© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
NPR Arts & Life

NC Town Holding Dirty Dancing Festival

Fans of the movie "Dirty Dancing" are gathering in the small mountain town of Lake Lure this weekend for the "Dirty Dancing Festival." Much of the movie was shot there. This year is the 25th anniversary of the film's release.

Everyone knows the line: "Nobody puts baby in a corner.'

Dirty Dancing helped catapult Patrick Swayze into stardom. And it was his death from cancer in 2009 that became the impetus for the Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure in Rutherford County. Lots of people called the town and asked if they were going to do anything special.

Michelle Yelton runs a PR firm in Lake Lure and is the co-founder of the festival. She says the town was prepared to do nothing.

“We threw together a candlelight vigil, and in the pouring rain 750 people came out,” Yelton says. “So that got us to thinking maybe we should do something to celebrate the film in an ongoing way.”

Yelton says the festival now gets around 2,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada who come to hear live music, take dance lessons, and re-enact the famous scene where Swayze lifts Jennifer Grey over his head in the lake. It all kicks off tonight with a lakeside screening of the film.

“There’s something magical about watching it on the lake that it was filmed [at] outside with a bunch of other people who love it just as much,” Yelton says. “The cheering and the clapping, it’s kind of euphoric.”

Yelton also says there’ll be happy birthday sing-along for Patrick Swayze. He would have turned 60 tomorrow.