When noted folklorist and attorney Bascom Lamar Lunsford took mountain music and dance out of the “hills and hollers” of Western North Carolina and put it on stage for the public to see in 1928, he created one of the nation’s most important historical and cultural performance events. Held the first weekend of August each year, “along about sundown”, Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival is the oldest continuously running folk festival in the nation. When the fiddles, banjos, cloggers and more hit the stage in 2014, the festival will celebrate a venerable 87th birthday. While many similar events may now be found across the country, Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival is a splendid, high spirited showcase of the region’s traditional music and dance, handed down through the years and sometimes even performed by two or three generations of one family together on stage.
While the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival continues to give area performers important recognition, highlighting their talents and preserving our Southern Appalachian heritage in a concert setting, Shindig on the Green provides a way to encourage and present a wide variety of performers in an informal outdoor atmosphere. Each summer, the Shindig presents authentic, traditional music and dance, creating a forum for the growth of the heritage and providing free entertainment to tens of thousands of individuals from all over the world who attend, while stimulating awareness and appreciation for the cultural heritage of the region.