Folkways come to life at Franklin festival

art franklinfestThe 9th annual Franklin Folk Festival celebrating Appalachian Heritage will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, in downtown Franklin.

The free event features talented demonstrators displaying heritage skills and a turn-of-the-century way of life with hands-on participation, musicians playing and singing mountain songs, square dancers willing to dance for and teach spectators, vendors supplying delicious native foods, kids’ activities/games and contests for all ages and more.

More than 100 volunteer artisans will be taking part in live demonstrations and exhibits featuring quilting, wood carving, basket making, fly tying, tatting, shingle splitting, early farm tools/equipment, spinning, weaving and moonshining. These free activities and exhibits will be focused in the downtown area.

Inside exhibits featuring the Original World’s Largest Quilt, the Cabarrus Quilt and the Celebrate America Autograph Quilt as well as many other locally made quilts, fiber arts creations, local artists, demonstrators and church displays will be housed at the First Presbyterian Church Tartan Hall and the Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church.

Entertaining and educational information about the history of Franklin and surrounding areas will be spotlighted by popular storytellers/historians who will be telling stories of the mountains that will intrigue both children and adults. Back this year, the Storytelling Station sponsored by the Macon County Arts Council will be held above People’s on the Square on Main Street and will feature Gary Carden and the Liars’ Bench: “Tales, Myths, and Flat Out Lies.”

Books Unlimited on Main Street will feature author signings and books on display all day, and the Macon County Historical Museum will host book signing with author Joy W. Sparrow.

Held in collaboration with Catch the Spirit of Appalachia and Jackson County 4-H Extension Office, youth will be given an opportunity to showcase their talents at the Heritage Alive! Youth Talent Show. The contest will be held on the Main Gazebo Stage from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Participants (open to youth age 5-18) must exhibit a talent that will reflect heritage and old Appalachian ways. Categories include: Poetry/Storytelling, Vocal Performance (individual or group), Instrumentalists (individual or group) and Dance (individual or group). Register online (click on Talent Contests) or call 828.586.4009.

Prior to the festival, the town will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Franklin Fire Department with a fire engine parade at 8:30 a.m. starting in front of the fire station and continue to Main Street. Vintage trucks, equipment and memorabilia will also be on display during the folk fest.

Another popular venue at the festival is the Civil War Camp located at the base of Frogtown and the Antique Car Show. The 25th Infantry Civil War re-enactors will be on hand to offer a look at how the war affected the lives of ancestors who lived through it. The re-enactors will be camped throughout the weekend in Frogtown.

The Early Farm Days Engine & Antique Tractor Show will be held simultaneously at the Macon County Fairgrounds and the Franklin Farmer’s Market (open seasonally from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays) will feature locally grown produce and plants.

828.524.3161 or 800.932.5294 or

Go to top