2019 Folkmoot Festival Schedule

2019 Folkmoot Festival Schedule • July 18-28

The Folkmoot Festival calendar begins on the third Thursday each July and operates through the last Sunday of the month. Folkmoot invites performance groups from 7-9  diverse international countries along with local Cherokee and Appalachian performers each year.  Audiences can expect approximately 200+ dancers and musicians to share culture through music and dance at events throughout western North Carolina – venues between the Cherokee Qualla Boundary and Hickory, North Carolina.

Weekend events are scheduled in Haywood County, usually – but not always – including the towns of Waynesville, Canton, Maggie Valley, Clyde and Lake Junaluska.

Weekend one includes a Gala for Friends of Folkmoot, Camp Folkmoot for youth, A Parade of Nations, Many Cultures Day and the Sunday Soiree, a new event featuring contemporary folk music and dance. Weekend two includes International Festival Day and several special seated events including the Candlelight Closing at Lake Junaluska.

Since the 2015 festival, Folkmoot has worked to diversify festival activities and shift from an entertainment “audience” model to an educational, “engagement” framework for the festival. What does this mean for our ticket buyers? We will continue to host festival favorites at concert halls and auditoriums across western North Carolina, but we will also offer more activities that allow for your participation.  From community members playing in the international band, dance lessons on Main Street, Camp Folkmoot for kiddos, Cultural Conversations panel discussions, community dinners at local churches, educational partnerships with Rotary International, Western Carolina University faculty and Haywood County Schools music programs, Folkmoot is building new opportunities for our communities and international guests to experience and celebrate culture.

Thursday, July 18

Gala Under the Stars

The Folkmoot Gala is the kickoff celebration of the summer festival and is our annual fundraiser supported by the Friends of Folkmoot, sponsors and their guests. The Gala is held outdoors under the big tent in the field adjacent to the Friendship Center and in the Queen Auditorium.

Friday, July 19

Camp Folkmoot

“Camp Folkmoot” is a one-day dance camp for kids and teens between 3rd and 12th grades. The camp is open to dancers of all abilities who are inspired by dance and cultural arts.

Matinee Performance

Join Folkmoot for an afternoon matinee at Queen Auditorium. Festival matinees include all international cultural groups and offer opportunities for interaction with performers. 

Grand Opening Extravaganza

On the first Friday of the Festival, more than 200 dancers and musicians from around the globe will share their folk dance traditions at Folkmoot’s Grand Opening performance.

Saturday, July 20

Parade of Nations

Join Folkmoot in a 36 year tradition and “meet the world” on Main Street. All international groups plus local groups will be in attendance.

Many Cultures Day

Many Cultures Day is an outdoor event in the greenspace on Virginia Avenue, featuring interactive activities for youth and the young at heart.

Evening Performance

Experience the wonder of folk dance, world music, colorful costumes and international culture in this all group performance at Haywood Community College.

Sunday, July 21


Folkmoot’s outdoor “folkways” gathering is a Hazelwood-style barbeque picnic held on Sunday, July 21st that features nationally touring Americana musicians, Plott Hound and timber sports, southern storytellers, crafts vendors and demonstrations sharing Appalachian cultural practices.

Monday, July 22

Cherokee World Games

Welcoming eight international countries to the Qualla Boundary, the Cherokee World Games are a multi-sport cultural event hosted by Cherokee cultural performers and stickball teams. This event includes cultural demonstrations and ball, precision, artistic, trend and strength sports that encourage Folkmoot’s groups to engage with the community and each other and to celebrate and share culture.

Tuesday, July 23

Evening Performance

Join Folkmoot for an always memorable performance in Canton at the gorgeous Colonial Theatre on Tuesday, July 23rd!

Wednesday, July 24

Blue Ridge Community College

Experience the wonder of dance, music, costumes and culture at this all group performance at the Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall in Hendersonville, NC.  Enjoy an all group performances with over 200 international dancers and musicians.

Diana Wortham Theater

An evening performance at the wonderful Diana Wortham Theater! Experience the wonder of dance, music, costumes and culture at this all group, evening performance featuring over 200 international dancers and musicians.

Thursday, July 25

Folkmoot After Dark

Our Lantern Parade, Friendship Dinner and Variety Show are all a part of Folkmoot After Dark!

Friday, July 26

Queen Auditorium Matinee

Join Folkmoot for an afternoon matinee at Queen Auditorium. Festival matinees include all international cultural groups and offer opportunities for interaction with performers. Without exception, the auditorium is the most intimate performance space of the festival.


Canton and BearWaters Brewery welcome Folkmoot dancers and musicians to Sorrells Park for an international craft beer, live music, and food truck fair. This inaugural event will feature live music, international pavilions hosted by visiting groups from Colombia, Romania and Nepal and local and regional vendors.

Saturday, July 27

International Festival Day

A Folkmoot Festival tradition on Main Street. Folkmoot will host artisans, food vendors and our international groups on Main Street of Waynesville.

Evening Performance

Experience the wonder of dance, music, costumes and culture in this ALL GROUP performance at Haywood Community College.  Nine groups with over 200 dancers and musicians

Sunday, July 28

Candlelight Closing

Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium is the setting for our closing performance. A beautiful expression of international goodwill, the Closing includes a presentation of flags, performances by all participating cultures, the “Circassian Circle” dance and a candlelight procession of groups through the audience.