Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville, North Carolina

Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

August 2-4, 2018
Check out the nation’s longest running folk festival. The 91st annual edition of this three-day event showcases the best of the region’s traditional and old-time musicians, ballad singers, mountain dance groups and cloggers. Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves “along about sundown” the first weekend in August at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival for plenty of authentic bluegrass music. Performers at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival take to the stage at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center (16 Fernihurst Dr. Asheville, NC 28801) at 6:30 PM each evening.  

Bascom Lamar Lunsford founded the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival as a means for people to share and understand the beauty and dignity of the Southern Appalachian bluegrass music and dance traditions that have been handed down through generations in western North Carolina. He saw the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival grow to be the oldest gathering of its kind in the nation and it continues in this way, a platform for the talented of the high country lying between the Great Smoky and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Since 1928, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival has served a crucial role in raising awareness and understanding of the vitality and importance of Southern Appalachian culture throughout the region, nation and world. Bascom Lunsford’s mission was to present the finest of the Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams for education and entertainment. The songs and dances shared at this event echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage found in the valleys and coves between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lunsford’s was the first dubbed a folk festival, and he later consulted with many communities across the country interested in organizing similar festivals.

Tickets on sale in advance on their Web site or at the door starting at 5:30 PM if seats remain. You can also buy at July dates of Shindig on the Green. Adult $22; Children 12 and under $12; Three night package: Adults $60. 

This is a fundraiser for Shindig on the Green, a free outdoor music festival on Saturday nights during the summer in downtown Asheville.

Make it a Heritage Weekend!

Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
This is the novelist's boyhood home and setting for "Look Homeward, Angel." Tour the fascinating, rambling house located in downtown Asheville. 52 N. Market Street.
Asheville Museums
Best 40 Museums & Historic Sites
Explore a big variety of very interesting museums and historic places in Asheville and the surrounding mountain small towns, filled with the fascinating history and culture of the Appalachian Mountains. Many are free to visit.
Smith-McDowell House Museum
Smith-McDowell House
Relive the romantic Victorian era in Asheville's oldest house (circa 1840). Explore opulent period rooms, history exhibits and grounds designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers. 1.5 miles from downtown Asheville.
Asheville Urban Trail
Asheville Urban Trail
(1.7-mile loop, easy) This outdoors museum is a self-guided walking tour on the sidewalks of downtown Asheville, leading to 30 sculptures that depict local history.
Folk Art Center
Folk Art Center
See crafts by artists from Southern Appalachia with three fine art galleries and daily craft demonstrators. Shop in their store. No admission fee. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway near U.S. 70 intersection.

Don't Miss Art Festival

Biltmore Village Art Fair
Village Art & Craft Fair
Saturday, August 4, 2018 to Sunday, August 5, 2018
Fantastic fair in Biltmore Village with 100 hand-selected artists from 16 states, representing the full spectrum of craft media - jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more.
July 20-30, 2017
Folkmoot USA, North Carolina's Official International Folklore Festival, is a 10-day celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance. The festival is... read more
Experience a variety of North Carolina mountain music and dance traditions including bluegrass, old-time, sacred music and clogging. Appalachian mountain music includes many instruments, styles and... read more