The Franklin Folk Festival will celebrate its 8th year on July 16, continuing the tradition of craft, song, dance and cuisine in the heart of Franklin.
This year’s theme, “Trails, Tales and Settlements” promises more entertaining and educational information than ever about the history of Franklin and surrounding areas. Spotlighted in the tales section will be popular storytellers who will, throughout the day, be telling stories of the mountains that will intrigue both children and adults. On the front porch will be some of the region’s oldest residents sharing stories about their lives growing up here in the mountains.
The Trails Through Time segment will spotlight antiques and many of the items used by early mountain residents at different periods in their lives. Indian Trails and Cherokee Heritage Trails will educate visitors about the Indian names given to various sections of the county. Other trails that will be explored during the festival are Quilt Trails, Hunting Trails, Hiking Trails, Old Railroad Beds, Civil War Trails, Family Genealogy Trails, Logging Trails, Communication Trails and Wagon Trails.
Tied closely to trails is the Settlements portion of the festival, where historians and representatives from various communities will talk about how particular areas got their names, who their early settlers were and how these communities have changed over the years. Old photographs and displays will help bring these early settlements alive.
Since 2011 begins the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the 25th Infantry Civil War Re-enactors will be on hand to show how this conflict affected the lives of ancestors who lived through it. The re-enactors will be camped throughout the weekend in Frogtown, the site of Franklin’s old drive-in theatre, and camp tours will be offered throughout the day on Saturday. As during past Franklin Folk Festivals, a skirmish which has become known as the Battle of Frogtown — complete with a cannon and other artillery — will take place, and throughout the day, infantry drilling and firing demonstrations will take place.
Elsewhere at the festival will be craftspeople displaying heritage skills, musicians playing and singing mountain songs, square dancers willing to dance for and teach spectators, vendors supplying delicious food and games and contests for all ages.
In addition to exhibits and demonstrations, the festival will host an Antique Car Show, Civil War re-enactments, games and contests for children and adults, and the always popular Heritage Parade.
As in past years, several music venues downtown will feature old time mountain music: Gazebo Main Stage, Church in the Wildwood, featuring gospel music inside First Baptist Church-Chapel, the Jammin’ Tent in front of Town Hall, open to all jamming enthusiasts, as well as other exhibits that include music.
All of this helps the Folk Heritage Association continue to provide living history experiences and to preserve the folk heritage of Macon County for generations to come. Activities and exhibits will be focused in the downtown area in addition to special exhibits at the Community Facilities Building and grounds on US441 south.
For more information call 828.369.7411 or visit www.mcncfha.org.