Celebrate Patrick Swayze’s birthday at the 8th Annual Dirty Dancing Festival on Friday, August 18, and Saturday, August 19, in Morse Park Meadows. Co-hosted by the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge and McConnell Group, the widely attended event pays homage to a classic romantic drama. This year, it also commemorates the film’s 30th anniversary.
“The festival attracts thousands of attendees to this area from numerous states and countries around the world,” says organizer Heather Meech. For two days, die-hard fans rally around Lake Lure— the original film site—for beach music, dancing and libations. Food trucks and regional beer, wine and cider vendors get in on the action too.
On Friday, guests will meet with Stacy Widelitz, co-writer for the song She’s Like the Wind. Other activities include dance lessons and performances courtesy of Asheville Ballet and a Lake Lift Competition. After-parties will be hosted at Rumbling Bald Resort, The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa, and Geneva Riverside Lodging and Tiki Bar.
“With more than 16 million likes on Facebook, fans want to celebrate this movie, pay tribute to Patrick Swayze’s life and have fun with people who share a common passion for dance and soul music,” says Meech. “Our festival does just that.”
Morse Park Meadows is located at 2948 Memorial Highway in Lake Lure. Admission is $20 to $25, and tickets are limited. Onsite parking is $5 on Friday night and $10 on Saturday. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit dirtydancingfestival.com.