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Folkmoot gala to fire up July 22-25
Thursday, 15 July 2021 18:17

From Staff Reports 

WAYNESVILLE — After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, a scaled-back Folkmoot USA will run four days — July 22-25 this year — instead of the usual 10 days.

Folkmoot, billed as North Carolina’s “official” International Folklore Festival,  is based in Waynesville and nearby Lake Junaluska, about 25 miles west of Asheville. “Folkmoot” means “meeting of the people” in Old English

“The theme of the festival this year, since we can’t fly anybody in from around the world, will be focused on American cultural diversity in music and dance,” Folkmoot Executive Director Glenn Fields was quoted as saying by the Smoky Mountain News. “It’s all the different cultures that make up the melting pot that is America and the immigrant cultures that have come to this country to make it what it is.” 

Opening night (July 22), to be centered at the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville, will begin with food and drinks in the cafeteria.

Next on July 22, musical entertainment will be provided by Los Texmaniacs, a conjunto band from San Antonio, Texas. 

To cap opening night (from 7 to 9 in the auditorium), guests will get an early sampling of some of the groups performing throughout the weekend, followed by a performance by The Revelers. (Fields is a member of the group). The Revelers specialize in Cajun and Zydeco, which is Gulf Coast French music from Louisiana. 

From 6 to 10 p.m. July 23, a “kid-friendly” performance will be given at the Nanci Weldon Open Air Gym at Lake Junaluska. Families will be able see the view the show from the green space surrounding the gym. Families are invited to set up blankets or chairs in the lawn where kids can play. It will be free for children 12 and under to attend. There will also be food trucks on site. 

International Festival Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 24 on Main Street in downtown Waynesville.

During the July 25 program, demonstrations of different arts and crafts they teach will be offered by both Haywood Community College and John C. Campbell Folk School. Also, three stages will feature different dance and musical groups performing throughout the day. 

“A big part of this year’s events, we’re trying to involve the Cherokee, the Eastern Band, so we’re hoping to have a bunch of woodcarvers out there and folks doing different things,” Fields told the SMN. To that end, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. July 25, a stickball demonstration will be offered at Lake Junaluska by one of the Cherokee stickball teams, where attendees may watch and learn about the sport. 

On July 25 evening, a show will be offered at the open-air gym at Lake Junaluska, with food trucks, music and dance group performances. 

The closing ceremony will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. July 25 in Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium.



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