Forest City NC Christmas Lights

Enjoy the Festive Forest City NC Christmas Lights 2023

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Forest City NC Christmas Lights

Welcome to the magical holiday season in Forest City, North Carolina! Here, the annual spectacle of the holiday lights transforms the historic Main Street into a vibrant tapestry of over a million twinkling lights. This festive tradition, dating back to the 1930s, invites visitors from near and far to a community celebration that captures the essence of the season. 

Bundle up and take a stroll or a carriage ride under the enchanting glow, meet Santa, and create lasting memories. Come and experience the joy and heartwarming radiance of Forest City’s Christmas lights.

Location: W Main St, Forest City, NC 28043

Christmas Lights Dates and Times: The festivities run from November 23, 2023, to January 1, 2024; the lights are on each night from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Getting to Forest City NC

From Charlotte, NC: The total driving distance is 64 miles, and it takes about 1 hour and 14 minutes to drive. Take I-85 S, take Exit 10B onto US-74W, and then take Exit 182 for US-221, which will take you downtown.

From Asheville, NC: The drive is about 63 miles and takes approximately 1 hour and 8 minutes. Take I-26 and US-74 E, take exit 181 from US-74 E, and take a right on S Church St to head downtown.

Forest City NC Christmas Lights

Tips & Things to Do at Forest City NC Christmas Lights

By planning ahead, especially with events that require reservations like carriage rides, and considering the timing for special events, you can fully immerse yourself in the festive spirit that Forest City offers during the holiday season. 

Here are some tips to ensure you have a magical and smooth visit:

🎄Lighting Ceremony: 
They kicked things off on November 23 with the mayor and a special guest lighting up Main Street at 7 PM.

🎄Christmas Parade: 
Scheduled for November 26 at 3 p.m., the Christmas parade starts at the Cool Springs Administrative Building and travels east on Main Street to the First United Methodist Church.

🎄Carriage Rides: 
You can book carriage rides for the evenings of December 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd, between 6 PM and 8:45 PM. Each carriage can accommodate up to four adults or a combination of fewer adults and more children. 

The departure point for the carriage rides is Huntley Alley, located behind POPS’s concession stand at 153 Park Square, Forest City, NC. It’s important to note that reservations for these rides need to be made beforehand, as you can only reserve them online, and they won’t be available for purchase on the day itself.

Forest City NC Christmas Lights

🎄Hay Rides: 
You can enjoy hayrides on the evenings of December 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd, from 6 to 9 p.m. The hayrides will start at the Main Street Meetings location, situated at 108 E. Main Street in Forest City. Tickets are available for purchase from 6 p.m. at the site on a first-come, first-served basis, and each ticket costs $3, regardless of age.

🎄Santa Visits: 
Meet Santa on the stage at POPS (Pavilion On Park Square) on December 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m.

Forest City NC Christmas Lights

🎄Ice Skating: 
The synthetic ice rink, popular for all ages, will be available on December 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd. Situated across from POPS at Park Square, the rink offers skating fun at a cost of $9 per individual, which includes the use of skates.

🎄Additional Attractions: Don’t miss the largest lighted ornament in the region at POPS, along with hot chocolate, cider, and coffee on sale during the festivities on Fridays and Saturdays

Forest City NC Christmas Lights, Giant Ornament

🎄Local Food Trucks: You will find a selection of food trucks near the Rutherford County Farmers Market.

Forest City NC Christmas Lights

Things to Do Near Forest City NC

If you are looking for more festive things to do, here are some great things to check out.

Shadrack’s Drive Through Light Show at Tryon International Equestrian Center
Address: 3580 Pea Ridge Road, Mill Spring, NC 28756

Experience a magical 1.25-mile path that you drive through. Along the way, you’ll see hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights that light up and dance to music, making you feel the holiday magic for about 30 minutes. On select days, you can even go ice skating and explore the Winter Village. For an additional cost, you can even meet the Grinch and Santa Claus, play in bouncy houses, and ride on a merry-go-round. There’s something fun for everyone to enjoy!

Shadrack’s Drive Through Light Show at Tryon International Equestrian Center

✅ McAdenville, NC “Christmas Town”
Address: McAdenville, NC

McAdenville is a special town that loves Christmas! From December 1st to 26th, when it gets dark, the whole area lights up with tons of colorful lights until 10 p.m. You can see big, bright trees and a beautiful lake with floating trees. Plus, people decorate their houses just for you to see. Remember to walk on the sidewalks and enjoy all the twinkly lights and music!  You can also choose to drive through the area, but we prefer to get out and walk. McAdenville is about an hour’s drive from Forest City.

Christmas Town USA Does it snow in North Carolina

​​Where To Stay near Forest City NC

📍Hampton Inn & Suites Forest City – The Hampton Inn & Suites in Forest City offers guests a comfortable retreat with free WiFi; choose from King or Queen bedrooms. Enjoy the convenience of a 24-hour front desk, satellite TV, and a complimentary breakfast. It’s an ideal stay for those visiting the city’s festive lights.

📍Holiday Inn Express Forest City, an IHG Hotel – At the Holiday Inn Express Forest City, guests are treated to well-appointed rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi and in-room microwaves and refrigerators. The hotel, favorable for couples, includes free parking, a fitness room, and a daily breakfast. 

📍Cottage on Main – This centrally located Forest City apartment offers a two-bedroom cottage within walking distance of the downtown area. It features free WiFi and one bathroom, providing a comfortable stay close to local attractions like the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

📍Cozy Carriage House in Downtown – Discover the charm of a remodeled Carriage House in Forest City, perfect for you and your furry friend. With a stylish 2021 makeover, this pet-friendly retreat boasts a private entrance, a spacious living area with a Smart TV, and a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The Queen Master bedroom offers crisp bedding and a spa-like bathroom for relaxation, featuring one bedroom and one bathroom.

Forest City NC Christmas Lights: FAQs

📌 When do they turn on the Christmas lights?
The Christmas lights in Forest City are turned on during the annual Lighting Ceremony, which is scheduled for Thanksgiving night, November 23, at 7 p.m.

📌 How much is it to see these Christmas lights?
There is no charge to view the Christmas lights in Forest City; we encourage you to support the local businesses while you are in town.  

📌 How long will the Forest City Christmas lights be on?
The Forest City Christmas lights will be illuminated each night from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., starting from Friday, November 24, through Monday, January 1, 2024.

Forest City NC Christmas Lights

Final Thoughts

The brilliant cascade of lights that adorns Main Street does more than just brighten the evening sky; it warms the souls of those who meander through this delightful holiday setting. Let the warmth and light we’ve shared during these festivities be our guiding star throughout the year ahead.

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