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White Squirrel Weekend in Brevard: A Fresh Take on an Enduring Tradition

Photo by Seyl Park

Heart of Brevard (HOB) is excited to announce a new date and focus for the formerly named White Squirrel Festival. The event, now known as White Squirrel Weekend, takes place Friday and Saturday, June 3–4. A key factor in moving the date from Memorial Day weekend was the desire by HOB and its partners to honor the original intent of Memorial Day.

“As in the past, we’re expecting more than 30,000 attendees over two days, sprawling through the heart of downtown Brevard for a celebration of local and regional music, art, artisan crafts, food trucks and more,” says HOB executive director Nicole Bentley.

White Squirrel 2022 will kick off on Friday evening and run through Saturday afternoon in the heart of downtown. Live music on the main stage features

Empire Strikes Brass as the event headliner Friday night. Davidson River Taiko drum ensemble will also perform, bringing Japanese Taiko to life. The event also includes beer from local craft breweries, arts and crafts from more than 80 jury-selected local and regional artists and artisans, dozens of food vendors and a variety of children’s activities.

“We’re focusing on expanding our family-friendly offerings with groups including LEAF Community Arts, Easel Rider and Asheville Hoop Jams,” says Bentley.

On Saturday, the focus moves away from the main stage as attendees are invited to intimate musical performances throughout downtown at a variety of outdoor and business locations. Saturday evening, the NC Guitar Celebration takes place at the Brevard Music Center. This event is produced by Mountain Song Productions and hosted by WNC native and renowned guitarist Bryan Sutton who has curated an A-list line-up of guitar players and musicians for a concert celebration of the acoustic guitar.

“I’ve been a fan of Bryan since I first heard him play with Ricky Skaggs back in the early to mid 90’s,” says John Felty of Mountain Song Productions. “To have him host this event and curate the lineup we have for the concert is really special.”

The evening will be a variety show by some of the best acoustic guitar players in the region, with different collaborations and ensembles performing. “It’s going to be an incredible musical concert, full of surprises and special moments in one of the best venues to experience live music,” says Felty.

To wrap up the weekend on Sunday, visitors are invited downtown to enjoy curated promotions from businesses, brunch specials, music and artist demonstrations. Cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to register for the 18th annual WNC Flyer Road race hosted by Oskar Blues Brewery.

For more information about White Squirrel Weekend visit BrevardNC.org, and follow Heart of Brevard on Facebook and Instagram.

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