County fair still a go; folk festival cancelled

Macon County Fair Grounds photo by Vickie Carpenter

Teresa S. Tabor – Editor

As COVID-19 continues to be a factor in event planning in Western North Carolina, town and county officials in Franklin are evaluating what their next plan of action will be regarding events already in the works.

The Macon County Fair board met on Monday, Aug. 16, to discuss the possibility of whether or not the county fair should be held. The consensus was to continue making plans to hold the fair with the board monitoring the situation as it occurs. The fair is currently scheduled for Sept. 22 through 25. The fair was cancelled in 2020 but students who had raised livestock through 4-H and at family farms were permitted to show their animals and were judged on their respective merits. Videos of the students and their livestock can be viewed on website.

Annual Folk Festival

The annual Franklin Area Folk Festival has been cancelled due to the rising cases of COVID in Macon County. The festival was slated to be held this Saturday, Aug. 21, at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center. Both the health department and the Cowee School board worked through several scenarios in an attempt to modify the event by considering      restrictions and guidelines but came to the conclusion that implementation and enforcement of those restrictions would be difficult and could possibly compromise the safety of staff and visitors.  

Former Cowee School Chair Bob McCollum voiced that “people may not agree with the decision to cancel, but hopefully they will understand why we did what we did.” 

Theresa Ramsey with the Folk Heritage Associaion of Macon County added, “unfortunately, we can’t control the situation, only how we react to it.”

In looking forward to a time when COVID is not a concern, the boards expect to reschedule the 16th Annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage” to next August 2022.  Visit for more information.

Christmas parade

Franklin’s Annual Christmas parade is still on for this year, although it was touch and go a few weeks ago when  the chamber had decided that they could no longer host the parade. 

The Chamber of Commerce has hosted the annual Christmas Parade the Sunday after Thanksgiving for over two decades. This year, due to new costs associated with the event, a decrease in revenues, and a shortage of volunteers, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors had voted to not hold the parade and asked the town of Franklin or the Streets of Franklin Heritage Association to take over the event.

The Town of Franklin responded that they were unable to take on the additional expense that they hadn’t planned for in the new budget. Plus, with planning and staffing two nights of Winter Wonderland, it was just too much for the town to take on.

The Streets of Franklin Heritage Association originally agreed to take over the event but after realizing that the cost associated with paying police officers to assist in the parade would be billed to the organization hosting the parade, they, too, declined.

At the Aug. 2 Franklin Town Council meeting, council members voted unanimously to allocate $1,200 for overtime pay for off duty police officers needed for security, closing the streets and controlling traffic during and prior to the parade. 

The parade will be held on Sunday, Nov. 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, beginning at 3 p.m. on Main Street and continuing to the Highlands Road in East Franklin. Applications for entries will be available from the Franklin Chamber & Welcome Center located at 98 Hyatt Road, Franklin.  Commercial floats are available by contacting Diane at the Chamber at 524-3161.