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August 16, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

McAdenville: Christmastown, USA


Christmastown, USA


Geography: Located on the South Fork Catawba River,is centered around a small lake which was formed by a dam on the river.

History: McAdenville was incorporated in 1881. It was named after Rufus Yancey McAden, president of McAden Mills, the town’s textile mill. McAden had served in the North Carolina House of Commons from 1862 to 1867, and was Speaker of the House in 1866. He came to Charlotte in 1867 to become president of the two-year old First National Bank.

Where To Go/What To See: A Christmas tradition in the town for many years have been the decorating of the entire town in Christmas lights. The event is called Christmas Town USA. The lights attract visitors from all over the country and is one of the biggest light shows in the US. Begun in 1956 with the assistance of Pharr Yarns, the largest employer and land owner in the town, virtually every square inch of the town is covered in Christmas lights and some form of decoration. More than 300,000 vehicles visit each year.[3] The lights are entirely maintained by volunteers from the community and no admission is charged. Pharr Yarns even goes to the extent to pick up the electric bill for the event.

Business/Industry: McAdenville is the headquarters of Pharr Yarns. The company has operated a yarn manufacturing plant in the town since 1939. It is the town’s largest employer and the 7th-largest employer in Gaston County.


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