Celebrate the arts, music and dance of Appalachia each autumn
As autumn’s vibrant reds and golds bring texture to the mountain landscape, many regional communities join together to honor the rich cultural heritage of the Appalachians. Since 1974, the season has drawn residents and visitors to the school’s pastoral Brasstown, North Carolina campus for the John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival, held the first weekend every October.
Along the Folk School’s wooded paths, festival goers will visit with several hundred regional crafts people presenting works for sale. The school’s well-equipped studios host traditional and contemporary craft demonstrations as part of the two-day event.
Children will enjoy a variety of activities such as pony rides and an alpaca petting zoo. The Humane Society’s pet adoption exhibit introduces kids to enthusiastic dogs ready to find their forever family. The Cherokee County Arts Council’s Kids’ Art tents offer free hands-on arts activities. Hungry festivalgoers can satisfy their appetites with a tasty lunch, dessert, or snack from vendors whose concession proceeds benefit non-profit and community organizations.
Always open during the fair, the folk school’s renowned Craft Shop offers fine crafts from over 500 juried regional artists, including the folk school’s own Brasstown Carvers. The initial impetus for the Brasstown Carvers came in 1931 when the folk school began holding twice-a-week carving sessions on campus.
Lively music and dance performances are an integral part of the Fall Festival’s flavor. The Festival Barn and Shady Grove stages host regional musicians who share bluegrass, gospel, Celtic, and folk songs. High-energy dancers will whirl across the stage during clogging, Morris, Rapper Sword, and Garland dance performances.
The Fall Festival offers generous free parking. Attendees can board a free Cherokee County Transit on-campus shuttle bus that travels between parking areas and Craft Shop and Festival Barn gates. Handicapped parking is provided in the gravel lot by Keith House and by the Fiber Arts Building. Admission covers festival, activities, and parking.