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WILKESBORO – MerleFest, presented by Window World, will honor Doc Watson’s 100th birthday, and commemorate the festival’s 35th year in 2023. To celebrate the historic milestone, organizers intend to showcase MerleFest’s unique history, celebrate the festival’s diverse, genre-crossing catalog, and present unique artist collaborations to honor the festival’s founding folk icon. For more than three decades MerleFest continues to draw fans from all over the world to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains each spring to make music, moments, and memories together.

Along with recognizing MerleFest’s 35-year commitment to honoring and preserving the musical legacies of Doc and Merle Watson, the festival will also celebrate its founding mission to raise funds for Wilkes Community College. MerleFest is Wilkes Community College’s primary fundraiser and to date has given back more than $19 million to the college and its students. Contributions from MerleFest directly support student scholarships, building improvements, emergency funds for students, and so much more. Local civic clubs and organizations raise greater than $400,000 annually to support their causes by selling food and volunteering their time assisting with various aspects of the festival. Since its inception in 1988, these organizations have been an integral part of what makes MerleFest a success year after year.

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