Folkmoot International Festival, Waynesville NC

Folkmoot International Dance & Music Fest

July 19-29, 2018
The world comes to western North Carolina for 11 days. 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 based in Waynesville, about 25 miles west of Asheville, but performances can be seen in several cities, including Asheville, Cherokee, Franklin, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley and Hendersonville.

In 2018, expereience cultural activities, live music, dance instruction and performances by groups from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, Jamaica, Northern Cyprus, Thailand and nearby Cherokee. Read more about these groups below!

Folkmoot Parade

We love the Parade of Nations down Main Street in Waynesville with all groups delighting crowds with dance and music. It's Saturday, July 21 at 10 AM. After the parade, go to Folkmoot's Friendship Center (112 Virginia Avenue) nearby for Many Cultures Day (more info below).

Folkmoot International Day

Our favorite Folkmoot event is International Day in downtown Waynesville, July 28th, a big street festival with performances, international crafts and much more. See our feature.

Folkmoot means “Meeting of the People” in old English and they certainly provide opportunities for cultural exchange. Audiences are invited to meet the performers before and after performances and during other Festival events.

Folkmoot Show

2018 Folkmoot Schedule

Performers demonstrate cultural heritage through colorful, authentic and original reproduction costumes, lively dance and beautiful music:

  • July 19: Gala Under the Stars Annual Fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, $175 per couple. 7 PM. Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Avenue.
  • July 20: Camp Folkmoot - Hands around the Globe, 9 AM-2 PM, $30. Dancers of all abilities, between ages 10 - 17 years can learn international folk dance from visiting groups make crafts. Folkmoot Greenspace
  • July 20: Folkmoot Grand Opening Extravaganza, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. (All groups). Adult Seating: $21-$31
  • July 21: Folkmoot Parade of Nations, Downtown Waynesville. Begins on North Main St. and ends at Historic Courthouse. (All groups). 10 AM. Free.
  • July 21: Many Cultures Day, 11 AM-4 PM, $5 admission. 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. Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Avenue.
  • July 21: Haywood Community College, Clyde. 7 PM. All Groups. Adults $21-$31; Students & Children $5
  • July 22: Drendel Auditorium, Hickory, 4 groups, 2 PM & 5 PM.
  • July 22: Sunday Soiree Concert Series, 7 PM. Experience the foods of eight world cultures, presented by the chefs of the Blind Pig Supper Club. Entertainment by regional youth celebrating African-American, Appalachian, American Jazz and Cherokee traditions. Folkmoot's visiting performers end the evening. Folkmoot Greenspace, 112 Virginia Avenue.
  • July 24: Cherokee High School, Cherokee, 3 PM. All groups. Adult $20, Students & Children $5
  • July 24: Colonial Theatre, Canton, 7 PM. 5 groups. Adults $20, Children $5. 8:30 PM Bearwaters Brewing After Party
  • July 25: Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock - Hendersonville. 2 PM. All groups. Adults $31; Children 12 & under: half price. Includes a post-performance Cultural Conversations.
  • July 25: Maggie Valley Welcome Wagon, Elevated Mountain Distilling Company. 7 PM. 5 groups. Adults $20, Children $5
  • July 26: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. 7 PM. All groups. Adult Seating: $21-$31
  • July 27: Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville, 2 & 7 PM. All Groups. Adults $31; Children ½ price.
  • July 28: International Festival Day, Meet the World on Main Street, Downtown Waynesville. 10 AM-5 PM. All groups. Free event
  • July 28: Haywood Community College, Clyde. 7 PM. All Groups. Adults $21-$31; Students & Children $5
  • July 29: Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. 7 PM. All Groups. Adults $21-$31

Folkmoot Performers 2018

  • Venezuela: Sentir Venezolano is a diverse Afro-Latino ensemble of folkloric dancers, live percussion, songs, and costumes which represent their rich cultural diversity and traditional ethnic dances.
  • Ghana: The Nkrabea Dance Ensemble is one of the few existing cultural performance groups in Africa today. Energetic youth members are well rehearsed in African traditional drumming and dancing, folk music, acrobatics, fire eating, and stilt dancing.
  • Thailand: Lampang Kalayanee School is an energetic youth group performing a variety of dances from traditional history and from old tales.
  • Northern Cyprus: Based in the town of Kyrenia, the Youth Center Association troupe jumps and twirls to live traditional Turkish Cypriot music.
  • Italy: La Ragazze Italiane shares the beauty of Italian culture with music and dance from different regions and time periods.
  • Czech Republic: Kasava ensemble combines music, dance and drama with folk rituals and customs.
  • Mexico: “Fiesta Mexicana” Ballet Folklorico folkloric dance group expresses full color, mysticism, joy and artistic content in their performances.
  • Jamaica: Educators integrate the arts into their classrooms on a daily basis at Western Carolina University. Dance is used in all areas of learning from science and mathematics to literature.

Tickets go on sale to general public in May. Purchase online on the Folkmoot Web site, by calling the Folkmoot ticket office at 828.452.2997 or by contacting the specific venue.

See our Folkmoot Video

Folkmoot History
In 1973, Dr. Clinton Border, a Waynesville surgeon, accompanied a local square dance team to a folk festival in Sidmouth, England. There began the dream that would, 11 years later, become Folkmoot USA. Border was convinced that Western North Carolina, which was already steeped in tradition and dedicated to the preservation of its own heritage, was the perfect location for an international folk festival in the United States. In Folkmoot’s 35-year history, the organization has hosted 8,000 performers from almost 150 countries. Folkmoot performers are primarily college students who serve as cultural ambassadors for their countries. The Folkmoot festival is a strong example of international cultural diplomacy. 

See more things to do in Waynesville.

Waynesville, NC
Downtown's quaint old buildings, brick sidewalks, galleries and general store take you back to a more leisurely time. Each summer, Folkmoot U.S.A. attracts entertainers from all over the world. The Museum of NC Handicrafts is housed in the historic Shelton House. On summer Friday nights, come down for the Mountain Street Dances.
NC Smokies Guide
Waynesville & Maggie Valley Visitors Guide
Order the 56-page free "Visit NC Smokies" guide to Haywood County, home to small towns of Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, Canton and Clyde - in the Great Smokies, Pisgah National Forest and along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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