Have A Very Gaston Christmas!

To paraphrase the popular Andy Williams song, it’s the busiest time of the year.

And in Gaston County, there’s a ton of fun stuff to do this Christmas season. Whether you’re young or old, new to the community or a lifelong resident, you’re sure to find something fun to do amongst a host of local options.

Michael Applegate, director of Gaston County Travel and Tourism (doing business as “GO Gaston”), recently told Gaston Lifestyles magazine all about the upcoming festivities.

In Mount Holly, the city’s annual Christmas parade and tree-lighting ceremony will be held Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. Join your friends and neighbors for floats, bands, caroling, and more.

In Cherryville, there’s ‘’A Very Cherry Whoville Christmas on Main Street.” Named for the characters and their town in Dr. Seuss’s immortal classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” this event will be held Dec. 6, 5-9 p.m. It will feature horse-drawn carriage rides down Main and Elm streets. Santa Claus will be at the Home Trust Bank, and merchants will have their stores open until 9 p.m.

And at the Kings Mountain Historical Museum at 100 E. Mountain St. in the city of the same name, you can join the fun at the 17th annual toys, games and trains exhibit, Nov. 29- Dec. 28, as Applegate informed.

“This annual exhibit fills the museum with model train displays assembled by local ‘S’ gaugers (model train enthusiasts), as well as railroad memorabilia and antique toys and games,” he said. “Visitors of all ages will be enchanted as they explore the miniature snow-covered scenes that line the tracks and discover the interactive carousel, hot-air balloons, and mailbag pickup. Parents and grandparents will enjoy reminiscing about the toys and games of their childhood.

Bring your cameras! This exhibit provides great opportunities for holiday family photos.”

 In Bessemer City, the annual Christmas parade will be held downtown on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. This will be followed by the Christmas in the City Festival, held along the 100 block of West Virginia Avenue in Centennial Park.

Need a Christmas tree? Visit the Stowe Dairy Christmas Tree Farm. They are located at 169 Stowe Dairy Road in Gastonia.

And at the Gaston County Public Library’s main branch at 1555 E. Garrison Blvd. in Gastonia, you will not want to miss a memorial exhibition dedicated to the life and work of the late author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak. An award-winning artist, well known to and much loved by countless children for more than half a century, Sendak was famous for “Where the Wild Things Are.” Throughout his career, he authored 22 books and illustrated 79 others. This exhibition has been on display in multiple cities and countries, including in London, Toronto, Houston ill and Baltimore.

Across the street at the Schiele Museum of Natural History, there’s “Holidays at the Planetarium.” This is held in the museum’s James Lynn Planetarium and Science Theatre.

McAdenville has been synonymous with Christmas for some 65 years now. The whole town dresses up for Christmas in a lights-and-display extravaganza famed around the world.

In Belmont, there’s the Santa Hustle Race Series. As Applegate noted, this is a fun event for all, whether you’re a walker or runner.

Also in Belmont is the annual Belmont Christmas Village, Dec. 14. Local merchants stay open late, and you’ll enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, Christmas caroling and more.

Just south of Belmont is the Stowe Botanical Garden. The dream of the late world-traveled philanthropist and businessman, Daniel Stowe, scion of the Stowe textiles family, the garden is a colorful draw for many visitors, and it features many horticultural delights. “Holidays at the Garden” will be going on all month in December, and you will not want to miss it.

And at Belmont Abbey College, the beloved tradition of Christmas at the Abbey continues. Directed by Simon Donoghue and Seth Kane, this festive evening of music and readings marks for many the kick-off of the Christmas season. Longtime and new Abbey Players will take to the stage at the Haid Theatre to share in this joyous and sacred celebration to honor the holiest of days and seasons. Applegate informed that advanced tickets are strongly encouraged, as this one-night-only event is historically very well-attended. 

– Thomas Lark

Gaston County offers visitors a variety of attractions to enhance your trip including museums, botanical gardens, extreme sports, hiking, dining and entertainment parks, art and history and more.