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 9th and 10th. 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, Main Street will fill with over 150 beautiful refurbished antique and classic cars. The Main Stage area will be located on the Main Street and will feature a blast through the decades with live music from Cassette Rewind followed by Gump Fiction. Break out your leather boots and big hair to kick off the festival 80’s & 90’s style. Bust out those outfits you have been looking for an excuse to wear! Amusement rides will be available for all ages beginning at 5:00pm in the Town parking lot next to Wells Fargo. Rides will be open throughout the event Saturday. Beer and concessions will be available for purchase sponsored by Friends of the Valdese Rec.
Saturday morning events begin at 9:00am with over 150 craft and food vendors lining Main Street. Walk up and down Main Street and find that perfect gift you have been looking for or try some of the yummy festival foods – muscadine slushies, dumplins, po-boys, cheese steaks, pitas and more! Vendors will showcase their wares until 6pm.
The Main Stage will feature performances by, Old Colony Players, Gravity Check Juggling, Tumblemania and numerous musicians including, The Band 28690, Greg Mastin & The Druthers, and Chad Triplett & 2 Lane Black Top. The night will conclude with a special finale by Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot.
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. More information on these events can be found at townofvaldese.com & lpda.us.
Other activities throughout the day will include a Church Service (11:00am) and traditional Waldensian Meal at the Waldensian Presbyterian Church. At the Old Rock School attendees are invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award as part of the Open Art Competition. Also, new this year, art demonstrations will be held in the Waldensian Room on the lower level. Stop by cool off and enjoy the Piedmont and Western Railroad Museum open house. See the layout, meet the members and be amazed by what all is tucked away at the Old Rock School.
Attractions will be open during the day. The outdoor drama “From This Day Forward” will present their final performance for the season at 8pm. Tickets are available online at oldcolonyplayers.com and at the box office.