Everything You Need to Know About the Alaska Folk Festival

Experience the music, traditions, and culture of The Last Frontier! Plan a spring vacation to Juneau and enjoy the sights, sounds, and excitement of the 2018 Alaska Folk Festival! It is one of the largest cultural events in Juneau and showcases the music and dances that are unique to our area. Best of all, this event takes place just a five-minute walk from Silverbow Inn! Discover everything you need to know about this annual festival!

Are you looking for more Juneau festivals? We’ve got the perfect resource. Download our free Vacation Guide to get a list of the best yearly events in the Juneau region. From restaurant weeks and food festivals to history and heritage events, you’ll find a little bit of everything. Plus, get the inside scoop on the best restaurants, bars, and shops in downtown Juneau. Plan your trip in no time with our free Vacation Guide!

The History of the Alaska Folk Festival

The first Alaska Folk Festival began in 1975 when a handful of local performers in Juneau decided to hold a performance at the Alaska State Museum. Hoping that this would become a tradition that would continue, they called it the First Annual Southeast Alaska Folk Festival. Since that first festival, performers and musicians from all over Alaska have been flying to Juneau for the seven-week event.

What You Need to Know About the Folk Festival

The festival is free for attendees as well as the performers (except one artist featured every year). There are no auditions necessary to perform in the festival; musicians simply have to apply for a time slot. These slots are then assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The 2018 Alaska Folk Festival will run from April 9 to 15. The evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m. and run for about four hours. The weekend afternoon concerts will begin at noon. Weekend workshops will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday morning, there is typically a family-friendly concert held. In addition to the official festival performances, there are local parties, jam sessions, and other celebrations held around downtown Juneau. Everyone gets in the spirit of the festival!

See Traditional Dances

Aside from the many performances and parties around town, traditional dancing has been a big part of the Alaska Folk Festival since 1976. These dances are often scheduled to follow the performances, featuring everything from traditional Contra to swing dancing. Many years, the festival will also include a guest caller or dance teacher who will educate attendees about their field of dance. If you’re interested in traditional dance, be sure to attend the Coffee and Jam event, which will take place Friday, April 13. This event will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will feature an open mic for musicians and callers. There will also be a free potluck breakfast and lunch provided by the locals in order to welcome visitors to the area. This event is the perfect opportunity to take part in regional traditions and get a feel for the authentic Alaskan experience.

Stay at Silverbow Inn

Stay in the best accommodations during your visit to the Alaska Folk Festival. Silverbow Inn is just a quick, five-minute walk from the Centennial Hall Convention Center, where the festival takes place. Browse our list of contemporary guest rooms or take a look at our many wonderful amenities. There’s no better place to stay in Juneau than Silverbow Inn!

Check our availability and book today! We look forward to having you.