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16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival: “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage”
August 20, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
The 16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2022, from 10 am to 4 pm at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center. Nestled in Cowee West’s Mill Historic District at 51 Cowee School Drive in Franklin, NC, the Center is a unique showcase for demonstrating the everyday skills, crafts, and music of our ancestors. And it is a FREE event! We will follow CDC and NC state mandates/guidelines in regard to COVID19.
What can you expect? Celebrating all things Appalachian, this family-friendly festival features live heritage demonstrations, Appalachian crafts, jammin’ sessions that feature old-time mountain music and bluegrass, kids’ activities, food, textiles & more! Artisans inside Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center will exhibit Macon County’s rich heritage by teaching us about pottery, textiles, painting, Cherokee culture, and local history. By linking our future to our past, the Franklin Area Folk Festival sponsors hands-on activities and demonstrations to allow visitors to experience what mountain life was like years ago. These folks learned at their parents’ knee woodcarving, moonshinin’, weaving and spinning, and all the many other heritage skills they’ll be demonstrating.
Some additional highlights include special quilts on display (like the famous Cabarras Quilt, The Celebrate America Autograph Quilt, etc.), the village blacksmith, flint napping, woodworking/woodcarving, Border Collies’ demonstrations, farmer’s market, old-time music and more. Performances of mountain music, gospel and bluegrass tunes exemplify a very important cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. In addition to performance stages inside and outside, we are partnering with Old Time Music groups to provide jammin’ sessions. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in! Once known as the Quilting Capital of the World, displays from the Smoky Mountain Quilter’s Guild including kids’ make-it/take-it project will help showcase this important heritage.
The Franklin Area Folk Festival is totally organized and executed by VOLUNTEERS. It takes many hands, many hours to plan for this type of event each year. Our demonstrators are the heart and soul of the festival. They freely give of their time to provide the living history component that makes the Franklin Area Folk Festival unique! To ensure that we are staying true to our theme, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage,” our committee screens potential Appalachian craft vendors and others wishing to participate. This 16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival seeks to provide a platform to help preserve our heritage story while serving as an educational tool to teach all generations about our Appalachian Heritage! By providing these living history experiences to promote heritage through hands-on activities, the festival is unique and proven to be a quality event that attracts visitors and locals alike. Data collected from our last festival showed we had attendees from 24 states in addition to NC.
Free parking will be designated offsite with a shuttle to drop you off right at the front door of Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center. After a fun day in Cowee valley, head on into town where you’ll find local restaurants, businesses, shopping and other activities to complete your day!
Come learn about the culture and folkways of our Southern Appalachian Mountains by engaging in one of the many living history experiences, a trademark of the Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage.” This FREE event is co-sponsored annually by these two non-profits, Folk Heritage Association of Macon County and the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center, with support from Cowee Community Development Organization, local area museums, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council of Macon County and others. Previously, the festival has been made possible by grants from the Franklin/Nantahala Tourism Development Committee, the Tourism Development Authority of the Town of Franklin along with funding from local businesses and individuals. For more information visit: FranklinFolkFestival.com or call (828) 524-6564.