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  • Jamie Killian

Shopping, Santa, and (Reverse) Parades — Celebrate the holidays all month long

The final stretch of 2020 is among us and there are still plenty of chances to make some great memories this year. From supporting local businesses to seeing Santa to getting crafty, there are plenty of opportunities to get yourself, your kids and your guests out and about in a safe way.

Photo Courtesy of Avalon Mountain Community


Graphic Courtesy of Mount Holly Chamber

Downtown Mount Holly

November 27-29, 10 a.m.

Support local businesses in downtown Mount Holly and get your holiday shopping done early. There will also be a chance to win a gift basket filled with exciting prizes from downtown shops. Stop by The Summit Beer Shop, Catalyst Mercantile or the Mount Holly & the Makers Market for a bingo card. As you shop, have the retailers complete your bingo card to enter to win the basket.

Mount Holly Christmas Tree Lot

Photo Courtesy of Visit Mount Holly

226 S. Main Street, Mount Holly

Beginning November 27, Daily 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Looking for a Christmas Tree in a nostalgic Christmas lot? Stop by Mount Holly Farmer's Market for trees, wreaths and more.

District 8's Black Friday Stout Party - Belmont

District 8 Beer Co. - Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

900 South Fork Village Dr., G-03, Belmont

November 27, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Stocking up on Christmas brews? Stop by District 8 Beer Company for their stout party. Enjoy one in the shop and grab some to take home to drink or cellar.

Holidays at the Garden - Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

6500 S. New Hope Rd., Belmont

November 27 - January 3, Wednesday - Sunday, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Enjoy lights, orchids, food and beverages at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden's Holidays at the Garden. From Wednesday - Sunday now through January 3, guests can experience holiday spirit while wandering the garden. Grab food from a food truck or bring your own dinner at this socially distanced event. Tickets are required. Find information here.

Art Show/Sale & Live Music - Fryeday Coffee Roasters

Photo Courtesy of Fryeday Coffee Roasters

Fryeday Coffee Roasters, 106 E. First St. Unit B, Lowell

November 28, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Local coffee roaster and French pastry shop, Fryeday Coffee Roasters, is hosting local makers for an art sale featuring photography, pottery, woodworking and hand-painted barn quilts. Grab coffee, wine or beer and enjoy shopping locally to the tune of local musician, Jack Fontana.

Small Business Saturday - Belmont

Photo Courtesy of Belmont

Downtown Belmont

November 28, 10 a.m.

Participate in Shop Small Saturday by visiting Downtown Belmont. For each store you spend $100 or more in, you will be entered to one of five $1,000 shopping and dining sprees in downtown Belmont.

South Street Shop Small- Gastonia

Graphic Courtesy of Downtown Gastonia Businesses

South South Street, Gastonia

November 28, 1 p.m.

Hosting community events from wine tastings to local shopping, patrons can enjoy a beverage and take a look at offerings from local vendors at Gaston Pour House during their South Street Shop Small event. There will be several small businesses featured, like Wren and Ivy Salon & Boutique as well as a hot cocoa bar from 1 p.m.- 2 p.m. and a wine tasting from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. The shopping ends at 5 p.m. with live music starting at 6:30 p.m. Stay for dinner and make a day of it. No ticket required.

Letters to Santa - Downtown Cherryville

Photo Courtesy of Downtown Cherryville

220 E Main St. Cherryville

November 28 - December 17

Drop your letters to Santa in downtown Cherryville, courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce. Be sure to get them in by December 17 so they make it to the North Pole right on time.

December Events - A Little Bit of Art

A Little Bit of Art Painting Event - Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

A Little Bit of Art, 900 South Fork Village Dr. #G2, Belmont

Dates and times vary

Check out A Little Bit of Art’s calendar of December events for fun activities for you and your family. Paint classic ceramic trees or make Christmas ornaments to get in the holiday spirit. You can also walk-in to create masterpieces to give as gifts or decorate your home, all with a warm coffee and baked goods from The Wandering Cup. Bring the kids for special kid-focused events.

Christmas Town U.S.A. Lights Display - McAdenville

Photo Courtesy of @NorthCarolina

Town of McAdenville

December 1 - 26, Daily 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

What would a Gaston County Christmas be without Historic McAdenville? Drive through daily beginning December 1 to see the largest lights display in the state.

Virtual Gingerbread House Contest - Cherryville Chamber of Commerce

Photo Courtesy of Cherryville Chamber of Commerce

Countywide, Virtual

December 1 - 11

Got an artistic edge or love building gingerbread houses? Try your hand at getting crafty in Cherryville's virtual contest. Submit your photos via Cherryville's Chamber of Commerce Facebook to be voted on by followers. Winners receive a $100 gift card to the Cherryville business of their choice, just in time for Christmas shopping.

Cruise Thru Christmas Parade - Belmont

Graphic Courtesy of Montcross Area Chamber

North Main Street, Belmont

December 1, 3:30 p.m.

Think parade, but reversed. This year’s event will focus on COVID safety by having the floats and performers remain stationary while visitors drive through to enjoy the parade. Attendees are encouraged to join the holiday fun by decorating their cars. Those wishing to attend should enter from the Wilkinson Boulevard and Main Street intersection and are asked to remain in their vehicles when enjoying the event. Downtown parking will be available for those wishing to stop and enjoy local shopping and dining. No ticket required.

Mount Holly & the Makers Pop Up Christmas Shop Family Night

Graphic Courtesy of Catalyst Mercantile

Mount Holly Farmers Market, 226 S. Main St., Mount Holly

December 4, 4:00 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Hosted by Catalyst Mercantile, this event will feature cider and hot chocolate, carolers singing holiday songs and Santa for the kids with . Catawba Coffee also on site. Grab some fun holiday gifts, home decor and even a Christmas tree. This is a ticketed event — adults ($10), kids ($5), under five (free) — with limited availability.

Live Music & Food Truck Fridays - Fryeday Coffee Roasters

Live Music at Fryeday Coffee Roasters - Photo Courtesy of Bob Mulholland

Fryeday Coffee Roasters, 106 E. First St., Unit B, Lowell

December 4, 11, 18; 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Fridays in December will feature local food trucks and musicians in a lovely backyard setting in downtown Lowell. Fryeday Coffee Roasters will have wine, beer and snacks onsite so plan to make an evening of it as you wind down the holiday season.

Sip, Shop & Indulge - Downtown Cherryville

Graphic Courtesy of Cherryville Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Cherryville

December 4, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Get out and shop downtown Cherryville Friday, December 4. Peruse shops like Annalise Boutique, Carpenter's Gifts, Victoria-Cole and more. Grab a plate from Cousins Maine Lobster and enjoy a night out on the town. Don't forget your masks!

Annual Christmas Bazaar - Mount Holly

Photo Courtesy of Create in Us

Create In Us Art Studio, 104 S. Main St., Mount Holly

December 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

This annual event is back with a collection of handmade and local goods from vendors. Check their Facebook page for sneak peeks of what to expect. No ticket required.

Farm Springs Pottery Holiday Open House - Dallas

Photo Courtesy of Farm Springs Pottery

Farm Spring Pottery, 251 Springs Rd., Dallas

December 5, 10a.m. - 4 p.m.

Support local and buy a one-of-a-kind gifts. This event will feature unique pottery pieces like mugs, bowls, pitchers and more with freshly baked goods for sale. No ticket required.

Station Street Market - Belmont

Graphic Courtesy of Station

Station, 4 N. Main St., Belmont

December 5, 2 p.m.

Inspired by the talent of their own staff, Station has organized a market right within their walls. They’ll be showcasing local artisans and vendors, including some of their own staff. Attendees can expect vendors like Allison Hester and Steven Swinford while enjoying wine, beer, cocktails and more. No ticket required.

2020 Historic Christmas Village - Dallas

Graphic Courtesy of Gaston County Parks & Recreation

Gaston County Parks and Recreation, 1303 Dallas-Cherry Hwy., Dallas

Virtual Event/Heritage Village

December 5, 2 p.m.

Take the family to Heritage Family for this annual event. Don't forget to get your Christmas photos taken. Pictures of the village will also be posted online during this time for those preferring an at-home experience.

Chunky Knit Trees Workshop-Belmont

Photo Courtesy of AR Workshop

AR Workshop, 65 Glenway St., Belmont

December 6, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

In addition to their Wednesday wine events, AR Workshop has a holiday schedule full of Christmas fun. Add a touch of whimsy to your holiday decor by creating these chunky knit trees. You will be guided by an instructor to create a set of three ($45) or a set of five ($60) trees. Perfect for all ability levels. Register for your spot here and check out their other December events.

Meet Santa - Belmont

Graphic Courtesy of Jekyll & Hyde Taphouse and Grill

Jekyll and Hyde Taphouse and Grill, 10 E. Catawba St., Belmont

December 6, 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.

The jolly guy will pop by Jekyll & Hyde for photo ops and to spread good cheer. There will also be an ugly sweater contest and tree lighting.Dress in your tackiest garb and grab a brew for this day of Christmas fun. No tickets required.

Christmas Holiday Market - Belmont

Graphic Courtesy of Primal Brewery

Primal Brewery, 52 Ervin St., Belmont

December 12 and 19, 1 p.m.

Crafts, life music and great beer. Primal Brewery is bringing you a Holiday market for two weekends in December that will include local vendors from Starving Artist Market CLT. No ticket required.

Christmas at Hogsmeade - Gastonia

Photo Courtesy of Cavendish

Cavendish Brewing Company, 207 N. Chester St., Gastonia

December 12, 12 p.m.- 8 p.m.

A Harry Potter themed holiday event complete with the return of Cavendish’s Butterscotch AmberButter Beer. There will be live music, games, a costume contest and local vendors selling their wares. Make your holiday season a little more magical with a trip to Hogsmeade. No ticket required.

Reverse Christmas Parade- Lowell

Graphic Courtesy of Lowell and Gaston County Parks and Recreation

George Poston Park, 1101 Lowell Spencer Mountain Rd., Lowell

December 12, 3 - 5 p.m.

The City of Gastonia and Gastonia Parks and Recreation are working together to put on this reverse parade. Cars will ride through as parade participants stay stationary. No ticket required. Stop in Fryeday Coffee Roasters for a hot chocolate and French pastry on your way.

Christmas Window Decorating Contest - Loray Mill

Graphic Courtesy of Loray Mill

Loray Mill, 300 S. Firestone St. #200, Gastonia

November 23 - December 17

Winner announced December 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Loray Mill residents are invited to decorate their windows, the grand prize being$250 off their rent. With an incentive like that, there’s sure to be some impressive displays. This is a fantastic opportunity to view some Christmas lights and enjoy some socially distanced holiday cheer. Before December 17, cruise by to see the displays and then tune into Loray Mill’s Instagram liveDecember 18 at 5:30 p.m. to hear the winner announced.

Special Olympics Gaston County Winter Paint Party - Gastonia

Photo Courtesy of Special Olympics Gaston County

Bradley Center, 1200 Modena St., Gastonia

December 18, 4 p.m.

This virtual event will have participants pick up kits between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on December 18. Kits are $20 and include your favorite piece (choose from a Christmas tree, an ornament, or a snowman), paints, a paint brush, a paint palette, a holiday snack, a Special Olympics souvenir, and a homemade Christmas card from an athlete. To register for this event, please send your name, and your selection to no later than December 11 for a fun way to support the Special Olympics of Gaston County.

First Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at CityCade - Gastonia

Graphic Courtesy of CityCade

CityCade, 122 S. Oakland St., Gastonia

December 26, 7 p.m.

Not ready to leave the holidays behind just yet? Come out for CityCade’s first annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. There will be a cash prize for the ugliest sweater, food, drinks and a 50/50 raffle. Come out and enjoy live music and free arcade games wearing your tackiest, tinsliest get-up. No ticket required.

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