Folkmoot performers showcase their cultural heritage during the annual Parade of Nations on Friday, July 17 at 1 p.m. on N. Main St. in Waynesville.

32nd Annual Folkmoot Festival

Folkmoot performers showcase their cultural heritage during the annual Parade of Nations on Friday, July 17 at 1 p.m. on N. Main St. in Waynesville.
Folkmoot performers showcase their cultural heritage during the annual Parade of Nations on Friday, July 17 at 1 p.m. on N. Main St. in Waynesville.

North Carolina’s International Folk Festival takes place July 16-26, 2015.

Named by USA Today as one of the Top Twenty Festivals in North Carolina, Folkmoot features more than 200 international performers from ten countries, with performances in 12 western North Carolina communities.

Folkmoot performers are primarily college students who serve as cultural ambassadors for their home countries. In Folkmoot’s 32-year history, we’ve hosted almost 8,000 performers from more than 200 countries.

The 2015 festival is expecting musicians and dancers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Canada, Ecuador, Chile, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee, plus several regional bluegrass and clogging groups representing Appalachian culture.

Folkmoot, literally a “meeting of the people,” provides programs based on cultural exchange, designed to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding and develop community prosperity. Folkmoot creates opportunities for individuals and communities across the globe to build a deeper sense of connection, mutual respect and shared purpose.

In a new educational and interactive component, “Say Hello,” emcees and group directors will engage audiences in learning how to pronounce basic greetings in the languages of our performers. Different words and facilitators will be part of each performance.

“Kids by the Carload,” held on Thursday, July 23 from 4-8 p.m. at the Haywood County Fairgrounds in Clyde, offers a low-cost opportunity ($20 per carload) for families, church groups, senior centers, and other groups to see and interact with three international performance groups, purchase local and international handicrafts, and enjoy low-cost pizza, drinks, and ice cream.

The public is encouraged to share their own cultural heritage and wear their own regalia at Folkmoot. Individuals with Scottish heritage are invited to wear a kilt, Germans or Swiss a dirndl-style outfit, etc.; at each event, the “best dressed” will be chosen and win a Folkmoot t-shirt. Folkmoot will also feature a photo of these individuals on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Festival Highlights

Friday, July 17

1 p.m. — Folkmoot Parade of Nations, Waynesville. Beginning on N. Main St. and finishing at the Historic Waynesville Court House. Free.

7:30 p.m. — Folkmoot Grand Opening. Stompin’ Ground, Maggie Valley. All groups perform. Reserved seating adults, $30-$25. General admission adults, $20; Students and children, $5.

Saturday, July 18

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. — International Festival Day. All Folkmoot groups perform to benefit Haywood County Arts Council. Main Street, Waynesville. (828) 452-0593, or Info@haywoodarts.org. Free.

Sunday, July 19

1:30 p.m. – Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville. All groups perform. Adults, $30; Children 12 & under, $15. (828) 257-4530.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteer groups are still needed to prepare the Folkmoot Center for the Festival. If you, your company, church or civic group would like to help, please contact Doug Garrett at (828) 452-2997 to find out how you can help.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets are now on sale for all performances and can be purchased on the Folkmoot website, folkmootusa.org, in person at the Folkmoot Center, or by calling toll free 1-877-365-5872.

A complete schedule can be viewed at FolkmootUSA.org. Like Folkmoot USA on Facebook to take advantage of special ticket promotions.

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