Valdese, NC – On the second Saturday of each August, Valdese, North Carolina celebrates its heritage with the Waldensian Festival. Now in its 42nd year, the festival will be held on August 11th and 12th. 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 150 beautiful refurbished antique and classic cars. The Main Stage area will be located on the Main Street and will feature live music from The Breakfast Club at 7pm. NEW Amusement rides will be available for children beginning at 5:00pm at the Old Rock School side parking lot.

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 performances by TumbleMania and Gravity Check Juggling, and numerous musicians including Pan Jive Steel Drum Band, Cap’n Jeffrey and the AllSeeing Illusions, The Band 28690, Beauty & The Beats, and will conclude with Blackwater Rhythm and Blues.
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.

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. The outdoor drama From This Day Forwardwill present their final performance for the season at the Fred B. Cranford Amphitheatre on Church Street.

The evening will conclude with the BlackWater Rhythm & Blues providing the perfect mix of music to end the 42nd Annual Waldensian Festival.

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