It is hard to believe now but… in 1979 Asheville merchants wanted to revitalize an abandoned downtown Asheville. They thought they could get some much needed local interest if they created a music festival. Bele Chere Festival started in three blocks of downtown Asheville with music as entertainment and a few merchant booths. And that is how a legendary event began.
Today downtown Asheville is home to restaurants, galleries, retail businesses, theatres, art exhibits, and a growing number of residents who call downtown "home", including friends of mine, but we still have Bele Chere Festival. And it starts this Friday!
The Bele Chere Festival is a three day festival with music, arts, crafts and food in the streets of downtown Asheville. It features live music on four different stages. The festival has a wide range of musical types with incredible talent from all over. This year the local, regional and national performers promise to be some of the best ever!
Did you ever wonder where all of that amazing talent comes from? The festival selection committee receives more than seven hundred applications to perform at Bele Chere every year. The selection committee is made up of local community members involved in the Asheville music industry. Bet you did not know this! If you want to know more about the selection process just go to BeleChereFestival.com
Artists and crafters also set up shop in the streets of Asheville to take part in the Bele Chere festival fun. They come from all over the country with beautiful metalwork, fabric, paint, ceramics, woodwork and a variety of other mediums. These artisans are featured throughout the streets during the festival. Arts Park at the Drhumor (yes, this is how they spell it) parking lot is a favorite stop also. Your next showpiece could be waiting for you!
Are you worried about parking in downtown? In order to make your visit more enjoyable, the city provides shuttle service from two different pick up points. It takes about thirty minutes from downtown Hendersonville to get to the shuttle pick up points. East will run from the back parking lot of the Asheville Mall. West will run from the K-mart Plaza shopping center on Patton Ave at Louisiana. These are $2 fares round trip and run approximately every twenty minutes. They will continue to run for an hour after the festival closes every day. There will be maps with directions and advice at the front desk of 1898 Waverly Inn. There is also parking in downtown garages for the adventurous but that is definitely at a premium.
The hours for the festival are Friday, July 29 Noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, July 31 Noon to 6 p.m. To see a street map of the festival area including stage locations go to http://www.belecherefestival.com/downloads/Public%20Traffic%20Control%20and%20barricade%20map.pdf The schedule for the stage music events for all three days can be found at http://www.belecherefestival.com/pages/entertainment_stages.htmWe hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!
John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC