Valdese, NC – On the second Saturday of each August, Valdese, North Carolina celebrates its heritage with the Waldensian Festival. Now in its 41st year, the festival will be held on August 12th and 13th. This annual event commemorates the return of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689. This event, known as the Glorious Return, is celebrated all around the world by other Waldensian communities.

On Friday evening the main street will close at approximately 5:30pm and as in past years, Myra’s will be hosting a cruise in with over 150festival_logo_2016_with_date beautiful refurbished antique and classic cars. The Main Stage area will be located on the Main Street and America’s Got Talent Season 10 Finalist and Valdese native, Benton Blount will provide an evening of fun and a wide variety of musical entertainment. Amusement rides will be available for children beginning at 5:00pm just off the main street area across from the Valdese Fire Department.

Saturday morning events begin at 9:00am with over 170 craft and food vendors lining Main Street. Walk up and down the main street and find that perfect gift you have been looking for or try some of the yummy festival food. The Main Stage will feature Wright Way Dancers, Gravity Check Juggling, and numerous musicians including Pan Jive Steel Drum Band, Carson Hill, the Waldensian Singers, and Michael Hefner and Friends. For those that are sports minded…check out the Waldensian Footrace at the Valdese Recreation Center or the Regional Bocce Tournament held at Le Phare Des Alpes.
Other activities throughout the day will include a Church Service (11:00am) and traditional Waldensian Meal at the Waldensian Presbyterian Church, Festival of Faith organized by director of the Trail of Faith, Timothy Tron.

Located at the Old Rock School attendees are invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award as part of the Open Art Competition and the Piedmont and Western Railroad Museum located in lower level of Rock school will host their Open House.

All attractions will be open during the day and a shuttle bus will be available to transport visitors to the different sites. The shuttle bus will be located at the Waldensian Museum on Rodoret St South. The outdoor drama “From This Day Forward” will present their final performance for the season. The evening will conclude with the Too Much Sylvia providing the perfect mix of music to end the 41st Annual Waldensian Festival.

For further information regarding the Waldensian Festival or other events in Valdese, go to or call 828-879-2129.