Folkmoot 2016 will include representation from 10 countries: China, the Dominican Republic, Findland, France, Ghana, Japan, Peru, Poland, and Romania, with a special US-Mexico celebration. The festivities are sure to be a hit, with special performances by Lo Gerbo Baudo folk dance troupe (France), The Vatra de Dor group of the School of Arts of Cluj (Romania), the reowned international performers of Hibiki Rengo-Kai (Japan), the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, and various local musicians from around the Appalachian Mountains.
I had the pleausre of speaking with Elizabeth Burson, Program Coordinator at Folkmoot USA, to learn morea bout the heritage of the organization and festival.
"It started off with just three or four groups and was just a few days. Now it's a 10 day festival, and we are traveling all over Western North Carolina," she explained. "What we've found over the years is that, yes, people different languages, but we are all the same. We have similar stories and dances. The Folkmoot logo says 'many cultures, one community'. It's not about the things that make us different, but the things that make us the same."
I asked Ms. Burson if she had any personal recommendations for 'must-see' events at Folkmoot 2016. "It depends on what you like! I love the candlelight closing at Lake Junaluska. It's an amazing way to end this ten day festival. The Many Cultures Kid Carnival is all about the kids. There will be crafts, dance lessons,a lot of other great kid-oriented activities. Also, The Orange Peel Dance Party in Asheville - we're ready to dance the night away with the [international] groups!"
For the full schedule of events, and more information about this unique and exciting festival visit folkmoot.org.
Lodging accommodations for the event can be booked by visiting bwriverescape.com or by calling the front desk directly at (828)-586-6060.
For more information about special offers and hotel amenities, follow Best Western River Escape on facebook.com/bwriverescape and on Twitter and Instagram @bwriverescape.