Folkmoot is more social (media) than ever!

Folkmoot is more social (media) than ever!

Folkmoot is more social (media) than ever!

Over the past half-decade of Folkmoot’s 35-year life span we’ve become increasingly more active online, along the digital channels and well into the communications technology of the 21st Century – due in large part to our (mostly) young international dancers and many of our (often young) Haywood County volunteers who are “into” the social media and communicate all year long, becoming great digital friends around the globe.

Digital media – including and especially the social media – have become important tools in the Folkmoot tool chest for spreading peace and cultural understanding not only during the annual festival but all year long as well.

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Folkmoot has always been about connecting with people of different cultures around the world, getting to know them and ourselves and making new friends.

Extending our presence online, in the digital spaces and along the social media, is just one more way to connect with you and around the globe – connect you around the globe.

We look forward to seeing and re-sharing all your Folkmoot experiences. Help us find what you post by using hashtags, #Folkmoot or #Folkmoot2018.  

Folkmoot on FacebookOur Folkmoot Facebook Page has long had an active and growing community and many of you visit and engage with it often – and we’re grateful for that.

 

 

Folkmoot on TwitterThe Folkmoot Twitter presence has increased exponentially in recent months and we’ve added the Folkmoot face to other popular social channels:

Folkmoot on GooglePlusGooglePlus

 

Folkmoot on InstagramInstagram

Folkmoot on PinterestPinterest

Folkmoot on TumblrTumblr

 

 

Folkmoot on YouTubeAnd by the time Folkmoot 2018 rolls around in a month the Folkmoot YouTube channel will be current, up-to-speed and timely.

We’re just continuing the grand Folkmoot party online and we invite you to join us on any or all of the social channels with which you engage most!

Again, we invite you share your Folkmoot experience online – on the social channels you use most (or, maybe even, discover new ones). Please use the hashtags, #Folkmoot and #Folkmoot2018, when sharing. We will try our best to keep up and repost, share whatever you post online.

In addition to our social network channels, many of the dance troupes and individual dancers have their own social accounts as well (unfortunately, too many to list here) and you will no doubt find them posting quite a lot. We encourage you to seek them out, follow them, share with them, engage them. After all, Folkmoot is all about cultural exchange and building peace through friendships. We can do that online, too!!

Folkmoot is community

Folkmoot is community

Folkmoot is community.

Folkmoot has long been known as a festival which bridges cultural differences and expands cultural awareness through the celebration of tradition and dance.

Our visiting dance troupes’ often brilliant costumes, always smiling faces and lively dance steps set to music highlight the festival and speak to festival attendees of each represented nation’s rich and treasured heritage. 

It is a transcendent experience which has sustained the Folkmoot Festival for 35 years. 

We have been steadily adding images from Folkmoot 2018 to our  Videos & Images Page, here on our website. Folkmoot 2018 ended July 29 and we have hundreds of photos and videos taken during the 10-day festival.

In addition to those appearing on our Video & Images page, we also have links to larger collections by some of the areas best photographers and videographers.

Be sure, also, to find on the same page links to the feature pieces we published about individual photographers.

Folkmoot is communityThough commonly identified as a folk festival, folk dance festival or cultural festival the dance performances are really a means to an end: cultural exchange between people of different nations which helps create peace, respect and understanding among all people.  

Folkmoot is really all about community: a community of artists, a community of learners, a community of volunteers, a community of open-minded and curious people, a community of welcoming hosts and a community of guests who travel to our beloved Smoky Mountains to share not only their dance but also their hearts and their hopes.

Folkmoot is about creating a sense of shared community over ideology, politics and issues which often divide us.  Folkmoot says “save what separates us for another day;” “let’s celebrate what brings us together today.”

And celebrate we do.

Though many of the performances’ musical beats and tempos may be different from what we daily hear on the radio and the performers’ accents may not be what we are accustomed to when we go to our places of work or worship, it is in the festival’s celebration of the world’s diverse cultural traditions and dances that we become a richer community, a “unified body of diverse individuals all interacting for the greater good in shared environment.”  

Instead of a community filled with fear and apprehension, the Folkmoot community brings us together and fosters inclusivity and respect. Dance gives us a common denominator which enables us to see our similarities rather than our differences.

Folkmoot’s Rich History and Exciting Future

Folkmoot is community

When Waynesville surgeon, Dr. Clinton Border, returned home after seeing a dance team at an English folk festival, he thought such a festival would be perfect for Western North Carolina, which had its own rich history of preserving its traditional culture.  It took from 1973, when Border made his trip, to 1984 before the first Folkmoot USA event took place.  That year, symbolic as it was also the year that North Carolina celebrated its 400th birthday, welcomed performers from England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico and India.  

In 2002, the Folkmoot Friendship Center leased the former Hazelwood Elementary School, thus giving it a home to expand its programming and activities.  In 2014, the Haywood County school system donated the school to the organization.  Now, this multi-faceted space has created an expanded opportunity for Folkmoot to move from a two week festival to a year-round cultural center, focusing on programs and events that celebrate diversity and differences, encourage cultural conversation and inclusion, and preserve and honor worldwide cultural heritages, especially using dance as a tool to achieve world peace.

Since these humble yet visionary beginnings in 1984, more than 8,000 international performers from 200 countries have entertained and thrilled residents and guests of Western North Carolina.

Our volunteer spotlight shines on Michelle Romberger

Our volunteer spotlight shines on Michelle RombergerOur volunteer spotlight shines on Michelle Romberger

Our volunteer spotlight shines on Michelle Romberger for the countless volunteer hours she gives to Folkmoot.

Together with husband, Keith Romberger, the couple have been actively involved with Folkmoot for 16 years and have made Folkmoot a family adventure by bringing along their son and daugther.

An assistant first grade teacher and bus driver at Hazelwood Elementary School, Michelle loves not only her work with children but she also loves spending time with her family, creating arts and crafts and her Folkmoot volunteer every chance she gets.

Our volunteer spotlight shines on Michelle Romberger
Michelle Romberger

“Volunteering is just who I am, she said. “It’s in my blood.”

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Knowing that she had bus driving experience, one of Michelle’s close friends suggested that she volunteer for Folkmoot as a driver during the festival. She did. But she also soon wanted to branch out within the organization. Michelle is now the Night Lead for the Cafeteria.

She has volunteered countless hours cooking for friendship dinners, creating the menu for the upcoming festival and providing upkeep to the kitchen.

Since her first connection with Folkmoot, Michelle fell in love with the mission of the organization. She calls it an opportunity of a lifetime. Michelle absolutely loved the performers from the Netherlands (including their reappearance at the 2017 Festival). Their joyful spirit, unique personalities and noticeable efforts to interact with her in the kitchen, made the Netherland performers a personal favorite.

We want to thank Michelle for all that she does for Folkmoot. She is a highly valued team member, appreciated for her hard work and positive attitude. She loves to be a part of what makes Folkmoot so special. Michelle believes everyone should volunteer somewhere to help give back to their community. She encourages all lovers of culture, music, and dance to volunteer at Folkmoot.

For more information on volunteering opportunities, contact Catherine MacCallum, operations and volunteer coordinator, 828-452-2997, x105, or fill out this online form.

A Métis dance for the Cherokee people

A Métis dance for the Cherokee people

Métis dance for the Cherokee people will be a featured cultural exchange July 24 when Folkmoot 2018 takes our international dancers to visit our Western Carolina First Nation residents

At least 10 members of our visiting Le Ragazze Italiane dance troupe of Canada, as it turns out, are also members of the Canadian Métis (pronounced, “maytee”) First Nation people. 

A Métis dance for the Cherokee peopleTo honor their visit to Cherokee the Métis members of Le Ragazze will dance a, “thank you,” for Cherokee Principal Chief Richard Sneed and Vice Chief Alan B. Ensley. The dance, one of the most famous Métis dances is, “La Gigue de la Rivière-Rouge,” or as it is known in Michif, “oayache mannin,” or in English, “The Red River Jig.”

Its accompanying fiddle tune is considered an unofficial Métis anthem. The dance is a combination of Plains First Nations footwork with Scottish, Irish and French-Canadian dance forms. The basic jig step is danced in most Métis communities. Dancers often add their own solo dance steps during certain segments of the tune. Some dancers even use solo steps to identify their home community.

The dance and exchange between our Canadian Métis friends and our Cherokee friends is sure to be a highlight of Cultural Ambassador Day in Cherokee, July 24

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

The Red River Jig finds its origins in the Red River Settlement (Winnipeg). One dance origin story explains how the Scottish lived on one side of the river, and the French Canadians and Métis lived on the other. The Scots played bagpipes on the one side of the river, while the people on the other side listened. Then one night a man decided to imitate the bagpipes with his fiddle, turning what was a lament into a rollicking jig that made everyone want to dance.

A short history of the Métis

The advent of the fur trade in west central North America during the 18th century was accompanied by a growing number of mixed  offspring of Aboriginal women and European fur traders.  

As this population established distinct communities separate from those of  First Nations and Europeans and married among themselves, a new Aboriginal people emerged  – the Métis people – with their own unique culture, traditions, language (Michif – a derivative of French and Oji-Cree), way of life, collective consciousness and nationhood.

Distinct Métis communities developed  along the routes of the fur trade and across the Northwest within the Métis Nation homeland. This homeland includes the three Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta), as well as parts of  the Northern United States.

Today, many of these historic Métis communities continue to exist along  rivers and lakes where forts and posts were hubs of fur trade activity from Ontario westward. As well, large numbers of Métis citizens now live in urban centres within the Métis Nation Homeland; however, even within these larger populations, well-defined Métis communities exist.

Consistently throughout history, the Métis people have acted collectively to protect and fight for their rights, lands and ongoing existence as a distinct Aboriginal people and nation within the Canadian federation –from the Métis provisional governments of Riel in Manitoba (1869-70) and Saskatchewan (1885) to contemporary Métis governing bodies. This dedication continues to exist as citizens and communities throughout the Métis Nation Homeland  keep the nation’s distinct culture, traditions, language and lifestyle alive and pursue their own social and economic development. 40,000 people in the city of Winnipeg identify as Métis. For the most part, their first language is French.

The Red River Jig:

Folkmoot expands our community

Folkmoot expands our community

Folkmoot expands our community.

No matter how one may view the annual Folkmoot Festival – North Carolina’s official international folk festival – or Folkmoot’s year-round activities and events, one amazing fact stands out: Folkmoot expands our community.

Folkmoot expands our horizons. Folkmoot broadens our frame of reference. Folkmoot takes us places to learn other cultures, other traditions, other people and other customs.

Folkmoot expands our community.

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

What is a community to you?

Folkmoot expands our communityA community can be defined as a unified body of diverse individuals, all interacting for the greater good in a shared environment. A characteristic of community is a shared commonality and most often we tend to gravitate towards those who are like us.

But stepping out of cultural comfort zones means experiencing new ways of living as well as expanding the knowledge we have about the world.

Community in the world today means so much more than what most people realize; the essence of community is diversity and inclusion, which means bringing our opinions together to make connections but also realizing it is our differences which make a community.

What hurts a community?

Political polarization is the tendency of people to band together around narrow views which ultimately separate and divide us from anyone with a divergent viewpoint. Political beliefs, economic status, religious perspectives, racial biases can all become intellectual vehicles for division and separation with the body politic.

What makes our world so special is our diversity: cultural, linguistic, political and religious. Instead of a world where we try to level ourselves to all be equal, why not accept our uniqueness, embrace it, share it with others so the world continues to learn and grow?

A community is like a flower garden: unique and diverse. Each flower adds to the quality of the garden with color, shape, size and fragrance. The best part? Flowers can grow and bloom beside another flower of different budding, maybe even adapt to the surrounding plants. Just like a garden, we can prosper and grow together despite our differences in political views.

It’s not impossible!

A sense of community, diversity and acceptance is exactly what you will find at Folkmoot. By engaging other countries and cultures, we are able to sublimate our communities into different dimensions of life and, through the process, more fully understand how beautiful it is being different from one another.

There will always be political aspects to a community but understanding divergent ideologies, disparate world views and endless varieties of customs and traditions will break the historical cycle of destruction despite our differences.

A Folkmoot Sunday Soirée – July 22

We're just getting started with Folkmoot 2018!

A Folkmoot Sunday Soirée – July 22 – will feature an evening of locally grown internationally themed delicacies, locally grown young musicians and our Festival Friendship Dinner!

The festive, informative, entertaining and delicious evening will begin at 5 p.m. on the Greenspace at Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Avenue in Waynesville.

Reservations and tickets are available here.

Ticket sales and contributions support Folkmoot programs which sustain cultural arts for youth & families in Haywood County. Parking is available in the back of the Folkmoot building for year-round events.

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailand and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

A Folkmoot Sunday Soirée - July 22Celebrating our second year of the Sunday Soirée, all are invited to experience the foods of eight world cultures, presented by the chefs of the Blind Pig Supper Club with entertainment provided by regional youth celebrating cultural arts.

Performers will represent Appalachian, African, American Jazz and Cherokee cultures. Patrons will have the opportunity to meet and greet Folkmoot’s international performers over dessert!

Our regional performers will include: Appalachian fiddle princess Lillian Chase;  the renown Tuscola High School Jazz Band & Percussion Ensemble; the Urban Arts Institute dance troupe, featuring African-American dance and award-winning Cherokee Vocalist, Dvdaya Swimmer

The Blind Pig Supper Club is a team of talented, young chefs working together in Asheville & Western Carolina; a social event and experience of the arts which brings together the wonderful and unique communities of professional chefs and cooks, artists, musicians, farmers, servers, bartenders, foragers and hunters. Menus and dinner concepts are drafted upon ideas which inspire the group – like Folkmoot – and going beyond and above conventional standards.

The culinary team adheres to strict food philosophies and the use of only local and seasonal vegetables, and local, sustainable meats, fish and seafood on its menus.

Blind Pig has garnered local and national media attention and nationally distinctive awards for its array of cultural preservation, documentation, research and philanthropy through the team’s distinct creation of food and experience.

Folkmoot is honored and grateful to have the opportunity to work with this creative, talented organization.

The Folkmoot Sunday Soirée menu of international cuisine will include calamari and hot pepper frito misto from Italy; kielbasa sausage do with caraway mustard and kraut from the Czech Republic; Thai grilled port with green papaya salad from Thailand; grilled haloumi cheese with fresh her salad from Cypress; Argentinian grilled chicken with chimichurri from Patagonia.

See fiddlin’ phenom Lillian Chase perform:

Shady Ladies cover Frog Level with quilts

Shady Ladies cover Frog Level with quilts

Shady Ladies cover Frog Level with quilts when they gather June 8-10 at the Folkmoot Friendship Center for their 16th annual quilt show.

The featured exhibit of the 2018 quilt show will be the group’s finely crafted quilts depicting favorite images of Waynesville’s Frog Level district, the Richland Creek historic and industrial area emerging as a major artistic and creative center.

“Named for the frogs that emerged after Richland Creek flooding, this area of Waynesville is rich with history and architectural interest,” explained Jane Cole, one of the Shady Ladies quilting group leaders. “Waynesville would not have developed as it did without the railroad, which arrived in Frog Level in 1884.  We felt that the Frog Level buildings are worthy of a tribute in fabric and challenged these talented quilters to represent them on 12 inch quilt blocks.”

Shady Ladies cover Frog Level with quiltsAfter the arrival of the railroad, tourist hotels and boarding houses were built around Main Street.  Frog Level was the center of commerce and industry, with buildings for wholesale grocers, coal delivery, feed and seed warehouses, mills and automobile dealers.

“Frog Level Facades,” the quilt show’s focused exhibit, will include approximately 25 quilts depicting different views of numerous buildings along Water, Depot and Commerce Streets.

The small quilts range from realistic representations to artistic interpretations of buildings such as the Mia Salon & Spa, a Queen Anne dwelling built around 1900; the Frog Level Studio, a one-story building constructed around 1920 as a store with dwelling on the back; the warehouse that is now Panacea Coffeehouse, begun in 1913;  the building housing the Open Door Ministries, built around 1920; and the frame building on Commerce St. built about 1915 as a Ford dealership.

In addition to the Frog Level squares, the Shady Ladies will exhibit 100 of their recently made quilts, ranging from artistic wall hangings to traditional bed quilts.

“The show is really a benefit for the community,” said Wendy Bowen, Shady Lady leader. “All the $5 entry fees will go to Folkmoot and proceeds from our raffle quilt will be divided between Meals on Wheels and the Pigeon St. Community Center.”

The quilt show will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information about the Shady Ladies visit the group’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Find out more about the historic Frog Level district by clicking here.

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Folkmoot’s summer intern comes home, internationally! 

Folkmoot's summer intern comes home, internationally! 

Folkmoot’s summer intern comes home, internationally!

My name is Connor Moore and I am the latest addition to the Folkmoot staff.  

I will be helping out with marketing for the festival throughout the Summer. I have also been given the grand opportunity to volunteer as a guide for the stunning, international dance groups which will be attending this year’s festival.  

(Editor’s note: Waynesville native Connor Moore is Folkmoot’s summer intern, home from studies at North Carolina State University and this is his story.)

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Folkmoot's summer intern comes home, internationally! For the past year I have lived in the international dorm at NC State, interacting with and befriending people from over a dozen nations. In my time there, I got to try many new foods, learn all kinds of different languages, and become informed on various international customs. Coming in to serve as a guide will feel like a return to home for me.

Waynesville is the town in which I was born and raised. Being able to support a multicultural event which promotes collective peace and understanding within my own community is a truly fulfilling adventure in which to take part.

I am a student of International Studies at NC State and through my studies I have come to realize the importance of advocating for the construction of global connections in order to form positive, united responses to the most imminent global issues of our generation.  

Folkmoot, as an organization, follows a principle I really admire, which is to “think globally and act locally”.  This principle can be applied to running companies, governments, or even to how you make choices in your personal life.  The main idea of thinking globally and acting locally is to consider how small actions can have large scale implications within the world.  

Folkmoot does a wonderful job of heightening global awareness not only by exposing people to the cultures represented by the dance groups, but also by reciprocating and sharing our local culture back with our guests as well.  

I remember first experiencing Folkmoot as a young child, awed on the sidewalk as people from various nationalities marched down Main Street, combining new styles of clothing (to me), dance moves and instruments during the dazzling Parade of Nations.  This was the first time I began to grasp the scope of how immensely diverse the world is.

Sometimes living in the mountains can contribute to a perception of being cut off from the rest of the world but Folkmoot shows how even a small Appalachian community can possess a recognized and celebrated place within the global landscape.  

It is an inspiring mission which has propelled me into wishing to pursue a career in multilateral organizations that seek to develop peace and prosperity for people of any nationality.

Sleeping in the Smokies – Folkmoot 2018!

Sleeping in the Smokies - Folkmoot 2018!

Sleeping in the Smokies – Folkmoot 2018!

It could be argued sleeping in the Smokies – for two or three (or more) nights – might be the best part of attending the beautiful and graceful Folkmoot 2018 Festival of international folk dance and cultural exchange.

The warm summer sunshine glowing on the verdant peaks, the cool and fragrant evenings spent along a bubbling brook or overlooking a long, flowery meadow dropping off to the valley far below.

The truth is sleeping in the Smokies during our glorious summer nights is just about the finest experience one can have.

The good news is Haywood County, North Carolina – highest overall elevation east of the Rockies and home of the Folkmoot Festival – has hotel rooms and motel rooms and lodges and bed-n-breakfast of all shapes and sizes and thousands of them and more than enough to meet the desires of any family or group or adventure-seeking vacationers.

The better news is our friends at VisitNCSmokies have plenty of expert advice and assistance to help you find just the right kind of accommodations for you and your family.  Start here at VistNCSmokies’ accommodations page and follow the guide.

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular!

Even after 35 years, the Folkmoot Festival of international folk dance and cultural exchange never gets older. It just gets better!

North Carolina’s official international folk festival will be staged at venues all across Western North Carolina.

Named by USA Today as one of the Top Twenty Festivals in North Carolina, Folkmoot 2018 will bring dance and music to colorful life  in Waynesville, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley, Canton, Cherokee, Franklin, Hickory, Asheville, and Hendersonville. 

Folkmoot is defined as a “meeting of the people” and delivers exuberant, educational and entertaining programs for all ages based on cultural exchange through dance and music.  The festival is designed to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding and develop community prosperity. 

In Folkmoot’s 35-year history, upwards of 8,000 performers from approximately 150 countries have visited the mountains of Western North Carolina.  

What’s New for the 2018 Festival

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! Gala under the Stars, July 19 – 7:00 p.m., Annual Fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, $175 per couple. The Gala is the kickoff event for the festival and a fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, sponsors and their guests. Held in Waynesville in the field adjacent to the Friendship Center, Friends of Folkmoot members will enjoy specialty foods and beverages while cultural performers take the stage under the stars for their first appearance of the festival. 

Camp Folkmoot – Hands around the Globe, July 20 – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., $30. Dancers of all abilities ages 10 – 17 years who are inspired by dance and live music can learn international folk dance moves with cultural ambassadors in Waynesville to perform at the Folkmoot Festival. Learn basic concepts and movements, gain an appreciation of the similarities and differences between cultures and hear the timeless, captivating stories behind the dances of each international group. The day includes “make-and-take” cultural crafts and culminates in a short performance with the groups and community participants. Families and youth groups are encouraged to register. Snacks, lunch, and drinks will be provided. Tickets for this event are $30 per camper and will include lunch, snacks and supplies. Discounts are available to groups of four or more if pre-registered together. For more information, contact Elizabeth Burson, 828-452-2997.

Many Cultures Day, July 21, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., $5 admission. This outdoor event is in its third year, scheduled for immediately after the Parade of Nations in downtown Waynesville. The event features live art demonstrations, 30-vendors, youth activities hosted by community groups, ethnic food trucks, international performers, community dance lessons, a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers; additionally, there will be two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old.

Sunday Soirée , July 22 – 7:00 p.m. Celebrating our second year of the Sunday Soiree, the community is invited to experience the foods of eight world cultures, presented by the chefs of the Blind Pig Supper Club with entertainment provided by regional youth celebrating cultural arts. Performers will represent Appalachian, African, American Jazz and Cherokee cultures and then meet and greet Folkmoot’s international performers over dessert!

Our schedule is subject to change. Please check the festival schedule page here on our site for additions or cancellations or call the ticket office, 828-452-2997.  All tickets are subject to NC sales tax and an online service fee. The number of performance groups is included for each venue.

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! 

Folkmoot 2018 is one month away!

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular!

Even after 35 years, the Folkmoot Festival of international folk dance and cultural exchange never gets older. It just gets better!

North Carolina’s official international folk festival will be staged at venues all across Western North Carolina from July 19 through July 29 with plenty of free and public events and even more performances for which tickets are now on sale.

Named by USA Today as one of the Top Twenty Festivals in North Carolina, Folkmoot 2018 will bring dance and music to colorful life  in Waynesville, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley, Canton, Cherokee, Franklin, Hickory, Asheville, and Hendersonville. The festival will feature dance troupes and cultural ambassadors from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Venezuela and Northern Cyprus andThailand as well as Anglo Appalachian and Cherokee dancers and musicians.

Folkmoot is defined as a “meeting of the people” and delivers exuberant, educational and entertaining programs for all ages based on cultural exchange through dance and music.  The festival is designed to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding and develop community prosperity. 

In Folkmoot’s 35-year history, upwards of 8,000 performers from approximately 150 countries have visited the mountains of Western North Carolina.  

What’s New for the 2018 Festival

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! Gala under the Stars, July 19 – 7:00 p.m., Annual Fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, $175 per couple. The Gala is the kickoff event for the festival and a fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, sponsors and their guests. Held in Waynesville in the field adjacent to the Friendship Center, Friends of Folkmoot members will enjoy specialty foods and beverages while cultural performers take the stage under the stars for their first appearance of the festival. 

Camp Folkmoot – Hands around the Globe, July 20 – 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., $30. Dancers of all abilities ages 10 – 17 years who are inspired by dance and live music can learn international folk dance moves with cultural ambassadors in Waynesville to perform at the Folkmoot Festival. Learn basic concepts and movements, gain an appreciation of the similarities and differences between cultures and hear the timeless, captivating stories behind the dances of each international group. The day includes “make-and-take” cultural crafts and culminates in a short performance with the groups and community participants. Families and youth groups are encouraged to register. Snacks, lunch, and drinks will be provided. Tickets for this event are $30 per camper and will include lunch, snacks and supplies. Discounts are available to groups of four or more if pre-registered together. For more information, contact Elizabeth Burson, 828-452-2997.

Many Cultures Day, July 21, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., $5 admission. This outdoor event is in its third year, scheduled for immediately after the Parade of Nations in downtown Waynesville. The event features live art demonstrations, 30-vendors, youth activities hosted by community groups, ethnic food trucks, international performers, community dance lessons, a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers; additionally, there will be two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old.

Sunday Soirée , July 22 – 7:00 p.m. Celebrating our second year of the Sunday Soiree, the community is invited to experience the foods of eight world cultures, presented by the chefs of the Blind Pig Supper Club with entertainment provided by regional youth celebrating cultural arts. Performers will represent Appalachian, African, American Jazz and Cherokee cultures and then meet and greet Folkmoot’s international performers over dessert!

2018 Festival Event Schedule

Our schedule is subject to change. Please check the festival schedule page here on our site for additions or cancellations or call the ticket office, 828-452-2997.  All tickets are subject to NC sales tax and an online service fee. The number of performance groups is included for each venue.

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! 

July 19: Gala on the Green – An opening party & performance for Friends of Folkmoot.

July 20: Camp Folkmoot – For kids! Learn international folk dances from our visiting performers!

July 20: Grand Opening MatineeQueen Auditorium, Folkmoot Center. All groups will perform followed by cultural conversations with the audience and dance troupe members.

July 20: Grand Opening Extravaganza! In Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium, always one of the festival’s highlights!

July 21: Parade of Nations! A public event, beginning at 10 a.m., in which all visiting dance troupes (and many others) parade down Main Street, Waynesville, in one of the festival’s most colorful and joyous events. It’s free and open to the public. Y’all come!

July 21: Many Cultures Day! Come to our Folkmoot International Center immediately after the Parade of Nations. The event lasts until 4 p.m. and features 30-vendors, youth activities hosted by community groups, ethnic food trucks, international performers, community dance lessons, and a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers. There also will be two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old.

July 21: Haywood Community College. A full performance by all visiting dance troupes. One of the most popular performances of the festival each year.

July 22: Hickory, North Carolina. Two performances, 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. Hosted by the Hickory International Council in the Drendel Auditorium (4 groups) *includes post-performance Cultural Conversations. Tickets will be available through the International Council & Drendel Auditorium when they are made available. 

July 22: Sunday Soirée, Waynesville, Folkmoot Greenspace, Folkmoot Center. An international friendship dinner, beginning at 5 p.m., featuring food from the Blind Pig Supper Club and conversations, entertainment by Western North Carolina youth cultural groups. 

Folkmoot 2018 will be spectacular! July 23: a free day for our performers. You might run into them anywhere exploring our beautiful Smoky Mountains!

July 24: Cherokee Ambassador’s Day, 3 p.m., Cherokee Central High School, Cherokee, North Carolina. The cost is $20 for adults, $5 for kids and it’s an extraordinary opportunity for our visiting performers to engage with and learn more about our region’s treasured Native American culture & history. 

July 24: Canton, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance in the historic Colonial Theater followed by an after-party at Bearwaters Brewery.

July 25: Hendersonville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee performance at Blue Ridge Community College will feature all performing troupes.

July 25: Waynesville, North Carolina – Tranquility Farm Fundraiser, 6 p.m. (call 828.452.2997 for details, tickets.)

July 25: Maggie Valley Welcome Wagon, Maggie Valley, North CarolinaElevated Mountain Distilling Company. 7 p.m. A very special and intimate performance by three to four of our visiting dance troupes.

July 26: Folkmoot Center. 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Hazelwood Neighborhood Hospitality. Meet & Greet with Performers. 

July 26: Franklin, North Carolina. A 7 p.m. performance at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center (All groups). 

July 27: Asheville, North Carolina. A 2 p.m. matinee in the Diana Wortham Theatre. A 7 p.m. performance in the Diana Wortham Theatre.

July 28: International Festival Day – Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another free and public event, a wonderful day of celebrating international friendships and cultural exchange!

July 28: Performance of all groups at Haywood Community College, 7 p.m.

July 29: Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. A rich, colorful & emotional last festival performance filled with tradition, joys and even a few tears!

Be a Folkmoot “insider”

Show your love of international culture and the legacy of Folkmoot and dress in your best cultural regalia for Folkmoot performances! The public is encouraged to join the fun by sharing their own cultural heritage at all Folkmoot events. As an example, individuals with Scottish heritage are invited to wear their kilt to any Folkmoot performances. Cultural exchange and celebration are at the heart of Folkmoot.  Dress to impress and Folkmoot will feature a photo of you on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

Be a Folkmoot supporter

Folkmoot is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that relies on donations, sponsorships, grants, ticket sales, and Friends of Folkmoot members to produce the Folkmoot Festival each year. Everyone can celebrate and support Folkmoot programs by becoming a member through the Friends of Folkmoot by clicking here. Donations support community-building events for kids and families and support our international guests during their stay in Waynesville at the Historic Hazelwood School

Be a Folkmoot festival volunteer

Volunteers are still needed to prepare for our visitors and for support during the festival. If you, your company, church or civic group would like to help, please contact Catherine MacCallum at 828-452-2997, or fill out our online form