Editor's note: Matthews Mayor John Higdon announced Nov. 22 that the town's Christmas tree lighting would be moved from Stumptown Park back to the town green. We've changed this story accordingly.

It appears as if Santa’s elf in charge of scheduling has overbooked St. Nick. Dec. 4 has to be the merriest and jolliest day of 2021, even surpassing Christmas when you consider the number of holiday festivals scheduled across the Charlotte region. Here’s a town-by-town look at can’t-miss festivals on the Fourth of December:

Matthews: Hometown Holiday Tree Lighting

Following the Matthews Chamber of Commerce’s Downtown Holiday Stroll (3-5 p.m.), the community can watch an upgraded tree lighting with pyrotechnics at the town green. Get your face painted or a caricature drawn. 

• When: 5-6 p.m.

• Where: 232 Matthews Station Street

• Details: www.matthewsfun.com

Mint Hill: Christmas Parade

This parade is unique because it’s held at night. The route runs along Matthews-Mint Hill Road, from Bain School to Mint Hill Library. Afterward, head to town hall for the official tree-lighting ceremony, food trucks and fireworks.

• When: 5:30 p.m.

• Where: Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill

• Details: www.minthillevents.org

Monroe: Christmas on Main

The Christmas spirit takes over downtown Monroe thanks to a bazaar at 3 p.m. and a Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to stroll through downtown, visit Santa or ride a holiday trolley.

• When: 3-9 p.m.

• Where: Downtown Monroe

• Details: www.monroenc.org

Pineville: Christmas Tree Lighting

Pineville Parks and Recreation complements its annual Christmas tree lighting with fun features like Santa’s mailbox, candy cane hunt and stilt walkers. You can also find crafts, treats and carolers at the event.

• When: 3-5:30 p.m.

• Where: Main Street parking lot beside post office

• Details: www.pinevillenc.gov

Stallings: Christmas in the Park

Stallings Municipal Park plays host to several stations, including one for letters to Santa, selfies with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and decorating gift bags. The tree lighting is the highlight, but there’s also music face painters and balloon artists.

When: 3-6 p.m.

Where: 340 Stallings Road, Stallings

Details: www.stallingsnc.org

Waxhaw: Holiday Festival of Lights

Waxhaw takes on the look of a Hallmark movie filmed during the holidays as more than 1 million lights go live at 5:45 p.m. and shops unveil holiday window decorations. There’s also a carnival ride as well as a live nativity every half hour from 5 to 8 p.m.

• When: 3-8 p.m.

• Where: Downtown Waxhaw

• Details: www.waxhaw.com

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