Canton Performance & After Party

On Tuesday, July 25th, the Folkmoot Festival will make its way to Canton, NC. There will be a performance by four international groups and Stuart Brothers Band, representing southern Appalachian culture, at the Colonial Theatre, 53 Park St at 7:00 p.m. The Colonial Theater is a 2 ½ story colonial style, historic movie theater built in 1932. The theater has 650 seats and has been renovated and is used for concerts, movies, plays, and more. Adult tickets are $20 and student tickets are $5. This Folkmoot performance is sponsored by Evergreen Packaging.

After the performance, the international groups will parade over to the new Bearwaters Brewing Company for an after party starting at 8:30. This gives the community a chance to mingle with the international performers while enjoying drinks and delicious foods. Folkmoot is expecting a crowd, so make sure you arrive early in order to make food orders!

Named by USA Today as one of the Top Twenty Festivals in North Carolina, Folkmoot is a ten-day event, held across the mountains of Western North Carolina 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 each event offers unique opportunities for an entertaining cultural experience that is fun for individuals of all ages.

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.

For tickets visit and experience the wonder of international music and dance!


Our Friend, Edward Broadwell, Board Emeritus

Ed has been a part of Folkmoot since its inception more than three decades ago. Along with founder Clint Border and a group of community leaders, he helped kick start this great organization. He has continued to be an active volunteer and champion for Folkmoot. At their recent annual meeting, The Board Of Directors recognized Ed by giving him the Director Emeritus Award for his long service, advocacy, and consistent support of Folkmoot.

Ed and his family have been coming to Folkmoot for years, and the tradition now extends to Ed’s grandchildren. Even the family members who are no longer nearby try to attend Folkmoot Festival whenever they can. He says it is part of their children and grandchildren’s heritage.

Two of Ed’s favorite events are the Gala and the Candlelight Closing. He thinks the closing event is such a moving ceremony because of the emotions surrounding the formation of new friendships from around the world that often last a lifetime. When asked about a favorite memory, he finds it difficult to come up with just one, as there have been so many over the years. However, he notes that he loves to see the performers’ enthusiasm about coming to the U.S., many for the first time, and also the mutual excitement of the hundreds of hard-working volunteers each year who help make the festival a success.

Ed also believes that Haywood County hosting these international guests is a big responsibility because the county is representing American culture. He adds that Folkmoot’s successes are the region’s successes. “Folkmoot has helped bring Western North Carolina together. Haywood County has collaborated with surrounding counties to successfully run the festival, which has created a special fellowship in the region.”

Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Folkmoot Festival 2017:  Many Cultures Day

This outdoor, family-friendly event takes place on Saturday, July 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the green space adjacent to the Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Ave, Waynesville, NC. Scheduled immediately after the Waynesville parade, Many Cultures Day features youth activities hosted by community groups, international dance and music performances, community dance lessons, face-painting, airbrush tattoos, and a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers.  Additionally, we have two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years.

Along with everything else, Many Cultures Day hosts 30 vendors. Artisan vendors share cultural beadwork, handcrafted jewelry, pottery, furniture, handbags, Lularoe clothing, sewing, woodwork, and lots more. We are expecting food vendors serving baked goods, ice-cream, kettle corn, snow cones, Caribbean style cuisine, specialty wraps, and other delicious treats.

Make sure you come to the Friendship Center immediately after the Waynesville Parade. The parade is Saturday, July 22nd at 10 a.m., starting at the First Baptist Church and continues on until the Courthouse where the dancers do a demonstration for elected officials. The parade features not only Folkmoot’s international groups, but also local musicians, dance teams, giant puppeteers, and stilt walkers.

Folkmoot USA, North Carolina’s International Festival, is a two-week celebration of the world’s cultural heritage through folk music and dance. Held each summer throughout the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, Folkmoot features performers sharing their culture through colorful, authentic, and original reproduction costumes, lively dance, and traditional music.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, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians performers, as well as several regional bluegrass and clogging groups representing Appalachian culture.

The excitement continues on with cultural performances, parades, exhibitions, and more through Sunday, July 30th. There are festival events in Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, Clyde, Hickory, Cherokee, Canton, Flat Rock, Maggie Valley, Greenville, Franklin, and Asheville. For more information call 828.452.2997 or email

Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!



Meet Glenn Arnette, Folkmoot Emcee & Board Member

Though Glenn Arnette is new to Folkmoot, he is already making a large impact on the organization. After first attending the festival three years ago and being fascinated by the performance, he wanted to become more involved. In 2016, he became an emcee and hosted ten shows, including the Gala and the Candlelight Closing. Last year he was also asked to become a member of the board.

Glenn enjoys all the events but his favorites are the Gala because this show creates festival excitement and the Candlelight Closing, which is special simply because of the extravaganza of the evening. He thinks that people should “rediscover Folkmoot because it is an event that changes every year.” Glenn can’t get over the excitement and depth of talent that the festival brings to Western North Carolina.

Board President Bill Cole said, “Glenn has been a fantastic addition to our Folkmoot family.  He became a board member about five months ago and hit the ground running with his participation on our Programs and Events Committee.  A big bonus with having Glenn around has been his background in entertainment.  With his talent and experience as an experienced emcee, Glenn has added a touch of professionalism to all of our major events.”


Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Folkmoot 2017: The Performing Art Department of the Yung-Ping Vocational High School, representing Taiwan!

The Performing Art Department of the Yung-ping Vocational High School is the group representing Taiwan in this year’s festival. The group was founded in 2011 with a goal to put the art education into practice by integrating dance, art, musical performance, narration, and more.

The dance school may be young and new but that makes their talents even more extraordinary. They are national dance champions, winning competitions in 2012 and 2013. The group has also performed at international festivals in Brazil, Poland, and Portugal.

The performance includes stylized Chinese and Taiwanese traditional dances. Many of the country’s dances and music reflect Chinese culture but still have their own separate identity. There are dances for celebration, religious ceremonies, harvest, and more.


Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Folkmoot 2017: Šaleško folklorno društvo Koleda of Slovenia

The folk dance group Koleda, founded in 1971,  comes to Haywood County from Velenje, Slovenia. The talented members of the troupe devote much of their time to practicing folk music and dance. The program includes different dances from various regions of Slovenia. The main goal of the group is “…faithfulness to the ethnographic authenticity of dances, folk songs, and costumes.”

Koleda has performed throughout Slovenia as well as internationally. Countries the team has visited include, France, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Germany, Portugal, U.S., Russia, Croatia, Austria, China, Finland, Taiwan, and more.

The team performs classic dances such as dances from Zilja Valley, Stajerska Region, Oglarjina Pohorski Svatbi, Noranjska Region, Prekmurje, Bela Krajina, Ki za kolo, Rezija, and Istra. These types of dances range from fast-paced and festive to gentle and harmonious. The musical instruments used during performances include the accordion, contrabass, clarinet, and guitar.

Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Volunteer Spotlight: Vivian Poppas

It takes a community to keep Folkmoot alive and have a successful festival each year. There are many tremendous volunteers that Folkmoot is grateful for but there is one volunteer that has been assisting the organization for years and always exceeds expectations. This exceptional volunteer is Vivian Poppas and she has been making a huge impact on Folkmoot since 1989.

“Vivian has dedicated her life to Folkmoot for 28 years. Her passion and commitment to this festival has helped in so many ways; from guiding our performers thru many years of the festival to helping prepare the rooms year after year. Folkmoot could not function without Vivian!” said Catherine MacCallum, Operations and Volunteer Coordinator.

During her first year with the festival Vivian started as a bus driver, but it did not take long for her to want to become more involved and to help in any way she could. Her second year with Folkmoot she was cleaning up rooms and making beds to prepare for the performers. She has also helped setting up and tearing down for events. This year Vivian is working alongside Operations and Volunteer Coordinator, Catherine McCallum, to make sure the festival runs smoothly.

After working with the festival for such a long time she has many fond memories but her favorite was communicating with a member from one of the groups from China. She cannot speak Chinese and he could not speak English so in order to communicate they drew pictures. Through drawings, they had conversations about their children, pets, and more.

“Something I like to tell people is that I get to travel the world every year and never leave home,” said Vivian.

Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Folkmoot 2017: Utkarsh Dance Academy from India!

Utkarsh Dance Academy wowed guests at Folkmoot in 2001 and 2004 and Folkmoot is proud to have the team returning again this year. The dance company was founded in 1994 in the famous city of Surat located in Gujarat, India, and has been entertaining for 22 years. They are an Indian Government registered company that specializes in Indian classical dance, Indian Folk Dances, and Bollywood dances.


Mrs. Behnaz S Todiwala is both Director and Founder of the dance company. She has been recognized for her extraordinary contribution to society in the field of dance. She desires for the Academy to be more than practical and theoretical knowledge of the dance forms, but most importantly, she wants to help students understand cultures of countries across the world.


Performing at the festival this year are 22 dancers and two talented musicians. The group is also bringing a hair and makeup artist to incorporate traditional styles. One of the most popular classical dances that Utkarsh will be performing is Bharatnatyam. This dance was initially performed in temples as part of religious ceremonies. Costumes are typically colorful with gold borders and flare to make every twirl more striking.

Click here to see the 2017 festival schedule! 

Click here for tickets! 

How to Volunteer for the Festival

With the Folkmoot Festival just around the corner, there are still a lot of donations and requests to be coordinated before our groups arrive in July.

We had a successful volunteer meeting on May 15th, including a discussion about our basic volunteer needs for the festival and a new donation’s list for the coming months.

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to help us prepare our facility for the upcoming festival. One important one is our Saturday Volunteer Days.  Each month before the festival we have one Saturday dedicated to sprucing up the building.   Our next two Saturday Volunteer Days are Saturday, May 20th, and Saturday, June 24th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Lunch will be provided on both days. These mornings are usually filled with painting, preparing the beds, cleaning rooms, changing light fixtures or lawn care. It’s always a great way to meet different people in our community and to get involved with the festival.

I encourage all who are interested to get involved.  There is a lot of love to be shared through Folkmoot both with our 10-day festival as well as our year-round programming. While helping Folkmoot run smoothly and cost effectively on a year-round basis, you are being an important part of an organization that helps our community engage in cultural conversations and work to eliminate cultural bias while embracing our differences. Your involvement will be more rewarding than you might imagine, and our hope is to unite our community in a way never thought possible.

Our monthly meetings are year-round and occur every 3rd Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the Folkmoot Friendship Center. If you aren’t able to attend each meeting, there will also be a monthly email sent out to our volunteers that shares what they missed and how to get involved.

For more information about how to volunteer, be a part of our monthly volunteer meetings, and get on our email list, contact Catherine MacCallum at 828.452.2997 ext 105 or

Currently, we are seeking the following donations:

  • new bath towels
  • new wash clothes
  • thick plastic hangers
  • new boxed fans
  • new ironing board pads & covers
  • ironing boards
  • light blankets

Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!

Meet Catherine MacCallum, new Operations & Volunteer Coordinator

There is some exciting news to share at Folkmoot!

You will see a new face at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, ME!  My name is Catherine MacCallum, and I am the new Operations and Volunteer Coordinator (some may remember me by the last name of Crowe).

I am no stranger to Folkmoot, as I interned for the festival in the summer of 2010 and 2011 and volunteered during last year’s festival.  Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you how much Folkmoot has meant to me since my internship.  As a travel enthusiast, Folkmoot was the best internship I could have ever had.  I was honored to be chosen in 2010 for the internship and it has changed my life and the way I now view cultural understanding.

I was born and raised in the Triad near Winston-Salem, NC. I attended Western Carolina University where I met my husband junior year.  After moving to Kentucky for my husband’s pursuit of his master’s degree, we came back to western North Carolina. To say we were over the moon to be back and then for me to connect with Folkmoot is an understatement.  The stars could not have aligned any straighter when this opportunity opened up to work for the festival!

As the new Operations & Volunteer Coordinator, I will be managing our wonderful volunteers for all aspects of our year-round programming and during our 10 day festival in July.  I will also be handling all operations of events in the Friendship Center, fundraising events, and performances.  You will also find me working on improvements at the Friendship Center and organizing “lawn care days” for example.

Something new I will be working on is a monthly volunteer meeting and newsletter to keep everyone in our community up to date on happenings and opportunities to volunteer! There is so much fun to be had at our center and I want to have lots of opportunities for community members to get involved.  If you haven’t volunteered with us in the past and want more information please feel free to contact me at

I can’t wait to embrace this year’s festival and everything Folkmoot has to offer to our community! I look forward to this new beginning in my life and meeting all of the Friends of Folkmoot!


Go to and get your tickets to experience the wonder of international culture through music and dance!