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Each year, one of the highlights of the 10-day Folkmoot Festival is the Parade of Nations. This year, 10 groups from across the globe walked down Waynesville’s Main Street, stopping at the Historic Haywood County Courthouse to perform for local dignitaries. Cory Vaillancourt photos

By Jerica Rossi • Folkmoot Guide

When asked which country I wanted to be a guide for during the 2017 Folkmoot Festival, it was a no brainer: India.

It was while I was studying and traveling through the states of Gujarat and Kerala that I fell in love with the vibrant colors and aromatic cuisine that India boasts of. It was then that I also had my first taste of being completely intoxicated by the up-tempo drum beat and the tenacity of the synchronized dancers — a kind of high that hits your stomach and demands you to be completely present and in tune with your senses.

A life of service to country, culture and global community has earned Jerry Wolfe the state of North Carolina’s highest award, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Wolfe received the award in a surprise ceremony accompanying the July 25 Folkmoot USA performance at Cherokee Central High School.

Home to some of the most important and sacred Judeo-Christian sites in the world, what should be a place of peace has instead seen almost ceaseless conflict since its incorporation in 1948.

I kept glancing over at the signs.

Strolling the long and busy corridors of the Folkmoot Friendship Center (Waynesville) this past Sunday evening, I couldn’t help looking at the signs posted on the walls next to the doors. “Argentina.” “Israel.” “Russia.” “India.” “Taiwan.” All of these foreign countries, these ambassadors from every corner of the world, each with their own set of social and economic issues, many mirroring our own.

The 34th annual Folkmoot International Festival will return to Waynesville this weekend for 10 days worth of folk dance performances across the region. This year’s lineup features 10 performance groups from around the world coming to Western North Carolina to share their culture through music and dance. 

Secret agent, man

Not long ago if you told someone you were taking your kids to a hip-hop show, they would probably call you a bad parent.

Amidst all of last year’s romping, stomping, clogging and dancing during Folkmoot USA, one event may have slipped off the radar of festival attendees.

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