The 10-day festival celebrates global cultural exchange through international folk dance and music troupes. Lively, colorful performances will be staged by visiting Folkmoot performers at several venues around the region from Friday, July 18, through Sunday, July 27, including Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Lake Junaluska, Canton, Bryson City, Franklin, Asheville, Flat Rock, Burnsville and Hickory.
The Parade of Nations in downtown Waynesville has traditionally been held on Friday. The parade has been moved to Saturday this year for a couple of reasons. It is more accessible for working parents to bring their kids. And also, Folkmoot organizers also hope the Saturday parade will benefit downtown restaurants, shops and galleries.
“Downtown merchants have been wonderful supporters of Folkmoot over the years. By moving the parade to Saturday morning, thousands of spectators coming to see Folkmoot’s Parade of Nations will hopefully stay over and spend the day shopping in downtown Waynesville,” said Karen Babcock, executive director of Folkmoot. “Folkmoot audiences already have a $9.2 million economic impact in the region, and the new Saturday morning parade slot will no doubt push that number even higher by bringing more people downtown, and bringing them earlier in the day.”
While the parade offers spectators a flavor of Folkmoot, the ticketed shows being held around the region are the best way to appreciate the diversity of performing arts that Folkmoot brings to the stage.
“The depth and breadth of talent showcased by these international performers is truly amazing. Attending a Folkmoot performance is an experience you can’t find anywhere else without spending a lot of money on airline tickets,” Babcock said.
Folkmoot USA is North Carolina’s official international folk festival. Founded 30 years ago, Folkmoot is signature summer event in the Southeast, attracting more than 75,000 visitors to Waynesville and the surrounding region, generating a $9.2 million economic impact.
For more information, go to www.folkmootusa.org.