Folkmoot’s Parade of Nations: July 21 on Main Street in Waynesville!

Folkmoot's Parade of Nations: July 21 on Main Street in Waynesville!

Folkmoot’s Parade of Nations: July 21 on Main Street in Waynesville!

One of Folkmoot’s most cherished traditions, the annual Parade of Nations, is always free to the public and among the most fun-filled, colorful and family-friendly events of the entire 10-day Folkmoot Festival.

And it happens in the middle of downtown Waynesville – right down Main Street. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. The parade is just part of the big opening weekend of Folkmoot!

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Folkmoot's Parade of Nations: July 21 on Main Street in Waynesville!As they have for 35 years now. each participating dance troupe – our international visitors as well as our regional troupes – march down Waynesville’s Main Street, stopping at intervals to showcase dance moves and traditional clothing to spectators along the sidewalk before ending with a grand performance on the steps of Haywood County’s Historic Courthouse.

The parade is one of the best chances for festival goers to see each group before most of the ticketed performances. The Parade of Nations is great activity for the whole family as people of all ages are sure to see world cultures presented in ways that will certainly entertain and inform.

Stick around after the parade to join us for the Many Cultures Day street fair at Folkmoot Center (the historic Hazelwood School)!

Many Cultures Day is a good opportunity to meet and interact with some of the performers. They will be participating in all kinds of activities with festival goers: crafts, dance lessons and games.

The event will feature live music, 30 different vendors and various ethnic food trucks. There is a $5 entrance fee, but children 5 and under get in free.

All these events and more are part of the opening and closing weekends of the 10 days of Folkmoot 2018.

When Waynesville surgeon, Dr. Clinton Border, returned home after seeing a dance team at an English folk festival, he thought such a festival would be perfect for Western North Carolina, which had its own rich history of preserving its traditional culture.  It took from 1973, when Border made his trip, to 1984 before the first Folkmoot USA event took place.  That year, symbolic as it was also the year that North Carolina celebrated its 400th birthday, welcomed performers from England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico and India.

In 2002, the Folkmoot Friendship Center leased the former Hazelwood Elementary School, thus giving it a home to expand its programming and activities.  In 2014, the Haywood County school system donated the school to the organization.  Now, this multi-faceted space has created an expanded opportunity for Folkmoot to move from a two week festival to a year-round cultural center, focusing on programs and events that celebrate diversity and differences, encourage cultural conversation and inclusion, and preserve and honor worldwide cultural heritages, especially using dance as a tool to achieve world peace.

Since these humble yet visionary beginnings in 1984, more than 8,000 international performers from 200 countries have entertained and thrilled residents and guests of Western North Carolina.

Folkmoot's Parade of Nations: July 21 on Main Street in Waynesville!

Folkmoot’s summer intern comes home, internationally! 

Folkmoot's summer intern comes home, internationally! 

Folkmoot’s summer intern comes home, internationally!

My name is Connor Moore and I am the latest addition to the Folkmoot staff.  

I will be helping out with marketing for the festival throughout the Summer. I have also been given the grand opportunity to volunteer as a guide for the stunning, international dance groups which will be attending this year’s festival.  

(Editor’s note: Waynesville native Connor Moore is Folkmoot’s summer intern, home from studies at North Carolina State University and this is his story.)

Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus and Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and, as always, Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performances are available here.

Folkmoot's summer intern comes home, internationally! For the past year I have lived in the international dorm at NC State, interacting with and befriending people from over a dozen nations. In my time there, I got to try many new foods, learn all kinds of different languages, and become informed on various international customs. Coming in to serve as a guide will feel like a return to home for me.

Waynesville is the town in which I was born and raised. Being able to support a multicultural event which promotes collective peace and understanding within my own community is a truly fulfilling adventure in which to take part.

I am a student of International Studies at NC State and through my studies I have come to realize the importance of advocating for the construction of global connections in order to form positive, united responses to the most imminent global issues of our generation.  

Folkmoot, as an organization, follows a principle I really admire, which is to “think globally and act locally”.  This principle can be applied to running companies, governments, or even to how you make choices in your personal life.  The main idea of thinking globally and acting locally is to consider how small actions can have large scale implications within the world.  

Folkmoot does a wonderful job of heightening global awareness not only by exposing people to the cultures represented by the dance groups, but also by reciprocating and sharing our local culture back with our guests as well.  

I remember first experiencing Folkmoot as a young child, awed on the sidewalk as people from various nationalities marched down Main Street, combining new styles of clothing (to me), dance moves and instruments during the dazzling Parade of Nations.  This was the first time I began to grasp the scope of how immensely diverse the world is.

Sometimes living in the mountains can contribute to a perception of being cut off from the rest of the world but Folkmoot shows how even a small Appalachian community can possess a recognized and celebrated place within the global landscape.  

It is an inspiring mission which has propelled me into wishing to pursue a career in multilateral organizations that seek to develop peace and prosperity for people of any nationality.