125th Celebration!

April 29, 2018: Tour of the Past. Spend a Sunday afternoon strolling through many buildings and homes of Valdese that were built by the Waldenses in the early 1900’s. This fundraising event will include transportation to each site with a tour guide and will conclude with a reception at the Waldensian Winery. Tickets will be available to purchase on February 1, 2018 at the Waldensian Heritage Museum. Tickets will be $40 per person or VIP for $60. Event is limited to 100 tickets. Beginning at 2pm at the Old Rock School.

May 26, 2018: 10am Founders Day Festival at LPDA & Valdese Family Splash Park that will have family-friendly activities for all. Activities will include: bocce lessons, courenta, grape-stomping, basket weaving, and more! 

3-7pm: Festival Di Birra in The Waldensian Mill Hatley Room. Beer served by Highland Brewery, food from Taco Bout It food truck, and music from Whitewater Bluegrass Company! Also, the Valdese 125th Anniversary Committee alongside of Highland Brewery has brewed a commemorative beer just for this celebration! Don't miss good food, beer, music, and fellowship. Cheers! - Tickets Available Here

May 28-June 1, 2018: Waldensian Archives/Genealogies and special events at the Waldensian Heritage Museum. Meet with a representative from the Achivio Tavola Valdese of Italy to learn more about your heritage. For more information call 828-874-1111.

June 1-2, 2018: A Cultural Symposium- Four Faces of Waldensianism. Four Faces of Waldensian Witness: Italy, France, Germany, and South America. Special presentations by: Claudio Pasquet: Pastor and Historian of the Waldensian/Methodist Church of Italy. Gabriel Audisio: Writer and Historian of the Southern French Waldensians of the 15th & 16th Centuries. Albert de Lange: Writer and Historian of the Waldensian Settlements in Germany. Javier Pioli: history teacher and graduate in theology from Uruguay on the settlements in Argentina and Uruguay and their ongoing witness today

June 1-July 20, 2018: The Rock School Arts Foundation is collecting photos of Early Valdese for exhibition in the Rock School Arts Galleries in June and July, 2018 for the 125th celebration. They will be accepting pictures of Valdese from the first 85 years of settlement. Three categories of the first 85 years will be displayed: groups, individuals, and places in Valdese or the Valleys. Each person is limited to submit 5 photos. The Rock School Arts Foundation will be receiving photos at the Old Rock School on May 29 & 30th, 2018. Reception June 3rd.

June 25-28, 2018: Community-wide Vacation Bible School at the Trail of Faith. Themes covered: Waldo and his movement of preaching starting with the 12th century; The importance of education to the Waldensians; What Waldensians believe; Arnaud and the Glorious Return; The Settlement of Valdese. Churches participating in the Valdese Ministerial Association will work together to present this educational opportunity each night. Begins at 6:30pm.

July 13-August 11, 2018: “From This Day Forward” Historic Outdoor Drama of the Waldenses- tickets available for purchase at Fred B. Cranford Amphitheatre box office or at the Old Rock School.

August 10-11, 2018: Annual Waldensian Festival to celebrate The Glorious Return. Regional Bocce Tournament at the LPDA.

December 1, 2018: Valdese Annual Christmas Parade - Wear your Waldensian outfits to celebrate the 125th year of Valdese!

December 9, 2018: Community-Wide Moravian Love Feast Service. 5:00pm at Waldensian Presbyterian Church.

The Train is Coming...

In honor of Valdese celebrating 125 years since their founding in 1893, the Valdese Public Arts Commission and the Town of Valdese have come together to create a commemorative art piece that will be located across from Valdese Town Hall on Massel Avenue. The art installation will depict the arrival of the original Waldensian settlers who came to Valdese on May 29th, 1893 as they departed the “No. 11” train at the Valdese Depot.

The installation will be created by the artists of Oak Hill Iron & Wood of Morganton and was designed by local artist Greg Mastin. The project will feature a full scale train and silhouettes of original settlers made out of iron. Standing between twelve and fifteen feet tall and extending parallel to Massel Avenue for over thirty feet, the installation will honor those who founded Valdese. The original settlers will be listed on a bronze plaque which will be created by the Waldensian Heritage Museum. The project will be installed during the summer months of 2018 and will make its debut at the Waldensian Festival on August 11th, 2018.

The cost for the installation has been pledged by the Valdese Public Arts Commission, the Town of Valdese, and Waldensian Heritage Museum. The Valdese Public Art Commission would like to request your support for this tremendous project. Your contributions will be used for landscaping, lighting and a boardwalk extension. Those interested in making a donation can mail or bring check or cash to the Waldensian Heritage Museum or the Valdese Community Affairs Office located at the Old Rock School. No donation is too big or too small and any support you provide will be greatly appreciated. Your tax deductible contributions will add additional features to the installation and will help to make this project even more of an iconic image for the Town of Valdese. Help us celebrate 125 years of our hometown!

Project updates will be available at www.valdese125.com | Call 828-879-2129
Donations can be made by:
Checks payable to: Waldensian Heritage Museum
*Please note - 125 TRAIN ART - in the memo line | Mailed to: Valdese Tourism Dept. - P.O. Box 655 Valdese NC 28690

The Waldensian denomination of the Christian church remains one of the more mysterious sects in history. While much ink has been spilled about the most common Protestant denominations, the simple, humble faith of the Waldensians gets lost in the shuffle. Kevin E. Frederick puts an end to this inequality by providing a detailed account of the Waldensians, from their formation in 1172 to the present day. Frederick includes in-depth analysis of many aspects of the church, including the biography of its passionate founder, the causes of its spread throughout Europe and the Americas, the consequences of its merger with the Arnoldists and the Swiss Reformed Movement the impact of its many acts of charity, and the tragedies of its persecution during the Catholic Inquisition and Nazi regime In the face of numerous massacres and other atrocities, the Waldensians’ convictions never wavered. In 2015, they were finally given an important and unprecedented message from the pope himself, but that is not the end of their story. The Waldensians are still practicing their faith in Italy, South America, and North America. Inspired by their own past, they work to protect and support some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.  

Copies of the book are available at the Waldensian Museum, the Waldensian Presbyterian Church and on line through Amazon books. 


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