South Carolina is hardly the place you’d expect to find the closest thing to the North Pole. But for four days every year, that’s just what you’ll find in the town of Rock Hill—which is just south of Charlotte over the North Carolina border.
The Rock Hill townsfolk actually love Christmas so much that from Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, the entire town is renamed “ChristmasVille” and transformed into a winter wonderland you have to see to believe.
Now in its twelfth year, ChristmasVille is made possible by 300 volunteers who transform the city’s “Old Town,” allowing you to pretty much step inside an open storybook. Nothing is forgotten, including horse drawn carriages, strolling Dickens carolers, a gingerbread house contest, an ice rink and of course, a visit from Santa. In all, there are more than 70 events at the award-winning festival.
A winter favorite—snow—will even make an appearance! Yes, in South Carolina! In fact, there’s about 20 tons of the white fluffy stuff around!
The event is inspired by Vernon Grant, a children’s book illustrator and artist of the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies characters, Snap! Crackle! and Pop!
Most of the events at the festival are free and open to the public. But if you’ll be one of the lucky ones attending, some events are ticketed. So be sure to check first before heading down there.
Ticketed events include the Fezziwig’s Ball with a silent auction and a multi-course dinner. You can also check out some of Rock Hill’s historic houses all decorated for the holidays.
All of this clearly takes a lot of work, but it seems to be worth it. Not only does it look like tons of fun, but last year, it brought in 75,000 visitors and more than $2 million for the town.
Can’t make it to ChristmasVille? Perhaps one of these other 15 Christmas towns are near you. From Santa Claus, Indiana to Polar Express train rides in Durango, Colorado, Christmas is celebrated in towns all over the country.
And if travel isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of other ways to bring the Christmas spirit right into your own home. From Christmas movie marathons to fun and easy DIY crafts, the holidays can bring joy no matter where you are!