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Folkmoot USA, North Carolina's Official International Festival, is a two-week celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance. The festival is headquartered at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, a former elementary school, in Waynesville, about 25 miles west of Asheville. Folkmoot features performances, parades and workshops using colorful, authentic and original reproduction costumes, lively dance and beautiful music. The word folkmoot or folkmote means ?meeting of the people? in Old English, and was borrowed from a folk festival that was once held in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The Folkmoot Festival takes place throughout eleven counties in Western North Carolina. While there are over 300 international festivals like Folkmoot USA across the globe, Folkmoot is one of only two international folk festivals in the United States. They invite 300 traditional dancers and musicians from different countries to come to North Carolina for two weeks of entertainment, cultural exchange and education. Held for 26 consecutive years, Folkmoot has been designated ?One of the Top Twenty Events in the Southeast? by the Southeast Tourism Society for 20 years. Folkmoot USA attracts 100,000 visitors to Western North Carolina. 2010?s invited groups include Russia, Latvia, Poland, Jordan, Switzerland, Portugal, France, United Kingdom and Peru.

Performers demonstrate cultural heritage through colorful, authentic and original reproduction costumes, lively dance and beautiful music. Over 200 folk groups from more than 100 countries have shared their heritage and culture at Folkmoot USA. The North Carolina General Assembly declared Folkmoot USA to be the state's official international folk festival in 2003. The Folkmoot USA is a non-profit organization owned by the International Council of Folklore Festival Organizations and Traditional Arts, or CIOFF, based in Paris. The first festival was held in 1984 featuring folk groups representing nine countries, including England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico and India.
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