What does Folkmoot mean to you? It means a meeting of the people. Folkmoot is about sharing to me; its about people sharing culture, music dance, ideas, history… it’s the whole idea of sharing things in a very positive manner. It’s a reciprocating relationship, everybody shares something and everybody really gets a lot of meaning out of that.
For Folkmoot 2015 – July 16-26 – you can see schedule performers here and check the performance dates/times and buy tickets here.
How did you get involved in Folkmoot? When I first moved to Waynesville, my boss Ken Wilson (then publisher at The Mountaineer) was on the Folkmoot board. He explained to me about the festival and I was just immediately fascinated. My wife and I had done some traveling in Europe, she was a Spanish teacher, so we obviously had a big interest in international cultures. So it was an immediate bond, something we immediately went after, and thought it would be great for us and interesting for our family and our children.
What is one of your favorite Folkmoot memories? My best Folkmoot memory is sitting on the porch with my daughter and George Escaravage and a Canadian group outside Stuart Auditorium and we started singing songs and… it was just fantastic. It was just us, and the group, and there was that great fiddle player, what was his name… Murray. We just sat there talked and played music, and I mean what a fantastic memory.
Why is it important to pass on the traditions and culture of our ancestors? I mean that’s just obvious. In a fast changing world where things are changing a thousand miles an hour, the idea of holding on to things about who we are and what made us who we are is very important. And it’s easy to forget how important those are and how meaningful they are. Until you share them in a situation like Folkmoot you don’t realize how important they are…you just think oh it’s kind of interesting, we’re going to keep our culture, our history alive, but when you see people actually doing it, and the joy that comes from that and the meaning that comes from that… it’s really special.
Editor’s Note: Scott McLeod is Publisher of The Smoky Mountain News and the author’s proud father.