 85. At this point you will leave Christmas Town .

I have a dog, are animals allowed to walk thru Christmas Town with their owner?- Yes, however, all animals must be on a leash and controlled by their owner.

Can I drive my Golf Cart on the streets of McAdenville during the time the Christmas Light are on ? 

Only if the Golf Cart is Street Legal...meaning...it must be registered by the state of North Carolina and equipped same as an automobile.