Be aware of Folkmoot schedule changes this year

Jul 17, 2014

Folkmoot USA will begin its 31st year this weekend. Many residents and regulars to the international festival that brings in performers from all over the world are familiar with the event schedule, but things have been moved around quite a bit this year.

People should pay close attention to the Folkmoot schedule of events, which is listed in today’s issue of The Guide. The popular Parade of Nations is usually held on Friday during the first weekend of events, but this year the parade will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 26. Folkmoot hoped having the parade on a weekend would allow more people the opportunity to experience it.

Folkmoot always plans a gala event for sponsors and donors on Thursday before the official opening of the festival, but that too was changed this year. The Stompin’ Ground in Maggie Valley will host the Gala Performance and Champagne Reception this year, but it has been moved to Monday, July 21, well after the grand opening on July 18.

The Haywood County Arts Council has always hosted International Festival Day, an arts and crafts festival on Main Street in Waynesville featuring music, international food vendors, children’s activities and performances from a few Folkmoot groups. However, this year, HCAC decided to rename the event ArtFest to be more in line with the art council’s brand and name recognition. Members of HCAC board of directors have said nothing else will change about the event except the name.

Other ticketed Folkmoot events will be spread out across Haywood County, including at Canton’s Colonial Theatre, Haywood Community College and Lake Junaluska’s Stuart Auditorium.

There are several fun, free events to attend during Folkmoot, like ArtFest and the Parade of Nations, but it’s also important to remember Folkmoot is a nonprofit and heavily relies on donations to keep the festival going. It is a critical economic engine for Haywood and surrounding counties. If we want to keep the success festival going for 30 more years, let’s support it in any way we can.