The arrival of the holiday season means more traffic for the Gaston County community of McAdenville, also known as Christmas Town, USA.
The town will kick off its 64th year of this popular free attraction at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, continuing through Thursday, Dec. 26. Visitors can enjoy the festive light displays Monday through Friday from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 – 11 p.m.
With thousands of visitors expected to drive through the area, the N.C. Department of Transportation is working to ensure traffic flows smoothly, both for motorists heading to McAdenville and for drivers passing through to other destinations.
NCDOT will place message boards on I-85 to inform motorists of the following:
- Drivers coming from Charlotte should 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;
- Motorists driving north on I-85 should use exit 22 (Lowell) into McAdenville; and
- The ramp from I-85 North to exit 23 (N.C. 7) will be closed nightly during events.
Steve Rankin with the Christmas Town Committee asks visitors to “pack plenty of patience, both driving and walking through town. Come early on the weekends, park and wait for the lights to come on.”
Rankin suggests walking is a better option to see the lights, but to be respectful. “Please stay on the sidewalks”, he says. “All decorated homes are private property and visitors should never walk through the yards or approach the homes at any time.”
Due to the large number of vehicles expected in the area, motorists should expect delays and slow down during the holiday season. One option for visitors is to arrive early, between 5 – 5:15 p.m., find a parking spot and wait for the display to start at 5:30 p.m.