Folk festivals occur regularly in western North Carolina. Their origins go back to the 1920s. Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was one of the first. Their popularity has grown as our constantly-changing modern society fears losing touch with its cultural roots. Today folklife festivals appear throughout the country and are devoted to all kinds of folklife themes–music, crafts, foods, storytelling, and ethnicity among others. While their goal is to recreate the folklife of the past, festivals inevitably alter it by responding to changing entertainment preferences. In that they have been successful, for they attract large and enthusiastic crowds. So the next time you are looking for weekend entertainment, check the pages of western North Carolina’s local newspapers for information about folk festivals.


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