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The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the country’s longest running folk festival now in its 88th year of highlighting mountain culture, returns to Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville Aug. 6-8.

With introductions beginning at 6:50 p.m. and shows beginning at 7 p.m. nightly, the festival formally showcases an extensive repertoire of mountain performers – old-timers as well as the newest generation of bluegrass and mountain string bands, ballad singers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers. All will share music and dance that echoes through centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage.

The beginning of the festival on Thursday is Hometown Appreciation Night, which will honor the grassroots flavor of the festival.

Featuring line-ups of musicians, ballad singers and dancers, each evening will have at least four dance teams. The Stoney Creek Boys, the long-standing house band that also plays the Friday night barn dances in Montreat, will perform each evening.

Big-time old-time

What: Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 6-8

Where: Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville

Cost: $22 regular, $12 up to age 12

Buy: dwtheatre.com

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