2021 Festival: Saturday October 2, 10 am-5 pm

While all is subject to change due to the public health situation, we are going ahead with our plans for this fall. We hope you will join us! In the meantime, please enjoy last year’s online events below: (interested in receiving our eNewsletter? Click here to subscribe.)

About the Festival

The Lunsford Festival is an all-day festival celebrating regional music and dance traditions. The event is the second oldest folk festival in Western North Carolina and was named in honor of co-founder Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lunsford was a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. Through this work he became known as the “Minstrel of the Appalachians.”

The festival brings out the region’s finest musicians and dancers and it happens on the same day as the Madison Heritage Arts Festival, so downtown is abuzz. It includes the presentation of the Lunsford Award, master musician workshops, jams, a ballad swap, and a community dance. Everything is free of charge except for the instrument workshops. Join us in honoring the rich cultural traditions of the Southern Appalachians!

For more information, please contact Leila Weinstein at (828) 689-1115 or lweinstein@mhu.edu.

Click here for downloadable Lunsford Festival Map

The Ramsey Center is a proud site on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.


Thank you to our generous 2019 Festival Sponsors and Partners

Sweet Monkey Cafe and Bakery: 2019 Lunsford Festival SponsorThe Library Coffee House: 2019 Lunsford Festival SponsorBaa'd Sheep Burritos: 2019 Lunsford Festival Sponsor





Madison County TDA: 2019 Lunsford Festival SponsorsWNCW 88.7: 2019 Lunsford Festival Sponsor

Recover Brands: 2019 Lunsford Festival Sponsor









Trying out a potter's wheel.

Trying out a potter’s wheel

Bailey Mountain Cloggers

MHU’s Bailey Mountain Cloggers

Young musicians from the JAM Program

Madison County Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) students playing “backstage”

Spinning wheel demonstration

Angel Ridge Farm demonstrates a spinning wheel

Making apple butter

Twirling at the festival


Shuttles will run from and to the old Shell Station parking lot (next to Summit Church) on JF Robinson Lane (take a right-hand turn onto JF Robinson Lane if you are traveling on 213 West), where you can park your car. They will drop off/pick up in front of Pittman Dining Hall on Hwy 213 on campus. The first shuttle will leave the old Shell Station at 7:30 am and the last shuttle will leave Pittman Dining Hall at 5:30 pm.





Lions Covid Safety Guidelines