Renewed efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 have prompted many communities in southern Mecklenburg and western Union counties to exchange large regional Christmas events for smaller, less risky events.
Holiday tree lightings have gone virtual while traditional parades have become smaller drive-thru events. Festivals that attracted hundreds or thousands of people across the region are now focused on neighborhoods.
Some of the events even require advance registration. That’s why we encourage you to check out the event online before you plan on going out there. Here’s a round-up of how some communities are celebrating Christmas:
Indian Trail: Santa’s Cruise Thru
Indian Trail had to make the tough decision to cancel its popular IT’s a Wonderful Life Christmas Parade; however, the town continues spreading Christmas cheer by driving Santa through several neighborhoods. Children also have opportunities to write letters or hop on Zoom calls with Santa.
When: 1-4 p.m. Dec. 6
Lake Park: Christmas Tree Lighting
John Sharp performs Christmas songs during the village’s annual Christmas tree lighting. Antoinette King, who is reigning Ms. Elite Americas United States, will light the tree. The village is also engaged in a Toys for Tots collection campaign and participating in a homeowner association’s decorating contest.
When: 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 6
Where: Village center
Matthews: Deck the House
The Town of Matthews gave residents extra incentives to decorate their homes for Christmas via the Deck the House Holiday Light Competition. The contest judges Christmas decorations at houses, apartment homes and condos/townhouses/duplexes (that registered) within the 28105 zip code. The event includes a Facebook fan vote.
When: Dec. 16-20, 6-9 p.m. (judging)
Where: All over town
Mint Hill: Great Christmas Decorating Contest
In response to canceling its annual Christmas tree lighting and parade, Mint Hill is relying on residents to light up the holidays via the Great Christmas Decorating Contest. Following the heels of a successful scarecrow decorating contest, Mint Hill is encouraging residents and businesses to create displays on their doorsteps and yards.
When: All month
Where: All over town
Pineville: Light the Night
The Light the Night Holiday Drive-Thru will feature a lit-up park entrance with inflatables, crafts and cocoa. Kids can also drop-off letters to Santa. The town has a template on its website for children to fill out, confirming if they were good and ate all their vegetables.
When: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4
Where: Pineville Lake Park, 1000 Johnston Drive
Waxhaw: Drive-Thru Christmas Parade
Waxhaw has scheduled a handful of holiday drive-thru activities, including a Drive-Thru Senior Citizen Christmas (Dec. 5), Drive-In Christmas Concert (Dec. 5) and Santa’s annual ride through neighborhoods (Dec. 13 to 18). The highlight is the Drive Thru Christmas Parade. It’s a role reversal with the attractions on the side of the road waving to residents as they drive by – perfect for social distancing.
When: 3 p.m. Dec. 13
Where: Downtown Waxhaw