Last Sunday my husband and I attended Bele Chere, Ashevile's biggest street fest
for three decades running. It began in 1979 to help bring business to downtown Asheville during the slower summer months. It has blossomed over the years to a huge festival with art, music on four stages, food, beverages, a drum circle, children's entertainment and more. Usually held on the last full weekend in July, the fair draws over 300,000 people over the three days.
The name Bele Chere means "beautiful living" in an ancient Scottish dialect. Most of the original settlers in this area were from Scotland. We wandered around the main streets in the center of town, just enjoying the activities. It was a hot day but the misting tent offered a chance to cool off!
My favorite is the Purina sponsored Air Dog competition. People bring their dogs to show off how far they can jump in the water chasing a toy. The first photo catches a chocolate lab in full jump pose over the pool! A spaniel swims back to the platform in the second photo.
Many artists line the streets with everything from clothes, jewelry and pottery to music tapes and paintings. We were looking for a potter friend from Boone to visit with and found her family ensconced inside a cool restaurant having lunch. It was fun to meet up with them and hang out.
Street performers setup in various spots along the way and do their thing. This young lady looked like a statue and would play her drum at intervals. The mime below worked with his partner - hula hooping on stilts.
We topped the afternoon off with a performance by a zydeco band and the crowd was really into them! (For those not familiar with this kind of music click on zydeco for explanation!)