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!

A Typical Day at the Franklin Area Folk Festival ...

The Franklin Area Folk Festival has it all from numerous outdoor areas such as a farmer's market, live heritage demonstrations, Appalachian crafts, old-time mountain music & SEBA (SouthEastern Bluegrass Association) jammin’ sessions, Civil War Re-enactors camped on the grounds with infantry drilling and firing demonstrations, kids’ activities and games for all ages, 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. There will be many artisans and craftsmen selling their wares. Plus, you can enjoy exhibits featuring crops and homegrown goodness prepared just like that of our ancestors.

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, one-room school, old-time music and more. Performances of mountain music, gospel and bluegrass tunes exemplify a very important cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. The early settlers understood that life was not just hard work. They relied on music and dance, community and church gathering and family time together on the porch to lift their spirits. An evening spent pickin’, singing and toe tapping could help them forget for a while the challenging rigor of life they faced each day. In addition to performance stages inside and outside, we are partnering with SEBA to provide jammin’ sessions. Festival-goers are invited 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.

New This Year ...

The Franklin Area Folk Festival will feature an area for selected songwriters to perform their renditions of old-time and bluegrass music. 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. We are in the final planning stages for an Antique Car Show (to be held in the downtown area) where visitors can come view vintage cars/equipment then hop on a free shuttle bus out to Cowee for the festival celebration. 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.

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.”

Whether you enjoy just looking and listening or really getting involved, there is something for everyone at the Franklin Area Folk Festival.

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, The Scottish Tartan Museum, Macon County Historical Museum, Macon County Arts Council, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Blue Ridge Heritage Music Trail and others. For more information call the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce at (800) 932-5294. The Franklin TDA, the Franklin/Nantahala TDC, local businesses and individuals provided past festival financial support.




harold corbin franklin folk festival dedication

franklin nc folk festival

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

  • Antique Car Show
    Always a popular attraction of the Franklin Folk Festival featuring dozens of antique 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.

  • 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.

    New this year! A Scavenger Hunt! Learn more here.

  • 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