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Thursday, August 3, 2017

“Let the sun shine…” or not! Franklin Area Folk Festival,
a Prelude to the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse!

Press Release:

Theresa Ramsey (828) 369-7411
July 9, 2017
“Let the sun shine…” or not! Franklin Area Folk Festival, a Prelude to the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse!

As our area ramps up for the historic Solar Eclipse set to take place in Franklin on August 21, 2017 at 2:35 p.m., we want to offer a prelude to the big event – The 13th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” being held on Saturday, August 19, 2017 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. And it is a FREE event!

What can you expect? The Franklin Area Folk Festival celebrates all things Appalachian! This family-friendly festival features live heritage demonstrations, Appalachian crafts, oldtime mountain music & SEBA (SouthEastern Bluegrass Association) jammin’ sessions, Civil War Re-enactors camped on the grounds with infantry drilling and firing demonstrations, kids’ activities, food, textiles, tours & 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. Once known as the Quilting Capital of the World, displays from the Smoky Mountain Quilter’s Guild including kids’ make-it/take-it project and the Cowee Quilters will help showcase this important heritage. Some additional highlights include special quilts on display (like the famous Cabarras Quilt, The Celebrate America Autograph Quilt, the original World’s Largest Quilt), the village blacksmith, flint napping, woodworking/woodcarving, Border Collies’ demonstrations, Front Porch storytelling, farmer’s market, one-room school, old-time music and more. Performances of mountain music, gospel and bluegrass tunes will exemplify a very important cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. In addition to performance stages inside and outside, we are partnering with SEBA to provide jammin’ sessions. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in! Inside on the gym stage, children ages 18 and under are encouraged to compete in the Mountain Youth Talent Contest (performances in traditional Appalachian music, storytelling and dance) sponsored by Jackson County 4-H with support from Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (sign-up on our website).

New this year, we will feature an area for selected songwriters to perform their renditions of old-time and bluegrass music. And, downtown, located on the vacant lot/field beside Ace/Fox Mercantile at the corner of Palmer Street and 441 S, an Antique Car Show will be held where visitors can come view vintage cars/equipment then hop on a free shuttle bus out to Cowee for the festival celebration. This shuttle will run throughout the day. Or if you prefer to make the scenic drive out to Cowee valley, free parking will be designated offsite with a shuttle to drop you off right at the front door of Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center.
Also, as part of the Women’s History Trail project, through portrayals and stories, we hope to provide a living history lesson to help you learn more about pioneer women in Macon County.

For anyone making plans to be in Franklin for the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse (Monday, August 21 /, be sure to join us at the festival the Saturday before, August 19, 2017! 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 and support from Cowee Community Development Organization, Scottish Tartan Museum, Macon County Historical Museum, Macon County Arts Council, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Blue Ridge Heritage Music Trail and others. The festival is made possible by grants from the Franklin/Nantahala Tourism Development Committee and the Tourism Development Authority of the Town of Franklin. For more information visit: or call (800) 932-5294