Folkmoot: North Carolina’s International Folk Festival, Folk Dance & World Culture in the Mountains of WNC July 20-30, 2017


Named by USA Today as one of the Top 20 Festivals in NC, Folkmoot is a ten-day event, held across the mountains of WNC in Waynesville, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley, Canton, Cherokee, Franklin, Hickory, Asheville, and Hendersonville, plus a first performance in Greenville, South Carolina. The 2017 festival dates are July 20 – 30 and feature cultural ambassadors/dance performing groups from India, Netherlands, Slovenia, Argentina, Russia, Israel, Taiwan, Wales and local 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.

2017 International Cultural Groups

In Folkmoot’s 34-year history, upwards of 8,000 performers from approximately 150 countries have visited the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Folkmoot performers are primarily college students who serve as cultural ambassadors for their home countries.  In 2017, Folkmoot anticipates hosting musicians and dancers from India, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Argentina, Russia, Israel, Taiwan, a Canadian group representing Welsh dance, a U.S. group representing African dance, and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians performers, plus several regional bluegrass and clogging groups representing Appalachian culture.

What’s New for the 2017 Festival

Gala on the Green, July 20 – 7:00 p.m., Annual Fundraiser for Friends of Folkmoot, $150 per couple. The Gala is the kickoff event for the festival and a fundraising event for Friends of Folkmoot, sponsors and their guests. Held in Waynesville in the field adjacent to the Friendship Center, friends will enjoy specialty foods and beverages while cultural performers take the stage under the stars for their first appearance of the festival. For more information, contact Laura Shepherd, or 828-452-2997.

Camp Folkmoot – Hands around the Globe, July 21 – 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., $40. Dancers of all abilities who are inspired by folk dance and live music can learn international folk dance with ambassador performers from around the globe. Learn basic concepts and movements, gain 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. Discounts are available to groups of four or more if pre-registered together. For more information, contact Caroline Brown Williamson, To register, or 828-452-2997.

Cultural Wear Exhibition and Performance – Folkmoot Matinee, July 21 & July 28, 2017 – 2pm, $21.00 for adults / $10.00 children Featuring a panel discussion on cultural attire, historical references of traditional wear and the stories behind the dances, Folkmoot’s HART Theatre performance will feature four groups for two Fridays of the Festival. Tickets available at

Many Cultures Day, July 22, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., $5 admission This outdoor event is in its second year, scheduled for immediately after the Parade of Nations in downtown Waynesville. The event features 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. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old.

Folkmoot Cultural Conversations and Dance Performance, July 23, 2017 – 12:00 p.m., $25.00 for adults; $10.00 for children Facilitated by Folkmoot staff and First United Methodist Church members, local residents and representatives from Folkmoot’s international performance groups will share a meal and discuss current international events while considering similarities and differences between participating cultures. All ages are welcome. Lunch starts at 12:00pm in the Christian Growth Center. Conversation begins at 12:30 p.m. and are followed by a dance and musical performance by one group. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone, 828-452-2997.

Sunday Soiree Concert Series, July 23, 2017 – 7:00 p.m., $10 adults, $5 students, Under 5 years free. The Festival Soiree will feature American Grammy-award winning, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo ( and Empire Strikes Brass ( These bands offer a wide spectrum of musical genres, are multi-instrumental and musically sophisticated. A portion of proceeds from this event will benefit Haywood County School band students who wish to attend Western Carolina University and play in the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band. This event will be held in the green space adjacent to the Folkmoot Friendship Center. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Tickets are available at, by phone, 828-452-2997, and at the door.

Cherokee Ambassador’s Day, July 25, 2017 – 10:00 a.m., $35.00 – $65.00 Our friends and neighbors, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, will share with our visiting cultural ambassadors and festival attendees the unique experience and often tragic but ultimately victorious history of the Cherokee people. The Cherokee culture and traditions are among the very richest offerings Western Carolina has to share with the world. The day includes visiting the Oconaluftee Indian Village, Qualla Arts & Crafts and the Museum of the Cherokee Indians, catered lunch at the Fairgrounds and culminating in an all group performance and cultural exchange at Cherokee Central High School, the Chief Joyce Dugan Arts & Cultural Center. Transportation is not included. Enrolled Eastern Band are admitted at no charge. Groups of 20 or more receive a 20% discount. Please call Cherokee Programs Coordinator, Lisa Spring Wilnoty for more information at 828-452-2997.

Greenville “Center Stage”, July 26 – 7:00 p.m., $31.00 for adults Through a programming partnership with Upstate International, Folkmoot Festival will travel to downtown Greenville SC for an appearance at Center Stage Theater. Tickets are available starting June 1 by calling, 864-233-6733.

2017 Festival Event Schedule*

*This schedule is subject to change. Please visit for additions or cancellations or call the ticket office, 828-452-2997.  The number of performance groups is included for each venue.

Thursday, July 20
7:00 p.m. – Gala on the Green, Friends of Folkmoot Gala, (All Groups).

For the first time, this exclusive event will take place on the grounds of the Folkmoot Friendship Center. This kickoff celebration will include multi-cultural cuisine prepared by premier local chefs to complement breathtaking performances from ten performing groups.  This is an event for the Friends of Folkmoot, donors, and sponsors.

Friday, July 21

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Camp Folkmoot (3 – 4 groups). Folkmoot Greenspace, $40.

2:00 p.m.- Cultural Wear Exhibition and Performance Matinee, HART Theatre, Waynesville. (4 groups). Adult Seating: $21; Children $10.

6:30 p.m. – Folkmoot Group Guest Appearance at Mountain Street Dance, Main Street, Waynesville. (1 group). Free event.

7:00 p.m. – Folkmoot Grand Opening, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. (All groups). Adult Seating: $31-$21.


Saturday, July 22

10:00 a.m. – Folkmoot Parade of Nations, Waynesville. Beginning on North Main St. and finishing at Historic Waynesville Court House. (All groups).  Free Event.

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Many Cultures Kids Day, Folkmoot Friendship Center, Waynesville. (All groups): $5, free for ages 5 and under.

7:00 p.m. – Haywood Community College, Clyde. (All Groups). Adult Seating: $31-$21; Students & Children $5.

Sunday, July 23

12:00 p.m. – First United Methodist Church, Waynesville. Cultural Conversations Forum Luncheon (6 panel participants, and performance by one group). Adults:  $25; Children $5.

2:00 p.m. – Drendel Auditorium, Hickory. (4 groups).  Hickory International Council, 828-326-0256. Adult Seating: $16; Children (12 & under): half price.

5:00 p.m. – Drendel Auditorium, Hickory. (4 groups). Hickory International Council, 828-326-0256. Adult Seating: $16; Children (12 & under): half price.

7:00 p.m. – Sunday Soiree Concert Series, Folkmoot Greenspace, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Empire Strikes Brass. Adult tickets: $10, ages 5 and under are free.


Tuesday, July 25

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Cherokee Ambassadors Day, Cherokee. (All groups). General Admission $65 – $35.

5:00 p.m. – Cherokee, Cherokee High School. (All groups). General Admission: $20 / $5 children. EBCI members are free.

7:00 p.m. – Colonial Theatre, Canton. (5 groups).  Adult Seating: $20; Children $5.

8:30 p.m. – Bearwaters Brewing After Party, Canton (5 groups).


Wednesday, July 26

2:00 p.m. – Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock – Hendersonville. (All groups). General Admission: $31; Children 12 & under: half price.

7:00 p.m. – Civic Pavilion, Maggie Valley. (2 groups) General Admission: $15 adult; $5 children.

7:00 p.m. – Center Stage, Greenville, SC. (5 groups) Adults Seating: $31; Children: $15.


Thursday, July 27

4:00 p.m. – Parade, Franklin. Free Event.

7:00 p.m. – Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin, 828-524-1597 (All groups) Adult Seating: $31-$21.


Friday, July 28

2:00 p.m. – Cultural Wear Exhibition and Performance Matinee, HART Theatre, Waynesville. (5 groups). Adult Seating: $21-$10; Students & children are 50% off adult tickets.

7:00 p.m. – Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville, 828-257-4530. (All Groups). Adults Seating: $31; Children 50% off.


Saturday, July 29

9:00 a a.m. – 9:45 a.m. – Farmer’s Market Stroll, FREE (1 group)

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – International Festival Day, Meet the World on Main Street, Waynesville. (All groups).  Free event.

1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. – The Strand at 38 Main, Main Street, Waynesville. Storytellers, $10, ages 5 and under are free.

7:00 p.m. – Haywood Community College, Clyde. (All Groups).  Adult Seating: $31-$21; Students & Children $5.


Sunday, July 30

7:00 p.m. – Candlelight Closing, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. (All Groups). Adult Seating: $31-$21.


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 is 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 upon 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 on our website, Donations support community-building events for kids and families and support our international guests during their stay in Waynesville at the Historic Hazelwood School. Visit to learn more.


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.

Join Folkmoot at one of these Festival events

Tickets are now on sale for all performances and can be purchased at, in person at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, or by calling (828) 452-2997.  Like us on Facebook: “Folkmoot USA, The “Official” North Carolina International Folk Festival,” see us on Instagram “Folkmoot,” or follow us on Twitter “@Folkmoot_USA” to take advantage of special ticket promotions.