Tourism in Rutherford County is exploding along with the population. Cripple Creek Cloggers Founder Steve Cates told WGNS that the draw of the group's International FolkFest has enabled them to firm the three countries visiting here in June, 2019 event.
Folk dance troupes from England, Czech Republic and Mexico will be a part of the thirty-seventh International FolkFest that will be here in Murfreesboro June 9-16, 2019.
Cates noted, "Now is the time we need to hear from volunteers who wish to help make this annual cultural exchange a success."
He explained that they need persons to welcome the visitors to the Nashville International Airport on June 9, 2019, along with those to coordinate performance sites, dinner locations and more.
YOU Can Travel Too!
The Cripple Creek Cloogers, who perform the Appalachian style of clogging, are also accepting local adults to tour the world with them and become mid-state goodwill ambassadors. They are offering free classes at the Smyrna Senior Citizens Center, 100 Raikes Street in Smyrna. The next class is at 4:00 o'clock Sunday afternoon, November 4, 2018.
Cates told WGNS, "Preparations are being made for the Murfreesboro troupe to travel next year and represent the U.S. in several international folkloric festivals. Firm invitations have been received for travel to Thailand, Portugal, and Macedonia."
Not only do the Cripple Creek Cloggers travel to fascinating places and learn about other traditions, but all expenses while in those countries are provided by the festival. The only expense is for the round trip travel ticket, and that is usually less due to group discounts.
Volunteers Are Needed
Cates gave details of help that is needed for the next International FolkFest here next June. This local non-profit provides food, lodging and travel for the troupes from the time they arrive at the Nashville International Airport on June 9, 2019 until they return home on June 16, 2019:
- Lunch and/or dinner meals for individual groups - 25 persons
- Dinner meals for the entire delegation - 80 persons
- Performance sites for a couple of nights during the week where concerts may be presented using all three troupes - or one troupe
- Cash donations to assist with paying for transportation and/or housing
He quickly pointed out, "We provide that one time each year to our visiting troupes from other countries. Our Cripple Creek Cloggers get this coverage at no cost to them for the many tours our group makes to share our culture."
Rutherford County Is An Attraction
The increase in local tourism is attracting more arts groups to be a part of events like the International FolkFest. In fact, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce reports that a record 2.13 million visitors were welcomed to Rutherford County in 2017, a 7.4 percent increase from 2016's then record-breaking mark of 1.98 million visitors. Rutherford County has outperformed the national average for tourism growth of 2.6 percent, for the third consecutive year.