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North Carolina's 'Christmas Town USA' Is Bringing Back The Pre-COVID Holiday Magic & It's Completely Free

What if you could go somewhere where Christmas lasted a whole month and every house was decked out in lights? And what if it was all totally free?

That somewhere is McAdenville, N.C., or "Christmas Town USA," as they call it around this time of year.

The quaint little town outside Charlotte will transport you to a holiday scene out of a storybook, with bright lights and holiday cheer everywhere you look.

The Christmas Town tradition goes back over 60 years and it's expected to be extra special this year, according to Steve Rankin, who runs the organizing committee.

That's because they're bringing back a few of the big events they had to cancel due to COVID-19 last year, including the Yule Log Parade and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony to kick off the month.

"We expect a huge crowd," Rankin told Narcity. He added that "every night is a Saturday night" in Christmas Town, and the cars are often "bumper to bumper" as they drive through during the month of December.

The best way to visit Christmas Town is early in December, before schools let out for the holidays, according to Rankin. You can also see more of the town on foot because there are two dead-end streets where cars are not allowed to drive through.

But whether you drive or walk through, the town is absolutely stunning after dark. There are giant wreaths, houses decked out in ornaments and trees that look like they're dripping with twinkly lights.

And best of all, Christmas Town won't cost you a thing because the town doesn't charge admission, and the locals pay for all the lights themselves.

"Some of the residents really go all out," Rankin said. "And they get nothing in return, except to see the joy of the people coming through."

Christmas Town, USA

Price: Free

When: December 1 to December 26; 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Address: McAdenville, NC

Why You Need To Go: Step into a Hallmark Christmas movie come to life!

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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Narcity may receive a small commission if you purchase something we recommend in this article, which was created by the Narcity Shop team. Items are in stock and prices are confirmed at the time of publishing, but they can change at any time.

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