Vivid color, dramatic dance, pulsating music, the glorious pageantry of it all!
Written by our friends over at Folkmoot.
In the Summer of 2018 experience 10 of the world’s greatest cultures through music, dance, and heritage arts. This unique opportunity for Western North Carolina takes place the last two weeks of July. In short, Folkmoot 2018 is the only festival of our kind in the southeast! It is a special experience when the world comes to Main Street in Waynesville NC.Even after 35 years, the Folkmoot Festival of international folk dance and cultural exchange never gets old. 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 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, Mexico, Venezuela and Northern Cyprus and Thailand 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
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, under 5yrs free.
This outdoor event is in its third year, taking place 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.
2018 Festival Event Schedule
Check the festival schedule page for more details on each individual event and schedule updates or call the ticket office, 828-452-2997. Schedule is subject to change.
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.