17th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival

"A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage" in Franklin, North Carolina

Saturday, August 19, 2023 • Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center


Celebrating all things Appalachian, this FREE 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.), flint napping, woodworking/woodcarving, Border Collies’ demonstrations, 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 will help showcase this important heritage.

Kids Activities begin at 10:00 am

Franklin Folk Festival Kids Activities  

Beginning at 10:00 am at the Kids’ Activity Tent located mid-field, kids of all ages are encouraged to play old-fashioned lawn games such as egg races, sack races, and tug-o-war. At designated times under the tent, kids can try their hand at various heritage skills like milking the “cow”, corn shellin’ and making heritage crafts. Plus, additional kid focused activities will be scattered around the grounds with lots of opportunities for hands-on interaction. Plans include: the Smoky Mtn. Quilter’s Guild Make-it/Take-it sewing item, Border Collie demonstrations, homemade craft projects, exhibits of traditional toys, close encounters with friendly goats, pottery projects in the pottery room, weaving in the hall by Cowee Textiles, clothes washing station and much more.

Kids young and old are sure to enjoy this fun filled, historic day as we embrace life as it was in the early days. 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.


For more information call (828) 369-4080.


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.”



Franklin Area Folk Festival
Franklin Folk Festival Shuttle Service

Thank You to Our Sponsors

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!


Thank you to these businesses and organizations for their support:
Cowee Community Development Organization, Cowee Baptist Church, Snowhill UMC, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Cowee Fire Department, Macon County Transit, Tony Angel Media, Teen Challenge, New Century Scholars (Pam Collins), Macon County Board of Education, Town of Franklin, Macon County Government, Junaluskee Masonic Lodge & Smoky Mountain Shrine Club, LBJ Job Corp, 1st Presbyterian Church – Franklin, Macon County 4-H, Macon County Farm Bureau, and the Arts Council of Macon County.

A very special thank you to the heritage demonstrators who are the heart and soul of this festival!



Franklin Area Folk Festival Directions

2023 Franklin Area Folk Festival Details Coming Soon!

For more indepth information on the Franklin Area Folk Festival, we have provided downloads of materials from the 2022 event.


» 2022 Frankln Area Folk Festival Festival Program (PDF) - Download a copy of the 2022 Franklin Area Folk Festival Program Book.

» 2022 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.

» 2022 Children's Activities (PDF) - There are dozens and dozens of hands-on activities for the young ones attending the 2022 Franklin Area Folk Festival ... help your child make Appalachian folk crafts they can take home!


A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage

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