franklin folk festival north carolina

13th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival
"A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage" in Franklin, NC

“Let the sun shine…” or not! Franklin Area Folk Festival, a Prelude to the 2017 Great
American Solar Eclipse!

As our area ramps up for the historic Solar Eclipse set to take place in Franklin on August 21,
2017 at 2:35 p.m., we want to offer a prelude to the big event – The 13th Annual Franklin
Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” being held on Saturday, August
19, 2017 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!

What can you expect? The Franklin Area Folk Festival celebrates all things Appalachian!
This family-friendly festival features live heritage demonstrations, Appalachian crafts, oldtime
mountain music & SEBA (SouthEastern Bluegrass Association) jammin’ sessions, Civil
War Re-enactors camped on the grounds with infantry drilling and firing demonstrations,
kids’ activities, food, textiles, tours & 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.
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. Some additional highlights include special quilts on
display (like the famous Cabarras Quilt, The Celebrate America Autograph Quilt, the original
World’s Largest Quilt), the village blacksmith, flint napping, woodworking/woodcarving,
Border Collies’ demonstrations, Front Porch storytelling, farmer’s market, one-room school,
old-time music and more. Performances of mountain music, gospel and bluegrass tunes will
exemplify a very important cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. In addition to
performance stages inside and outside, we are partnering with SEBA to provide jammin’
sessions. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in! Inside on the
gym stage, children ages 18 and under are encouraged to compete in the Mountain Youth
Talent Contest (performances in traditional Appalachian music, storytelling and dance)
sponsored by Jackson County 4-H with support from Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (sign-up
on our website).

New this year, we will feature an area for selected songwriters to perform their renditions of
old-time and bluegrass music. And, downtown, located on the vacant lot/field beside
Ace/Fox Mercantile at the corner of Palmer Street and 441 S, an Antique Car Show will be
held where visitors can come view vintage cars/equipment then hop on a free shuttle bus
out to Cowee for the festival celebration. This shuttle will run throughout the day. Or if you
prefer to make the scenic drive out to Cowee valley, free parking will be designated offsite
with a shuttle to drop you off right at the front door of Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center.
Also, as part of the Women’s History Trail project, through portrayals and stories, we hope to
provide a living history lesson to help you learn more about pioneer women in Macon

For anyone making plans to be in Franklin for the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse
(Monday, August 21 /, be sure to join us at the festival the
Saturday before, August 19, 2017! 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 and support from Cowee Community
Development Organization, Scottish Tartan Museum, Macon County Historical Museum,
Macon County Arts Council, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Blue Ridge Heritage Music
Trail and others. The festival is made possible by grants from the Franklin/Nantahala
Tourism Development Committee and the Tourism Development Authority of the Town of
Franklin. For more information visit: or call (800) 932-5294.

13th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival – Classic/Antique Car and Tractor Show at Free Shuttle Location in Downtown Franklin!

Calling all cars…classic/antique cars, tractors and old equipment! We invite you to participate in this year’s Franklin Area Folk Festival Classic/Antique Car & Tractor Show being held on August 19, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm at our Franklin Folk Festival Shuttle Site located at 17 W. Palmer Street (the grassy lot on the corner of Palmer Street and Porter Street/441 S beside Ace/Fox Mercantile, the old Franklin Motel site). Bringing the car show to the downtown area has a three-fold purpose: it helps us promote heritage by displaying vintage cars and live music, it serves as an easy access, FREE off-site venue for parking and FREE shuttle to the folk festival, and provides a central location in town. Franklin Area Folk Festival co-sponsors (Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center Board and The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County) wanted to extend heritage activities so as visitors are enjoying downtown, they can conveniently come browse the vintage cars/engines/tractors on display, listen to lively tunes under the tent, and take advantage of free parking and free shuttle service to the 13th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival being held at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center off Highway 28. Contact John Waldroop (828) 342-2506 or Anne Hyder at (828) 524-6564 for more information.


harold corbin franklin folk festival dedication

franklin nc folk festival

  • Program Schedule › More Information (PDF)

  • Heritage Demonstrations/Exhibits
    See Appalachian Artisans in action as they offer living demonstrations of their craft passed down from generation to generation.
    › More Information

  • Class/Antique Car & Engine Show
    Always a popular attraction of the Franklin Folk Festival featuring dozens of antique rides located in Town with FREE Shuttle Rides.
    › More Information
  • Civil War Re-enactors
    Re-enactors demonstrate life from the Civil War era including live artillery fire and skirmishes.

  • Live Heritage Entertainment
    Hear the sound of authentic Appalachian music throughout the day at the Main Stage and jammin' sessions. » LEARN MORE

  • Quilt Show & Indoor Exhibits
    See a Special Exhibit of the Cabarrus Quilt, Celebrate America Autograph Quilt, and more including the Smoky Mtn. Quilters Guild and Cowee Quilters.

  • Bluegrass Jam Sessions
    Hear local talent or play along, so be sure to bring an instrument if you play.

  • Children’s Heritage Activities
    100 Years ago there were no XBoxes. Your young ones can participate in free heritage activities and learn how kids of yesteryear passed the time.

    Look for Tartan Flags to identify children's activities.

    Among the activities ... help your child make an Appalachian folk item with asssitance. Projects include: Spinning Tops, Spoon Making, Fish Hook Toy, Game of Grace, and a Pendant. (Donations welcome.)

  • Mountain Youth Talent Contest Information


franklin nc folk festival north carolina

© 2017 Folk Heritage Association of Macon County
PO Box 1416 • Franklin, NC • 28744 • Design by Tony Angel Media