Back in the early 1980's, the Recreation Department of The City of Morganton decided to have a fireworks display on the 4th of July. A small amount of money was set aside and a few fireworks were obtained from the neighboring state of South Carolina. That evening, about dark, there was about 10-15 minutes of fireworks on the campus of Western Piedmont Community College. Such was the beginning...
Within a few years this event (with professional fireworks) began gathering crowds which eventually outgrew the facilities of the campus of WPCC. Traffic problems which sprang from the site being located very close to Interstate 40, forced the fireworks to move to the Burke County Fairgrounds.
Now, nearly 30 years later, what had become an annual event (which DID include music of all varieties) is quickly becoming one of the premier bluegrass festivals in the southeastern United States. In 2004, the annual 4th of July celebration became the first annual Red White and Bluegrass Festival. That first year was a 2 day event. Eventually it became a 3 day event, then a 4 day event in 2006. In 2010 it became a 5 day festival, beginning June 30th through the 4th of July.
So far, we have had visitors from all states in the continental United States and many foreign countries as well. Visitors from Canada, England, Switzerland, Germany, France and Japan have all come to enjoy bluegrass in our North Carolina town.