Performing Arts

91st Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

Emma McDowell

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the country’s longest-running folk festival, celebrates 91 years this August. The event will run August 2–4 at A-B Tech/Mission Health Conference Center near downtown Asheville. A sister event to the weekly Shindig on the Green, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928. “The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival refl ects the music, dance and storytelling traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains,” says Linda Smathers, a member of the Folk Heritage Committee, which plans these events. “For decades, many families and friends have gathered together to share these traditions, and performing at the festival has been a way to showcase the most accomplished.” This year’s festival will have a longer intermission to allow jamming and interaction with the performers in the lobby and outside area of the event space.

A different show will take place each night of the festival at 6:30 p.m. The performances will feature traditional and old-time musicians, ballad singers, mountain dance groups and cloggers. “Our mission is to entertain and educate people who attend from all over the world,” says Smathers. “By focusing on these long-standing cultural traditions, we are providing the local and regional community with an experience they might not fi nd in other venues.”

A-B Tech/Mission Health Conference Center is located at 340 Victoria Road in Asheville. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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