McADENVILLE, NC (WBTV) - If you're in the Christmas spirit, one Gaston County town will put you in high-gear tonight as officials flipped the switch on the Christmastown USA light display in McAdenville.
The elaborate display of lights throughout the town will continue a long history of lighted tree decorations that's been going on since the mid 1950's.
"I've been here since the first one. It started in 1955 and I was here at ten years old. It just gets better every year," said Georgia Andrews minutes after the display filled the town with light.
Each year the display has grown to 375 trees in 2009 and more than 450,000 lights.
It's not only the trees that are decorated. Residents have taken out all the stops in decorating their homes as well, displaying enormous community involvement.
Each year at McAdenville Elementary School, there is a contest among the students to see who will get the honor of flipping the switch for the display.
This year there was a ceremony that began at 4:30pm with music from local elementary students, prayers, and a visit from Santa. The lights were turned on minutes before 5:30pm.
The display will run until 9:30 on weeknights and 11:00pm on weekends. The exit 23 ramp of I-85 will be closed during the hours of the display, which runs through December 26.