“It all began with a gardener who wanted to raise funds for the campus gardens of a rural North Carolina community college and a group of musicians who wanted to memorialize a fallen friend and his musician father. It grew to an internationally renowned music festival and fundraiser that contributes more than $17 million to the region annually. It’s MerleFest.”
Merle Fest is an annual Americana music festival held in Wilkesboro, North Carolina on the campus of Wilkes Community College . The festival, which is held the last weekend in April, is named in memory and honor of the late Doc Watson's son, Eddy Merle Watson, who died in a farming accident in 1985. The festival, founded in 1988, now attracts crowds exceeding 85,000 in number, making it the largest folk music festival in the United States. The music is spread across 15 different stages and four days, which promises non-stop excitement for festival goers. The festival has contributed nearly $7,300,000 to Wilkes Community College.
MerleFest, which began in 1988, is about the Music, Moments, and Memories. The Music of MerleFest is “traditional-plus” and Doc Watson himself describes it best: “When Merle and I started out we called our music ‘traditional-plus,’ meaning the traditional music of the Appalachian region plus whatever other styles we were in the mood to play. Since the beginning, the people of the college and I have agreed that the music of MerleFest is ‘traditional-plus’.”
The Moments of MerleFest are those unique experiences that only happen here. It may be two musicians you never expected to see collaborating, a shooting star over The Watson Stage during an evening’s closing set, or that one set that seems to have touched everyone in the audience.
The Memories of MerleFest includes the memory of Eddy Merle Watson, who we honor each day with The Tribute to Merle, and the new memories we create each year we come together to celebrate MerleFest. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for Wilkes Community College.
The dates for 2015 MerleFest are April 23-26. The lineup is available to view, click on the link provided to see the list of great artists and the dates they will be playing … http://merlefest.org/Lineup. You can also go to http://merlefest.org/purchase#tab-1 to purchase tickets.
Ashe County is only about a 30 minute drive up the mountain from Wilkes County. Take a little time and travel on up 421N or 16N and visit our beautiful county. West Jefferson is the main town here in Ashe County, recently voted "Great Main Street". Take a tour and view the murals painted on many of the businesses throughout town, dine in any one of our fine restaurants, and shop in our distinctive shops. A1 Mountain Realty is located in the center of West Jefferson here on main street. Stop by and take a look at all of our listings of some of the most beautiful Blue Ridge Real Estate you will find in North Carolina. What kind of real estate property are you interested in? What kind of budget are you working with? Let us take the stress and worry out of the equation and help you focus on what you're trying to accomplish; finding a NC Mountain home for sale or piece of NC Mountain Land for sale to build that dream home. At A1 Mountain Realty, we put the customer first. Let us walk you through the process. You can view our listings or make a MLS search from our website www.a1mountainrealty.com or call 336-846-4900 and our Ashe County Realtors will be glad to assist you. While on our site click on the Downtown West Jefferson Webcam and check out what's happening on Main Street West Jefferson!
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