Tickets On Sale Now for Folkmoot USA 2015!
Dance troupes from such diverse nations as Indonesia, Ecuador, the Philippines, Mexico & Bangladesh will be performing in the 2015 Festival as well as dance troupes from Puerto Rico and French Canada. We awaiting confirmation from even more troupes and nations.
It is North Carolina’s Official International Folk Festival and has over its history brought to our region 200 amateur performance groups from over 100 countries, attracted annual audiences of more than 100,000 local residents and tourists, educated local school children and catalyzed over $9 million in positive, annual contributions to our regional economy.
The Southeast Tourism Society named Folkmoot USA one of its top twenty events for 20 years and USA Today featured it in 2014 as one of the Top 10 Festivals in the United States. The Folkmoot USA non-profit organization has its headquarters in the former Hazelwood Elementary School.
Folkmoot: an Old English word meaning, “meeting of the people.”
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.