Western North Carolina goes global this weekend as the 27th incarnation of Folkmoot USA — “a celebration of the world’s cultural heritage through folk music and dance” — swings into action, with events scheduled in more than 15 cities throughout the mountain region.
Opening ceremonies commenced today in Waynesville as state and local officials — including North Carolina’s Secretary of Cultural Resources, Linda Carlisle, and Senator Joe Sam Queen — helped kick things off with the annual Parade of Nations, featuring an array of international dancers and musicians.
This weekend’s events include:
Folkmoot at First Friday Street Dance, Main Street, Waynesville. Free Event. 6:30 p.m.
Grand Opening, Stompin’ Ground, Maggie Valley. (All groups) Reserved seating: $30, $25; General admission $20; Children (12 & under) ½ price. 7:30 p.m.
World Celebration, Lipinsky Auditorium, University of North Carolina Asheville. (6 Groups) Reserved seating: $25; General admission $20; Children (12 & under) ½ price. 2 p.m.
Western Carolina University, Fine and Performing Arts Center, Cullowhee. (6 Groups) Adults $20; Faculty $15; Students & Children (12 & under) $5. 7:30 p.m.
World Friendship Day, Stuart Auditorium, Lake Junaluska. (6 Groups) Reserved seating: $25, $20; General admission $15; Children (12 & under) ½ price. 2:30 p.m.
WNC World Tour, Lipinsky Auditorium, University of North Carolina Asheville. (6 Groups) Reserved seating: $25; General admission $20; Children (12 & under) ½ price. 7 p.m.
According to the event’s official website, performances throughout the two-week celebration — which runs through Aug. 1 — will showcase “colorful, authentic and original reproduction costumes, lively dance and traditional music” from more than 300 international artists hailing from nine countries . Other festivities are slated to include workshops and a 5K run/walk and Kids Fun Run on July 31.
Folkmoot is one of only two international festivals held annually in the U.S., and has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society for more than 20 years running. According to the website, the celebration draws an average of 100,000 visitors annually, brining in more than $4 million to local communities.
For tickets, schedules and more information visit folkmootusa.org.