Parade of Nations set for Saturday, July 26

moot paradedayThe annual Parade of Nations will showcase international folk troupes along Main Street in Waynesville on Saturday, July 26, as part of the annual Folkmoot USA extravaganza.

The free parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the historic courthouse and travel up Main Street through the center of downtown Waynesville for three blocks. This year’s Folkmoot festival and parade will feature the dance, music and culture of seven countries: Colombia, Turkey, Taiwan, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Romania and Hawaii.

Building towards the future

moot openhouseStanding in the hallway of the former Hazelwood Elementary School in Waynesville, amid old furniture, dusty windows and walls with paint peeling, Karen Babcock only sees potential.

“It all fits beautifully,” she smiled. “We hope to bring in local, regional, national and international groups and programs to this facility — we see complete, open opportunities.”

Folkmoot generates $9.2 million economic impact

Folkmoot USA had a $9.2 million impact on Western North Carolina in 2013, according to an economic impact study conducted by Tom Tveidt of SYNEVA Economics.

The study included the Western North Carolina region but focused on Haywood County, showing that Folkmoot’s overnight visitors spent $6.6 million during their visit. Outside day-trippers spent an additional $89,000 in Haywood County.

Only overnight and outside day-trip visitors were included in Folkmoot’s study.

Pacific Island troupe embraces tradition, family

moot hawaiiFor Joe Ahuna, it’s about one word — “ohana.”

“Ohana means family,” he said. “[We want people] inspired to go home and strengthen their own families.”

All that talk of the tourists? True that

op frTrue story. My wife Lori and I were enjoying a delicious, refreshing IPA at the Wedge Brewery on Sunday afternoon, rewarding ourselves after a brutal trail run in the mid-day heat at Bent Creek (brutal, at least, by my estimation; Lori and our dog, Django, were just loping along the entire time, well ahead of me). The brewery in the Asheville River Arts District was relatively crowded and the sun was blazing, so we shared a shaded table with a couple about our age who invited us to sit after making friends with Django.

We soon found out they were from the Charleston area, he an engineer with Boeing and she a public school secretary. More interesting, however, is why they decided to come to the mountains for a long weekend: beer.

Folkmoot to finally get title to old school

fr folkmootAn old elementary school in Waynesville that serves as a giant bunkhouse for troupes of international performers during the signature Folkmoot festival each summer is being relinquished by the Haywood County school system and turned over to Folkmoot for good. 

Folkmoot, 30 years in the making

moot martiniqueIt was a phone call Rolf Kaufman will never forget.

The year was 1983, and on the other end of the line was the voice of Dr. Clinton Border, a Waynesville surgeon and Kaufman’s neighbor.

Bringing the world into your home

moot hostpartyThe house is silent, but soon, it will be overflowing with voices, faces, words and languages known and unknown. Awaiting her guests, Jay MacDonald stands in the kitchen of her home in downtown Waynesville.

Mountain Momma

A whirlwind of global cultures, languages, costumes, music and dance has landed in WNC this week. The annual arrival of the Folkmoot international music and dance festival is a welcome respite from the mid-summer doldrums. 

This must be the place: Bringing the world to your doorstep

art frIt all started with an email. 

Last July, I was at a crossroads. Being a freelance writer for a few years, my usual summer work dried up before the warm weather even arrived. The publications I was contributing to in Upstate New York were losing money, rapidly, with their freelance budgets being the first casualty of a haphazard newspaper industry.

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