Entertainment and Music Heritage/History Performing Arts

Folkmoot International Folk Festival

Folkmoot International Folk Festival

Fundacion Artistica del Tundam, Colombia (Photo by Vicki Lynn Passmore, thememoryarchive.com)

Folkmoot International Festival Set for July 21–31

Folkmoot USA will present the 33rd annual International Folk Festival, July 21–31. Named by USA Today as one of the Top Twenty Festivals in North Carolina, Folkmoot is a ten-day event featuring more than 250 international performers from ten countries with performances in 11 Western North Carolina communities: Asheville, Bryson City, Canton, Cherokee, Clyde, Franklin, Hendersonville, Hickory, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley, and Waynesville.

Folkmoot, literally defined as “a meeting of the people,” presents fun, educational programs based on cultural exchanges that are designed to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding, and develop community prosperity. Each year, the nonprofit organization Folkmoot USA hosts eight to ten international folkdance and music groups from countries around the globe.

Folkmoot International Folk Festival

“In Folkmoot’s 33-year history, we’ve hosted almost 8,000 performers from approximately 200 countries,” says executive director Angeline Schwab. “Folkmoot performers are primarily college students who are serving as cultural ambassadors for their home countries.”

This year, Folkmoot is expecting musicians and dancers from China, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, Japan, Peru, Poland, and Romania, along with US-based Mexican and Eastern Band of Cherokee performers, plus several regional bluegrass and clogging groups. Performances are developed in collaboration with Appalachian and Cherokee cultures.

Saturday, July 23, activities include Waynesville’s Parade of Nations, featuring Folkmoot‘s international dancers, musicians, and several regional cultural organizations, and Many Cultures Kid’s Carnival, a new free outdoor event including folk dance lessons taught by international performers, artisan booths, a community stage, arts activities with cultural themes, food trucks, games, and community crafts.

Thursday, July 28, the Town of Franklin, along Macon County Arts Council, welcomes Folkmoot dancers and musicians to Main Street for a Parade of Nations before a 7 p.m. performance at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center. Friday, July 29, the City of Asheville, Asheville Rotary and LEAF Community Arts welcome Folkmoot dancers and musicians to the Folkmoot Promenade at Pack Place, before a 7 p.m. performance at the Diana Wortham Theatre.

The public is encouraged to join the fun by dressing in the regalia of their cultural heritage for all Folkmoot events. Volunteers are still needed to prepare the Folkmoot Center and to work special events during the week. Contact Doug Garrett at 828.452.2997 to volunteer.

Prices vary by event and tickets are available at folkmootusa.org, at the Folkmoot Center, or by calling 828.452.2997. Haywood County students are admitted to all performances, except the grand opening and candlelight closing, for 50 percent off adult ticket price.

Visit folkmootusa.org to see the complete schedule and ticket prices, or call the ticket office at 828.452.2997. Find Folkmoot on Instagram (@Folkmoot), or Twitter (@Folkmoot_USA) to take advantage of special ticket promotions. For more Folkmoot photos, visit Folkmoot USA Photos on Facebook and Pinterest.

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