LAKE LURE, N.C. - On August 18th and 19th of 2017, the Dirty Dancing Festival drew more than 3,400 people to Hickory Nut Gorge from around the nation and from several different countries. They gathered together in the sweltering heat of August to have fun and experience joy in our midst. They danced, sang, dined, shopped, and lodged in our Gorge with you, our valued Chamber members. And all of it was made possible by bringing this beloved event back home to local ownership in 2016.
This year's event was particularly special because it celebrated the would-be 65th birthday of Patrick Swayze, as well as the 30th anniversary of the film. Throughout the weekend, a group of seven journalists and highly-acclaimed bloggers were treated to an action-packed two days of visiting not only the festival, but several of our area attractions, lodging properties, and restaurants.
The day included dance lessons and performances by the Asheville Ballet and the new addition of a Kellerman's Talent Show where attendees were selected to actually practice and perform on stage with the Ballet! The bands also kept people dancing to both music from the movie and 60s beach and soul songs. The addition of a shag dance tent attracted dancers all day long, and resulted in our biggest shag competition yet!
While the day was full of "magic moments," our hearts were officially stolen during the lake lift competition when second place couple - Brandon Sangster & Kimberly Miller - got engaged!
Until 2018, enjoy these images from the 2017 Dirty Dancing Festival