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Emerson Waldorf School has a tremendously rich and vibrant community.  “Research shows that combining high-quality curriculum and a strong school culture leads to long-lasting academic excellence.” - Beverly Amico, AWSNA

The festival life in Waldorf is unique, simple, and reverent. Families love the community building of the celebrations throughout the seasons of the year.


The Rose Ceremony

On the first and last days of school each year, the community joins together to welcome our 1st graders and provide a farewell to our seniors. The Rose Ceremonies thus ‘book-end’ the year, bringing it into a full circle.


On a warm fall day at the end of September, when the sky is a bright Carolina blue, you will find the Grade School engaged in watching the choreography of the stilt walkers and sword dancers, listening to the beating of the drums, and enjoying the sweet taste of the prepared “dragon bread!” With their red shirts dotting the big field, they are ready to join in the community spiral in celebration of festivities of Michaelmas! The spirit, enthusiasm, and life can be felt as the activities unfold. 



Fall Faire

Annually on the first Saturday in November, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, the parents and children of EWS provide a wide variety of crafts and activities for children of all ages, fantastic food, storytelling events, live music from students, and much much more. It is a family-run, family-fun event for all, where children and adults alike can make gorgeous, meaningful handmade gifts. In addition to the activities and events, the Artisan Marketplace is where beautiful, handmade, original crafts and works of art can be purchased for giving (or keeping!). We hope you will consider joining us for this unique, wonderful event!

Lantern Walk

On the appointed evening the children gather at dusk in mid-November. Families in the Nursery, Kindergarten and Grades 1-3 gather together for a puppet show or story about generosity and kindness and then with their handmade lanterns they walk together through our candle sparkling lit forest trail, singing beautiful songs.  Once the entire community has reached the Kindergarten playground or Fairy Meadow, all lights join together to brighten the dark night.  We finish by sharing warm cider in the playground or the meadow.

Spiral of Light

In December, students, faculty, and community members are invited to walk a candle-lit spiral path of fresh evergreen boughs, which is decorated with moss, crystals, and stars of gold.  As each approaches the entrance of the spiral, they receive a white candle in a shiny red apple, which they carry along the path.  They light their own candle from the center candle and then turn outward. On the journey back, they place their light on a gold star.  Gradually, the whole spiral is aglow with lights.  Lyre music softly as they depart, their collective lights illuminating our spirits.

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Santa Lucia

St Lucia day is based on a story from Sweden in which a girl with a pure heart spreads a message of good hope to suffering people during a particularly harsh winter. The oldest eleventh grade girl dresses in white and visits each classroom as the second graders sing. They deliver warm, saffron buns to all the students to symbolize light in this cold, dark season.

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May Day &
Grandparents, Special Friends Day

1st Week in May

High School faculty and students sponsor this beautiful festival. Grandparents and Special Friends of our students are invited to join us for a delightful catered lunch and hear from our High School Ambassadors about their unique school journey. Parents arrive and join those gathered to wear flower crowns and dance around the May Pole!