Celebrating Bethania’s 260th Birthday at the 2019 Black Walnut Festival

Just about everyone loves a good end of summer festival on a warm September afternoon.

Hanging out with friends while enjoying live music, good food, and shopping local craft vendors while sipping a craft brew or two is a great combination.  Now in its 11th year, the Black Walnut Festival at Historic Bethania has all of that going for it and more!

Having made lists like Country Magazine’s “The 15 Small Towns in North Carolina” and “15 Tiny Towns in North Carolina You Must Visit”, the Town of Bethania makes the setting for Black Walnut Festival a unique experience for people that are curious and love getting out to explore history in our area.

There’s a special cause for celebration this year as Bethania marks 260 years since its founding back in 1759.

Best known as Wachovia’s second settlement, Bethania is North Carolina’s first planned community, created uniquely for both Moravian and non-Moravian settlers and designed to be a self-sufficient village that included houses, tradesman shops, a church, school, barns, and gardens.

Now, 260 years later, Historic Bethania is the only example of a European style “open field” agricultural village remaining in North Carolina.  Bethania’s 500-acre Historic District has received the highly-respected designation of National Historic Landmark and contains a number of National Register Nominated buildings.

Dr. Michele Williams, visitor services manager for Historic Bethania, says that several thousand visitors are expected at the 2019 festival. “The Black Walnut Festival has become a tradition in Bethania, held the last weekend in September.  Every year, visitors arrive from across North Carolina as well as many of the surrounding states.  They love our small town and our history.”


To handle the crowds, free parking is provided Bethania Moravian Church on Main Street. A free shuttle service will bring visitors to the center of the festival.

Upon arrival at the festival, visitors may explore vendor booths in the 1790s Wolff-Moser House, the 1894 Alpha Chapel, and throughout the Visitor Center grounds. Live music is planned in the courtyard. Hot dogs, burgers and more including veggie options will be available for sale from the Muddy Creek Cafe.  Staff from Winston-Salem’s Foothills Brewery will be selling cold craft brews for those at least 21 years of age.

While most folks who attend the Black Walnut Festival will be shopping the vendors’ booths while listening to live music, others may wish to hike along the three marked trails near the Visitors Center. One of the trails is aptly named the Black Walnut Bottoms Trail. (Maps of the trails will be available at the welcome table.)

We look forward to seeing you in Bethania!  For more information, please call the Visitor Center at (336) 922-0434.