Don’t miss Christmas County, an extravaganza of festivals and events designed to celebrate this special time of year exclusively in Gaston County.
Christmas Town USA
In 2020 a nation wide survey by USA Today ranked Christmas Town USA®, fourth as the “Best Public Holiday Lights Display.” When the sun goes down visitors from all over explore the brightly illuminated town of McAdenville while carillon bells play carols. The tour includes a lake with a 75 foot multi-colored fountain, historic bell tower, and vintage displays. December 1 – 26
Holidays at the Gardens
Another favorite of Christmas County is Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Stroll through the garden along the “Mile of a Million Lights”, discover enchanting fairy villages, model trains, and more. Soak up the season’s cheer with marshmallows roasted in a roaring fire then dipped in hot cocoa. November 26 – January 3
The U.S. National Whitewater Center, transforms their whitewater rivers into a 17,000 sq. ft. ice trail for anyone interested in skating. Centered on the pond is an on-ice Airstream serving hot and cold beverages. Rental skates are provided with entry tickets. November – Mid February
Christmas County is a great time to stay active and bond with family and friends. The annual Christmas Town 5k, an important part of Christmas Town USA, takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Two more holiday races will take place at US National Whitewater Center. Dress your holiday best at We Believe – Santa 5k Trail Race and Dog Jog and New Year's Eve Trail Race, which kicks off 2022 with a race through the woods.
Located outside Gastonia, Crowders Ridge has created Chutes Winter Tubing, a fast and dry tubing chute with 250-foot lanes, replicating a snow tubing experience without freezing your buns off. Late November – Mid February
Kings Mountain Historical Museum will assemble a Model Train Exhibit that will enchant visitors of all ages with realistic snow-covered scenes, railroad memorabilia, antique toys, and games. November 26 – January 7
Schiele Museum of Natural History has two events that will inspire the little ones during Christmas County. Check out Holidays on the Farm and December laser shows. December 8 – 12
PARADES & FESTIVALS
Our downtowns celebrate the holidays with festivals and events. McAdenville will feature its Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Yule log Parade to go along with Christmas Town, USA. Other festivals and events include Christmas Village in Belmont, Christmas In The City in Gastonia, A Very Cherry‑Who‑Ville Christmas with parade in Cherryville, a Historic Christmas Village in Dallas, and the annual Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting in Cramerton. See website for dates and times.
After you push away from the Thanksgiving day table, and maybe after a nap, its time to set your sites on your holiday shopping list. The season gets officially in full swing, with Black Friday shopping followed by 8 amazing holiday inspired markets, filled to the brim with fantastic gifts from local makers. Don't let this year's supply-chain and shipping issues get you down. Embrace this opportunity to buy local and put the FUN back into Christmas shopping.
CHRISTMAS COUNTY Christmas is a magical time in Gaston County, from holiday lights to festivals, parades, skating, snowless sledding and more.Don’t miss the splendor of the season in Gaston County, NC.
Gaston County Tourism Development
620 N. Main Street, Belmont, NC
GoGastonNC.org | TravelGuide@gogastonnc.org