Calling young artists to Many Cultures Day!

Calling young artists to Many Cultures Day!

Calling young artists to Many Cultures Day!

Folkmoot is looking for young artists and entrepreneurs, age 17 or younger, who want to share handmade art or crafts during Folkmoot 2018’s Many Cultures Day, Saturday, July 21.

Many Cultures Day will be a fun-filled festival-within-the-festival on the first weekend of Folkmoot 2018 and is designed with activities for youth and families.

Young artist-entrepreneurs can register for a vendor space by filling out an online application here and paying a $5 application fee.

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.

Calling young artists to Many Cultures Day!Many Cultures Day is held immediately after the Parade of Nations down Main Street, Waynesville and features live entertainment by youthful singers and dancers, folk dance lessons by international performers, an arts and crafts tent, food and beverage trucks and activities lead by local nonprofit organizations.

This is the third year of Many Cultures Day and attendance is projected at 3,000 to 5,000 guests.

Young entrepreneurs must successfully submit their application by Friday, June 15, 2018 to be considered.

A shared tent will be provided but entrepreneurs must bring their own signage, table, chairs and table covering. Vendor guidelines and applications can be found here

Please no food or beverage products. Applications must be submitted with three (3) color images of items the applicant intends to sell.

Please contact Laura Shepherd or Catherine MacCallum at 828-452-2997 for more information.

Folkmoot, a word meaning “meeting of the people,” provides communities all over Western North Carolina the opportunity to build a deeper sense of connection, mutual respect and shared purpose by experiencing other cultures.  

In 1973, Dr. Clinton Border, a Waynesville surgeon, accompanied a local square dance team to a folk festival in Sidmouth, England. There began the dream that would, 11 years later, become Folkmoot USA.

Border was convinced that Western North Carolina, which was already steeped in tradition and dedicated to the preservation of its own heritage, was the perfect location for an international folk festival in the United States. During the next few years, Border traveled to other festivals in Poland and France and began gathering information and developing contacts. He also started contacting local government and community leaders back home.

By 1983, Border was ready to present his vision to Haywood County’s community leaders. Despite language barriers and the inherent scheduling difficulties involved in getting foreign performers from their homes to Haywood County, Border believed something invaluable occurs when cultures so rich in tradition come together to share their lives.

One month after Border’s presentation to community leaders, a board of directors met to launch Folkmoot USA, the North Carolina International Folk Festival.

First Saturday of Folkmoot 2018 is jam-packed

It's a big weekend for Folkmoot 2018!

The First Saturday of Folkmoot 2018 is jam-packed with huge events, free-and-open-to-the-public events and more fun than – maybe, not really – anyone should expect to have in a single day!

First Saturday, as it’s come to be known and this year on July 21st, kicks off with one of the most popular events each year of the entire festival: the Parade of Nations down Main Street, Waynesville. Always colorful and exciting, the whole of Western Carolina (it seems) turns out to see our visiting international dance troupes, local and international musicians, favorite Appalachian and mountain dance troupes all perform and frolic down the main drag of our picturesque mountain town.

Kids, parents, grandparents, adults of all varieties revel in the pageantry and exhilaration of the festive vibe.

First Saturday of Folkmoot 2018 is jam-packedFolkmoot 2018 opens  July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Chile, Venezuela and Northern Cyprus and Thailand as well as Anglo Appalachian and Cherokee dancers and musicians. 

You can see them all, featured together and with videos, on our Folkmoot Performers of 2018 page.

Ticket packages and tickets for individual performance are available here.

Once here for the festival we invited you to stay awhile and enjoy all our beautiful region has to offer.

Come to our Folkmoot International Center immediately after the Parade of Nations for Many Cultures Day. The event lasts until 4 p.m. and features 30-vendors, youth activities hosted by community groups, ethnic food trucks, international performers, community dance lessons, and a youth performance stage with local youth fiddlers and dancers. There also will be two Cherokee stickball game demonstrations. The cost of this outdoor festival is $5 for individuals over 5 years old. Visit the Many Cultures Day event post on Facebook, tag “going” and share it on your profile or with friends!

A full performance by all visiting dance troupes at Haywood Community College caps off the day at 7 p.m.! One of the most popular performances of the festival each year, the first HCC performance is always a fun-filled event and moderately priced so the whole family can enjoy the show! Visit the Haywood Community College performance event post on Facebook, tag “going” and share it on your profile or with friends!

35 years and going strong!

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 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!