Applewood Manor guests will find that music is an inseparable part of Asheville life. You find it everywhere and especially in its many festivals. As the saying goes, people in Western North Carolina can always find a reason to have a festival and you cannot have a festival without music. And while its cultural diversity promotes every musical genre, there is an unmistakable foot stomping Appalachian Mountain Sound—folks just call it “Mountain Music”!
And Asheville is home for two musical events that celebrate and preserve that traditional Mountain Music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains–Shindig on the Green and the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
Saturday nights in July and August are The Shindig on the Green Nights. That is when people dig out their musical instruments or dancing shoes and about 7:00pm head for Pack Square Park in front of Asheville’s County Building. Come experience traditional music and dance t of Southern Appalachia. Some go just to listen and watch as volunteer professionals and amateurs perform on stage. Others will join one of the many ad hoc jamming sessions that spontaneously pop up in the park in the hour preceding stage performances. Some will be enjoying a picnic dinner. For those that did not pack a picnic basket, there are plenty of food vendors and nearby eateries. But mainly, everyone is there just to enjoy the beautiful music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia on a summer evening in the mountains. The Shindig is a free event organized by the Folk Heritage Committee who select performers and bands from those offering to perform or from jamming sessions. Performers are limited to two songs, dances or storytelling insuring variety.
If you enjoy The Shindig on the Green, you will love its sister event, The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Started in 1928, the annual three day event, is the oldest gathering of its kind in the nation providing a platform for the talented of the traditions of Southern Appalachia high country. The festival is held on the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of August with a different line-up of authentic bluegrass music and dance each night. Performances are in Lipinsky Hall on the University of NC-Asheville campus, 300 Library Lane, from 6:30-9:30 PM each evening. What will an evening at The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival be like? It will be an evening filled with the hand-clapping, foot stomping rhythms of Bluegrass, the high energy of clogging, plus Mountain Smooth Dancing and colorful storytelling. The songs and dances shared at this event stretch across time from the Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee, and African heritage found in the valleys and coves in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
You can find more about the Folk Heritage Committee at https://folkheritage.org.