97th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

Are you ready to be part of the 97th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival®? On August 1, 2, and 3, 2024, a different show will be presented live on stage each evening allowing you to appreciate the talent and dedication of the hundreds of musicians, dancers, and storytellers who are preserving the traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. These traditions involve not only the hand-clapping, toe-tapping rhythms of Bluegrass, the style and stories of century-old ballads, the high energy of clogging, the elegance of Big Circle Mountain Smooth Dance, the fun and entertainment of storytelling, but also include an awareness of the hardships and trials that have brought us to this place and time.

This 97th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival® has been made possible through the generosity of our music community volunteering their time and talent to preserve and promote the Southern Appalachian music, dance and storytelling heritage.

A listing of performers who volunteer their time and talent to make our events possible can be found on Our Performers page. Please visit their websites and support their generosity by purchasing music, merchandise, making a contribution to virtual tip jars where available or just to tell them you enjoyed their performance. Our artists especially need our support during these difficult times.

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford as a means for people to share and understand the beauty and dignity of the Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions that have been handed down through generations in western North Carolina. He saw the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival grow to be the oldest gathering of its kind in the nation and it continues in this way, a platform for the talented of the high country lying between the Great Smoky and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Since 1928, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival has served a crucial role in raising awareness and understanding of the vitality and importance of Southern Appalachian culture throughout the region, nation and world. Bascom Lunsford’s mission was to present the finest of the Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams for education and entertainment. The songs and dances shared at this event echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage found in the valleys and coves between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lunsford’s was the first dubbed a folk festival, and he later consulted with many communities across the country interested in organizing similar festivals.

If you like Shindig on the Green, you’ll love the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival!

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