Lighting the Skyline with Holiday Cheer
In 1956, the idea of adorning a few trees with lights in homage to the Christmas season sparked a community passion for lighting up the skies with holiday spirit that is known today as Christmas Town USA. For 26 days each year, McAdenville is alit in spectacular fashion with traditional red, white and green lights sparkling on more than 375 trees and decorating nearly all of the community’s homes. It is a sight to behold for both the young and young-at-heart as the town casts a warm holiday glow that draws more than 600,000 visitors annually - marveling in awe as they follow the wreath-lined route through the center of town in a celebration of Christmas that has been observed for nearly six decades.
Each season, Christmas Town USA is officially kicked off in early December with the Tree Lighting Ceremony in honor of Mr. and Mrs. William James Pharr, founders of the McAdenville Christmas Lights. The Yule Log Parade, which began in 1949, pays tribute to the true community spirit that prevails within McAdenville as the entire town joins in on the log’s journey through town to Legacy Park. New to the celebration are Christmas Town Festival events featuring bands and choirs from local schools and churches, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus to entertain and delight those in attendance.
Resident and visitor favorites of the walking and driving tour include the life-size nativity scene and a 46-foot lighted image of Old Man Winter blowing snowflakes into the festive reflections of tree-lit splendor. To add even more cheer, you can hear the melodic sounds of traditional holiday favorites from the chimes of the McAdenville Baptist Church, the 30-foot bell tower with an array of cast bronze bells located in the lawn of the Pharr Family YMCA, and McAdenville’s historic Bell Tower dating back to 1885, which today uses the magic of digital technology to broadcast music throughout the evening - making anyone who visits feel as though they have entered a wonderland unlike any place on earth.
Named by YAHOO in 2011 as one of the 10 Must-Visit Places in December, Christmas Town USA has been featured nationally on ABC’s Good Morning America, 700 Club, HGTV, MSNBC, Turner South Network, as well as in numerous magazines and news publications. Christmas Town USA has been featured in online, print and broadcast media in Europe.