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McAdenville, also known as Christmastown, is a town in Gaston Countymarker, North Carolinamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 619 at the 2000 census.

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. 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.

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.


McAdenville is located on the South Fork Catawba River at (35.263893, -81.079282) . McAdenville Lake is formed by a dam on the South Fork in central McAdenville.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.8 km²), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (6.80%) is water. The town lies in the Cramerton Watershed


As of the census of 2000, there were 619 people, 247 households, and 182 families residing in the town. The population density was 450.1 people per square mile (173.2/km²). There were 282 housing units at an average density of 205.1/sq mi (78.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.80% White, 1.94% African American, 0.97% Native American, 0.97% Asian, and 0.32% from two or more races.

There were 247 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,513, and the median income for a family was $40,750. Males had a median income of $30,781 versus $21,481 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,130. About 6.4% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.


McAdenville is governed by a mayor and a five-member town council. Fire protection is provided by the McAdenville Volunteer Fire Department. McAdenville is in South Point Townshipmarker.

The town has its own police department, which patrols from 6 AM to 6 PM daily within the McAdenville Town Limits. From 6 PM until 6 AM daily, patrol duties are handled by officers of the Cramertonmarker Police Department, based on a contract signed in 2006 by both the McAdenville and Cramerton Town Councils. .


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.


The primary east-west highway passing through McAdenville is Interstate 85. Other important highways include U.S. Route 29/U.S. Route 74 (Wilkinson Blvd.) and North Carolina Highway 7 (Main St./Hickory Grove Rd./Riverside Dr./McAdenville Rd.).


Public education in McAdenville is administered by the Gaston County Schools public school system. The only school in McAdenville is McAdenville Elementary School. Some elementary age children from the northern part of McAdenville attend Lowell Elementary School in Lowellmarker.

Most McAdenville students in grades 6-8 attend Holbrook Middle School in Lowell, except for those in a small section of town who attend Belmont Middle School in Belmontmarker.

High school-age students living south of Interstate 85 attend South Point High Schoolmarker in Belmontmarker, while most of those living north of the interstate attend Ashbrook High Schoolmarker in Gastoniamarker. Students from one small section of town attend East Gaston High Schoolmarker in Mount Hollymarker.

Famous Residents


  1. Holiday Light Spectaculars. Retrieved on 2008-07-21
  2. Henry M. McAden House, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Retrieved on 2008-07-13
  3. Gaston County Watersheds, Gaston County government website. Retrieved on 2008-07-21.
  4. Cramerton-McAdenville Contract Police Services, Cramerton Police Department Website. Retrieved on 2008-07-21.
  5. Gaston County Factbook, retrieved on 2008-07-14.

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