Jul. 27—The end of July brings long, hot summer days and more rain in the mountains, but here in Waynesville, it also means the beloved staple summer event Folkmoot is back and it is finally just a day away from starting.
This year's Summerfest runs from Thursday, July 28 — Sunday, July 31, and will have the same awe and energy of Folkmoot's traditional summer festival, which has been a staple in Haywood County since 1984. It will be a bit scaled back this year compared to other Summerfest events, which used to stretch two weeks.
The festival will be four days long this year, as it was in 2021, with ticketed performances in Maggie Valley and at the Folkmoot center, and a free day of festivities in downtown Waynesville without the parade. The international performing troupes — the stars of Folkmoot — represent the culture of their home country, but they are based here in the U.S.
"In the past we have brought others from different countries," Folkmoot Director Evan Hatch said. "This year we have brought diverse groups of American performers."
With its new staff and the headquarters of the Folkmoot Center in Waynesville, the multicultural center hopes to offer more events and performances throughout the year, along with the regular festivals.
"We are excited to bring talented dance groups and also musical groups from around the country," Hatch said.
He hopes there will be about 20,000 people in attendance for the festival this year.
Tickets for the daily shows and performances are $25 and can be purchased online at Folkmoot.org. International Day, Saturday, July 30, is free.