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16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival Cancelled Due to Rising COVID-19 Cases and Concern for Safety

Due to rising COVID-19 cases in Macon County and the surrounding area, a very difficult decision has been made to cancel the upcoming 16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” scheduled for August 21, 2021, at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center. Volunteer board members of both co-sponsoring organizations (the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center and the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County, FHAMC), have been working diligently for many months to plan the festival so they haven’t made this decision lightly. “Our number one priority is the safety and health of our children, community, participants and volunteers,” stated Bobby Kuppers, Cowee School Board Chairman.

After consulting locally with Macon County Health Department and CDC/NC state websites, it is clear that as of today (August 10, 2021), Macon County is experiencing a high COVID testing positivity rate which is trending upward. Together, the boards worked through several scenarios in an attempt to modify the event by considering restrictions and guidelines but came to the conclusion that implementation and enforcement of those restrictions would be difficult, if not impossible, which could compromise the safety of staff and visitors. Although it was very frustrating and disappointing, all agreed that to be fair to our volunteers, participants and patrons, the best course of action would be to cancel.

Board members Claire Suminski and Anne Hyder (Chair, FHAMC) agreed that it was the right thing to do considering the situation and added that many of the children who attend the festival are unvaccinated. Physical distancing and crowd control would be difficult as 1,000 to 1,500 people usually attend including many out-of-town visitors. Former Cowee School Chair Bob McCollum voiced that “people may not agree with the decision to cancel, but hopefully they will understand why we did what we did.” Theresa Ramsey (FHAMC) added, “unfortunately, we can’t control the situation, only how we react to it.”

Board members left the meeting with the daunting task of getting the word out about the festival cancellation to all those involved, i.e., demonstrators, entertainers, artisans, vendors, and volunteers who have already put in many hours of preparation for the event.

In looking forward to a time when COVID is not a concern, the boards expect to reschedule the 16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” to next August 2022.



franklin nc area folk festival sponsors


The Franklin Folk Festival showcases the Appalachian Heritage
of the Mountains of Western North Carolina. It's a great day of FREE FUN for the entire family. Admission and parking for the event are FREE! Call (828) 524-6564 for information.

» Donate to the Franklin Area Folk Festival

» Click here to learn how you can support the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County

» Donate to one of the designated FHAMC projects




Folk Heritage Association of Macon County
PO Box 1416, Franklin, NC 28744
(828) 524-6564




» 2019 Festival Program (PDF)

Download a copy of the 2019 Franklin Area Folk Festival Program Book.

» 2019 Entertainment Schedule (PDF)

Great entertainment is always part of the Franklin Area Folk Festival. See the full line-up of heritage and old-time music.

» 2019 Children's Activities (PDF)

There are dozens and dozens of handson activities for the young ones attending the 2019 Franklin Area Folk Festival.

franklin area folk festival free shuttle rides

Driving Instructions to Cowee School

Please park at Cowee Baptist Church (located at 6301 Bryson City Road right before you get to the school) and take a shuttle down to the school. Handicap Parking will only be at this location.


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PO Box 1416 • Franklin, NC • 28744 • Design by Tony Angel Media