Celebrate Heritage In Burke County

Burke County, NC

Festivals are one of the main ways that we celebrate heritage in Burke County. In Valdese, every year in August, the town celebrates the Waldensians, a group of people who escaped religious persecution in Italy and eventually settled Valdese. The local theater company, the Old Colony Players, act out an outdoor drama called From This Day Forward, that beautifully tells the story of the Waldensians on Fridays and Saturdays for a month leading up to the main event, the Waldensian Festival, the second weekend of August every year. 

The Waldensian Festival honors Waldensian Tradition by highlighting local craft vendors, hosting their annual bocce tournament and serving their delicious food. The festival also includes live music, a classic car show on Friday, amusement rides, and more. Everything will take place in downtown Valdese, for more information visit

The town next door, Morganton, also has a big festival every year called the Historic Morganton Festival. Listed as a Top 20 Event for 2021 by the Southeast Tourism Society, this is a must-do event. Usually the first weekend in September, this year the festival will be three weekends long, starting August 27th and going through the first two weekends in September. This year’s festival will feature concerts on Friday nights followed by local artisans, jugglers, stilt walkers, etc on Saturdays. For the full list of events visit

The Burke County Tourism Development Authority is located in Morganton, North Carolina, and serves the tourism interests of Burke County, NC.  Morganton is hailed as, “The Trailhead of Western North Carolina”, centrally located in Burke County. Our Visitor’s Center is full of information about unique attractions and activities in the area. Stop by and visit us! or visit www.discoverburkecounty.com

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