U.S cities named after your favorite holiday
Holidays are a big deal in the United States. Don’t take our word for it—the numbers speak for themselves. Every September, 23.7 million turkeys are hatched to feed Americans at Thanksgiving feasts. Retail stores in 2017 reported $22.7 billion in December sales from folks rushing to buy presents for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. And that’s just retail: Another $61.4 billion poured into online merchants that same month. For Easter, candy makers churn out about 90 million chocolate bunnies. And a whopping $825 million goes into buying fireworks every year for Fourth of July festivities.
Whether religious or non-secular, uniquely American or imported from another place, holidays have had a lasting impact on the nation’s culture since its founding. So perhaps it’s no surprise that there are plenty of cities, towns, and unincorporated communities with holiday-related titles—many of which celebrate their namesake in style. Stacker came up with a list of 26, which have a range of namesakes and traditions. This list just might inspire you to celebrate the holidays somewhere new this year.
The town of Christmas, Mich., was named by a man who started a roadside holiday gift factory in 1938. The factory may be long gone today, and there may only be 400 people calling Christmas home, but the name has stuck in the teeny resort town. Factory or not, there are still tons of Christmas-related signs and shops and plenty of roadside Santa statues.
A railroad crew finished laying tracks in this depot on Feb. 14, hence the town’s name. Today, the town—with a population of just 200—gets busy around Valentine’s Day, when people send cards there to be re-mailed as Valentines from Valentine.
Located 100 miles from Lubbock, Turkey is best-known for being the hometown of Bob Wills, a Western swing artist. Still, as you might expect, turkeys seem to be the town's unofficial mascots. PETA petitioned the town in 2011 to briefly change its name to "Tofurky” for Thanksgiving. The town, however, declined.
North Pole, Alaska
As you might expect, Christmas is a big deal in this chilly town. The annual Winter Festival in December comes complete with fireworks, an ice-carving festival, and a community tree lighting. But the fun doesn't stop after the holidays: You can drop in for a photo with Santa at the "Santa Claus House” all year long.
This Oregon town sitting along the banks of the Willamette River lights up on Independence Day. Among the usual events are a Fourth of July parade, carnival, family events, and two fireworks shows.
Santa Claus, Arizona
Once known as a year-round, Christmas-themed town off Route 66, Santa Claus is more spooky than Jolly these days. That's because it’s now a ghost town. A realtor named Nina Talbot founded Santa Claus in 1937 as a Christmas-themed resort town in the middle of the sweltering desert. The idea worked for a time, with plenty of travelers stopping through along their east-west routes. But the town hit hard times in the '70s and was officially removed from Arizona maps by the middle of the decade. Many of the long-abandoned relics are still standing, making Santa Claus a popular attraction once again for photographers and tourists.
A group of missionaries founded Bethlehem on Christmas Eve in 1741 in honor of the biblical city. Today, Bethlehem is known for its colonial history and for being a "Christmas City.” Each year, the city throws a massive Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) complete with ice carving and glass ornament making.
Locals are unsure whether Hell, Mich., was named because the founder allegedly proclaimed that the place could be called Hell for all he cared, or from a misunderstood German phrase. Whatever the case, Hell embraces its Satanic name with lots of spooky storefronts and businesses as well as Halloween celebrations lasting two weekends leading up to the holiday.
St. Joseph, Michigan
Named for the husband of Mary and father of Jesus, St. Joseph takes Christmas very seriously. The port town puts up a dazzling display of Christmas lights at one of its waterfront parts from early December through Valentine’s Day.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Though it was originally named North Tarrytown in the late 19th century, the village adopted its better-known name in 1996: Sleepy Hollow. The town became famous for Washington Irving’s "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which referred to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Today, Sleepy Hollow celebrates its haunted history during Halloween with cemetery tours, a "Jack O’Lantern Blaze” featuring more than 7,000 artistically carved pumpkins, a haunted hayride, dramatic readings of the Irving story, and more.2018 All rights reserved.