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White Squirrel Weekend 2022
June 3 - June 4
Heart of Brevard is excited to announce a new date and focus for the White Squirrel Festival – White Squirrel Weekend 2022! White Squirrel Weekend will take place June 3-4, 2022.
The Heart of Brevard Board and Events and Marketing Committee considered a wide variety of factors before deciding on a date shift and refreshed focus for the 2022 event. “The pandemic related pause in large-scale downtown events allowed our organization to strategically evaluate the programming for 2022 and beyond,” said Billy Parrish, Heart of Brevard Board Chair. “After much conversation with our event partners and our board we felt that 2022 was the year to reinvent the White Squirrel event.”
“As the primary event organizer in downtown, we always want to ensure our impact and footprint are in the best interest of businesses, neighbors and our community,” shared Nicole Bentley, Heart of Brevard Executive Director. 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, a day to remember those who have given their all for our nation.
“I have been involved with helping organize our Memorial Day observances for many years and we have had to deal with various issues associated with conflicts with the White Squirrel Festival,” shared Transylvania County Commissioner Larry Chapman, a 30-year Veteran of the Marine Corps. “My focus has always been on how best to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice, and this has been hard to do in a ‘festival’ atmosphere. Memorial Day is a sacred day of observance, and we need to return to that,” Chapman continued. Plans for a Memorial Day parade and service on Saturday, May 28th are being finalized.
White Squirrel 2022 will kick off downtown on Friday evening and run through Saturday afternoon in the heart of downtown with the festivities continuing into Saturday evening with the NC Guitar Celebration 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.
The weekend wraps up on Sunday with something for everyone. Visitors are invited downtown to enjoy businesses offering curated promotions, brunch specials, music and demonstrations. Cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to register for the 18th annual WNC Flyer road race hosted at Oskar Blues Brewery.
John Felty of Mountain Song Productions and co-founder of the original White Squirrel Festival stated, “I think the White Squirrel Weekend will become a catalyst for partnerships as other organizations coordinate and create complementary events around the county that expand, in an experiential sense, the offerings outside of music and art in downtown.”
“We want White Squirrel Weekend to continue to be our signature event that starts in the Heart and includes all of the cherished elements of previous events–live music, food and retail vendors, children’s activities and white squirrels, of course,” shared Bentley.
Clark Lovelace, Executive Director for Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority is excited for this year’s event, “From a community perspective and a tourism perspective, this is an important event. I am thankful for all of the hard work Heart of Brevard puts into pulling this off every year,” Lovelace said.
The music line-up and schedule for White Squirrel Weekend will be announced next month.
Applications for vendors will be available on Friday, March 11th. Details and deadlines are available at www.brevardnc.org/vendors. Heart of Brevard recently released their 2022 event roster that includes traditional events including a community-wide Independence Day Celebration, Old Time Street Dances, Halloweenfest and a variety of holiday events. Additions to the line-up include the Tuesday Night Block Party Series featuring LEAF Global Arts and Art is in the Air Festival, scheduled for September. For more information about White Squirrel Weekend, follow Heart of Brevard on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to their weekly newsletter, here.