Bele Chere is This Weekend in Downtown Asheville

Bele Chere is slimming down a bit in 2009, but it promises to be just as fun. The Asheville Parks & Recreation Department is bringing the festival back to a more manageable size and making it “100 percent free.” Gone are the big-name ticketed concerts held last year at Memorial Stadium. The festival features four stages of free live music and an impressive array of arts and crafts; as well as entertainment and activities for children. With construction on the eastern end of College Street, the children’s area is moving to the Asheville Civic Center.

The festival is committed to a diverse musical line up and features local, regional and national performers in genres including everything from Americana, Bluegrass, World and Reggae to Rock, Blues, Singer/Songwriter and more. A total of 43 acts will be providing plenty of entertainment. Local groups include The Afromotive, Balsam Range, Sons of Ralph and David Holt and the Lightning Bolts. National headlines include Cracker, Dar Williams, the Old 97s, Orleans and Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks.

Arts and crafts vendors will travel from all over the country to set up shop in the streets of Asheville to take part in the Bele Chere festival fun. This will present an opportunity to hopefully call one of these masterpieces your own. Metalwork, fabric, paint, ceramics, woodwork and a variety of other mediums will be featured throughout the festival. Stroll through the standard Festival Arts and Crafts, take some time to visit Arts Park to visit with the selected artists.

Bele Chere will offer two food courts for 2009. They include the Taste of Asheville and the Pritchard Park food court. Taste of Asheville features many local restaurants. Beverage Stations, Satellites and Trailers are the festival goers’ one stop shop for something cold to drink all weekend long.

Schedule for Bele Chere is Friday, July 24: Noon-10 pm Saturday, July 25: 10 am-10 pm Sunday, July 26: Noon-6 pm

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