franklin folk festival north carolina

16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival
"A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage" in Franklin, NC


Due to Covid 19, the 2021 Festival plans may have to be altered prior to August 21, please check back.

The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County and the Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center invite you to the 16th annual Franklin Area Folk Festival on Saturday, August 21, 2021 – always set for the 3rd Saturday in August.

Applications are now available for Arts & Crafts Vendors, Artisan Demonstration, Food, and Non-Profit.

Please click here for more information.

About the Franklin Area Folk Festival

Come to the mountains of Western North Carolina and discover the Franklin Area Folk Festival! Our mission is to preserve and educate about the rich heritage of Franklin, NC and Macon County. The festival will take place on Saturday, August 21, 2021.

The 16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2021 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 regards 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, and local history. By linking our future to our past, the Franklin Area Folk Festival sponsors hands-on activities to allow visitors to experience what mountain life was like way back when. 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 and the Cowee Quilters will help showcase this important heritage.

Free parking will be designated offsite with a shuttle to drop you off right at the front door of Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center.

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 the 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, 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: or call (828) 524-6564.

For more information call (828) 524-6564.



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 2021 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.


© 2020-2021 Folk Heritage Association of Macon County
PO Box 1416 • Franklin, NC • 28744 • Design by Tony Angel Media