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14th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival
"A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage" in Franklin, NC
Saturday, August 18, 2018 • Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center

The 14th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” being held on Saturday, August 18, 2018 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, 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.

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. Previous supports include: 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 grants from the Franklin/Nantahala Tourism Development Committee and the Tourism Development Authority of the Town of Franklin.

Check back for more information on shuttle rides from Downtown Franklin to the festival. We'll also have details coming soon of the Antique Car Show.

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  • 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


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© 2018 Folk Heritage Association of Macon County
PO Box 1416 • Franklin, NC • 28744 • Design by Tony Angel Media