Mountain Dance and Folk Festival Returns

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the country’s longest running folk festival, now in its 90th year of highlighting mountain culture returns this summer for three full evenings: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug.3-5 at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center near downtown Asheville. Tickets are on sale now.

With doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and a different show beginning at 6:30 p.m. nightly, the festival formally showcases an amazing repertoire of mountain performers – old-timers as well as the newest generation of bluegrass and mountain string bands, ballad singers, storytellers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers – who share music, dance and storytelling that echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage.
Audiences at each of the three performances will see an extensive line-up of the cream-of-the-crop musicians, ballad singers, storytellers, and dancers; each evening features at least four dance teams from the very young to the young at heart. The popular and long-standing house band, the Stoney Creek Boys, returns to perform each evening. And each night of the festival features both well-known musicians and new talent alike, representative of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and its continuing traditions.
Proceeds from ticket sales for the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival help to cover the costs of the eight Shindig on the Green events each summer, including goods and services such as sound equipment and technicians. These operating costs average several thousand dollars per Shindig evening. The Folk Heritage CommitteeTM produces Shindig on the GreenTM and the Mountain Dance and Folk FestivalTM in order to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
2017 Mountain Dance and Folk Festival Performance Schedule:
Thursday, Aug. 3: Carol Rifkin and Jerry Sutton, Masters of Ceremonies; Introduction by Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with Buck Dancers); Featuring: David Holt & Josh Go-forth; Phil Jamison; Dance Team: Dixie Darlin’ Cloggers; Betty Smith; Bear Wallow; Sons of Ralph; Dance Team: Folk Heritage Smooth & Cole Mountain Smooth Dancers; Leonard Holli-field & Friends; Zoe & Cloyd; The Garnet Ridge Ramblers; Dance Team: Cole Mountain Cloggers; The Buckner Family; Carol Rifkin, Jeanette Queen & Mark Queen; The Peg Twisters; Dance Team: Blue Ridge Heritage Cloggers; Whitewater Bluegrass Company.
Friday, Aug. 4: Laura Boosinger and John Roten, Masters of Ceremonies; Introduction by Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with Buck Dancers); Featuring: Laura Boosinger & The Midnight Plowboys; Bobby Hicks, Mark Kuykendall & The Asheville Bluegrass; Dance Team: Bailey Mountain Smooth; Richard Hurley; The Griggs; Don Pedi; Dance Team: Appalachian Mountaineers Cloggers; Honey Holler; Joe Penland; Dance Team: Southern Appalachian Cloggers; Lillian Chase & Friends; Clearwater Connection; Donna Ray Norton; Arvil Freeman & Emma McDowell; Maggie Lauterer and Zack Allen; Dance Team: Bailey Mountain Cloggers; The New Broad River Band.
Saturday, Aug. 5: Glenn Bannerman and Richard Hurley, Masters of Ceremonies; IIntroductionby Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with buck dancers); Featuring: Roger How-ell; The Waymasters; Bryan Sutton; The Cockman Family; Dance Team: Mountain Tradition Cloggers; The Ross Brothers; Rhiannon & The Relics; Dance Team: Folk Heritage Smooth Dancers; Buncombe Turnpike; Glenn Bannerman & Sit-Down Square Dance; Dance Team: Bannerman Family & Friends; Dance Team: Southern Mountain Fire Cloggers; The Southern High-landers; Dance Team: J Creek Cloggers; Spirit Fiddle.
Parking:  Festival patrons can park in the adjoining Parking Garage and lot at no additional charge.
Ticket Information: Adults $22 or $60 for 3-night package; Children 12 and under $12; Students $15 per person. Tickets: http://mdff.eventbrite.com. Tickets are also available each night at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center. For more information on the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival or Shindig on the Green, visit www.folkheritage.org or call the Folk Heritage Info Line: (828) 258-6101 x345.
About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more than six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.