On the second weekend of August, 1689, Waldenses from Peidmonte, Italy rose from three years of peril to return to their homeland and rebuild their lives. We are so lucky to have been able to celebrate the Glorious Return with you, and Waldensian Settlements across the world, for 44 years now. From wine making that originated in those small valleys of Italy, to live music of yesterday and tomorrow, the Waldensian Festival brings locals and visitors together to celebrate this unique history and culture we have been so fortunate to carry on.
Family Friday Nights
Celebrate warmer weather in Valdese with our FREE Summer Concert Series! Held every summer from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. Bring your lawn chair and dancing shoes downtown and enjoy variety music from a wide range of local and regional artists.
Events at the Old Rock School
Since first opening in 1923, the Old Rock School has played an important role in the history of Valdese. Initially constructed as a learning environment for local children, it now serves as a multi-functional facility. With a 500-seat auditorium, The Old Rock School is home of the Bluegrass at the Rock Concert Series held monthly from October to April. Well-known musicians such as Doyle Lawson, Ralph Stanley, Dailey & Vincent, and many more have provided top notch performances to audiences.
Independence Day Celebration
The 2020 Independence Day Celebration has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will see you in 2021!
Each year the Town of Valdese celebrates Independence Day by holding an impressive fireworks display on the football field behind the Old Rock School. Regarded as one of the most impressive fireworks displays in the area, the Town of Valdese sponsors this celebration with a brilliant light display that bursts at a lower altitude which allows for a variety of swirls and explosions. Plenty of ooohs and ahhhs for everyone!
The Town of Valdese hosts a variety of Christmas Events each year ranging from our Mingle with Kris Kringle pancake breakfast, to showing classic Christmas movies in the Old Rock School Auditorium. Caroling, Movies, Visits with Santa, Parades, and more! Celebrate the Holidays in Valdese.
Explore our Public Parks
The Valdese Recreation Department offers a wide range of facilities and activities to the citizens of Valdese and the surrounding area. The department sponsors a number of special classes and activities for youth and adults. The recreation department oversees five facilities: Valdese Community Center, McGalliard Falls Park, Children's Park, Fletcher Ballpark, and Tiger Gym.
Located in the rolling foothills of western North Carolina, Valdese is not your average small town. Founded on the rich traditions of 19th century Waldensian settlers, the Town of Valdese honors the heritage and determination of the Waldenses and their journey from the Cottian Alps of northern Italy to edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Burke County during the early 1800’s.
Make Valdese your destination for a unique and educational family outing or bring your church, civic or social group to experience the Waldensian heritage as it is preserved by the Valdese community today. Stop in at the Valdese Tourism Department office located in the Old Rock School on Main Street for day-tripping information or a custom group tour itinerary.
Whether your Valdese visit is a family stopover or a couple’s weekend get-away, you don’t want to miss wine-tasting at the Waldensian Heritage Winery and a trip through the 19th Century at the Waldensian Heritage Museum. You can experience the journey of the Waldensians at the Trail of Faith and take a bird’s eye view of mid-century Valdese at the model train museum operated by the Piedmont and Western Railroad Club. Check our schedule for special events, concerts and showcased arts and crafts exhibits at the Old Rock School Art Galleries.
Shop downtown Valdese for antiques, jewelry, unique gifts, handmade crafts and consignments. Visit our parks for a leisurely picnic or cool off at McGalliard Falls. Spend the evening enjoying one of our many outdoor concerts, festivals, car shows and our must-see outdoor drama, “From This Day Forward.