17th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival
"A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage"
in Franklin, North Carolina
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 19, 2023. It's a great day of FREE FUN for the entire family. Admission and parking for the event are FREE! Call (828) 369-4080 for information.
The 17th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” will be held 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.
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.
New collaborations this year at the Festival – the “Heritage Village” will come alive with a “campsite” on the field where the Southeastern Civilian Living Historians will share their stories and skills about pole lathe/carpentry, gourd carving, cooking preservation, butter churning, animal care, spinning/weaving, flax processing, chair caning/basket making, medicinal herbs, planting by the signs, broom making, log splitting, and more! Their village will also include these Foxfire demonstrators: candle maker, soap maker, blacksmith and others. In addition, Blue Ridge Public Radio will be partnering with the Foxfire Mountain Heritage Museum to continue their collection of oral histories about women in Appalachia. If you have a story you'd like to share, please stop by their booth. You can find out more about this project at https://bpr.org/WomeninAppalachia.
FREE Offsite Parking & Shuttle Service to Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center
• If you drive out to Cowee School, follow signs for offsite parking and take shuttle to school.
- Cowee Baptist Church (6301 Bryson City Rd) – Regular and Handicapped Parking Shuttles
- Snow Hill UMC (330 Snow Hill Rd) – No Handicapped Parking Shuttles at site.
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, Arts Council of Macon County and others. The festival is 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 call (828) 369-4080.
After spending the day at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center for the Franklin Area Folk Festival to head into town for "Trucks and Tunes" with food trucks and live music at the Gazebo on the Square in downtown Franklin. LEARN MORE »
Learn more about the 17th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival. From the Schedule & Demonstrator Information to Driving Directions, you'll discover that information below.
The Franklin Area Folk Festival features live heritage demonstrations, Appalachian crafts, jammin’ sessions that feature old-time mountain music and bluegrass, kids’ activities, food, & more! Artisans inside Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center will exhibit the area's rich heritage by teaching us about pottery, textiles, painting, and local history.View Schedule
If you would like to be part of the Franklin Area Folk Festival, applications are now available for Artisan Demonstrations, Arts & Crafts vendors, Food vendors, and Non-Profits. We invite you to join in this "Celebration of Appalachian Heritage" and exhibit or sell your wares.
For more information call (828) 369-4080.
Directions & Parking
The Franklin Area Folk Festival is held at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center in Macon County's Historic Cowee Valley. We always offer plenty of FREE OFFSITE PARKING & SHUTTLE RIDES that will drop you off in the middle of all the action. There will be plenty of signs posted directing you to the parking and shuttle rides for the festival!Know More
Thank You to Our Sponsors & Volunteers!
The 17th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival is co-presented by The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County and the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center with grateful appreciation to the many volunteers who made it happen!
With generous financial support/grants from: Franklin/Nantahala Tourism Development Committee (TDC), Franklin Tourism Development Authority (TDA), and the Arts Council of Macon County, NC.
Thank you to these businesses and organizations for their support:
Southeastern Civilians Living Historians, Cowee Baptist Church, Cowee Volunteer Fire Dept, Macon County Sheriff’s Dept, Macon County EMS, Snowhill UMC, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Windy Gap Baptist Church, Shuler’s Mulch Yard, Macon County Transit, Tony Angel Media, New Century Scholars (Pam Collins), 1st Presbyterian Church – Franklin, Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps Center (Keith Bowers), Mitchell Farms, Franklin H. S. FFA, Macon County 4-H & Goat Club, Junaluskee Masonic Lodge & Smoky Mountain Shrine Club, Town of Franklin, Lewis Penland, Macon County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, and NC DOT.
A very special thank you to the heritage demonstrators who are the heart and soul of this festival!
Folk Heritage Association of Macon County
The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County (FHAMC) is dedicated to preserving and sharing the culture and folkways of our Southern Appalachian Mountains through "living history" experiences.
In this world of instant gratification and communication, unique and important lessons can be learned from the lives of those whose survival depended on ingenuity, hard work, and mutual help and support from their neighbors.More About the FHAMC
Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center
The purpose of Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center is to promote the teaching and preservation of the cultural and artistic heritage of the Southern Appalachians and Cherokee people and to serve as a community resource and gathering place.
The former public school is located in the Cowee-West's Mill National Register Historic District and is among the richest in the nation.More About Cowee School