Ed has been a part of Folkmoot since its inception more than three decades ago. Along with founder Clint Border and a group of community leaders, he helped kick start this great organization. He has continued to be an active volunteer and champion for Folkmoot. At their recent annual meeting, The Board Of Directors recognized Ed by giving him the Director Emeritus Award for his long service, advocacy, and consistent support of Folkmoot.
Ed and his family have been coming to Folkmoot for years, and the tradition now extends to Ed’s grandchildren. Even the family members who are no longer nearby try to attend Folkmoot Festival whenever they can. He says it is part of their children and grandchildren’s heritage.
Two of Ed’s favorite events are the Gala and the Candlelight Closing. He thinks the closing event is such a moving ceremony because of the emotions surrounding the formation of new friendships from around the world that often last a lifetime. When asked about a favorite memory, he finds it difficult to come up with just one, as there have been so many over the years. However, he notes that he loves to see the performers’ enthusiasm about coming to the U.S., many for the first time, and also the mutual excitement of the hundreds of hard-working volunteers each year who help make the festival a success.
Ed also believes that Haywood County hosting these international guests is a big responsibility because the county is representing American culture. He adds that Folkmoot’s successes are the region’s successes. “Folkmoot has helped bring Western North Carolina together. Haywood County has collaborated with surrounding counties to successfully run the festival, which has created a special fellowship in the region.”