The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival (MDFF) is the longest running folk festival in the United States and takes place in Asheville, North Carolina every summer. It was first coordinated by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in the late 1920s as a way to display Southern Appalachian culture for tourists (1). The popular Rhododendron Festival, which ended with the Great Depression, drew large crowds to its parade every summer (2). Out of this festival, MDFF was founded to highlight the local talent for music and dance. Thanks to the resilience of those locals, MDFF survived the Great Depression and continued on (3). Today, the festival is still a great example of Southern Appalachian culture and a favorite Asheville pastime.
This website is a student-project created through a partnership between two courses offered at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and D.H. Ramsey Library’s Special Collections Department. The professors, students, and archivists of UNC Asheville recognize the importance of preserving this long-held tradition within the cultural identity of Western North Carolina. We encouraged you to investigate the rest of the website along with our interactive features that were developed by two Computer Science student-teams from UNC Asheville. We would also like to thank the Folk Heritage Committee for giving us access to their collection in our archives. If you would like to visit their cite, click here!
1. “History and Event Overview: Timeline.” Old-time and Bluegrass | Mountain Music and Dance | Asheville NC. 2017. Accessed May 04, 2017. http://www.folkheritage.org/ourhistory.htm.
2. Jones, Loyal. Minstrel of the Appalachians : The Story of Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1984. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed May 4, 2017). Pg. 12
3. Jones, Loyal. Minstrel of the Appalachians : The Story of Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1984. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed May 4, 2017). Pg. 43
Images: 4. “Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.” Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville, North Carolina. Accessed May 04, 2017. https://www.romanticasheville.com/folkfest.htm.
Header Image- Asheville Citizen Times, 1970, Box 6, Folder 40, Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC.