Friday, July 30, 2010

Bele Chere 2010, Asheville

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!)

Hope you enjoyed our public festival - we are joining in with Photo Hunt - Public and Scenic Sunday! Please stop by and visit them.


Genie Robinson said...

I’ve been waiting for this post. My husband worked for years in that funky county building. A week from Sunday I will finally be back “home”, and I cannot wait. I have never been to Bel Chere because I moved to Lexington just before its first year. Maybe one day I will get down for it. I am going to try to get to BMt to look for the grave I was telling you about. Have a wonderful COOL weekend.

Genie Robinson @

Jamiel said...

looks fun..
what a great festival

Odie Langley said...

Cheri it sure did look like a lot of fun and similar to the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival held in North Wilkesboro the first saturday in October every year. Of course there you have bluegrass as the emphasis. Glad you had a good time and thanks for sharing it with us.

Jane said...

Great people shots, and action. Nice one, thanks for sharing:)

Old Kitty said...

What a brilliant festival for humans and their doggies!!! I love the doggie pool! Awwwww! and the misting tent looks so inviting from the hot weather!

I have no idea what a zydeco band is but I love that you are all dancing away despite the heat!! I love that woman in her cowboy boots, straw hat and flowy skirt!

And Bele Chere sounds more French than Scottish! So I've learned something new today!!

Thanks for sharing another little gem from where you are!

Take care

Birgitta "foto CHIP" said...

Oh I enjoyed your festival very much - thanks! My favourite is also the jumping dogs ;)

Al said...

I'd have loved that festival, since I enjoy food and zydeco. But my dog wouldn't have gone near that water jump, he hates water!

Rosadimaggio63 said...

belle queste foto del tuo mondo...
i cani devo sicuramente divertirsi nell'acqua !!!
Al mio " Igor " sicuramente piacerebbe :-))
Buona giornata.

Greyscale Territory said...

The street festival looks like a wonderful experience! I am especially fascinated by the misting tent! What a great idea!

cat said...

A very enjoyable series of photos :)

And Miles To Go... said...

what a beautiful set of shots. love the misting tent. Happy Saturday.

Luna Miranda said...

what an awesome festival. i love the misting tent--so cool!:p and the mimes, and live music. must be loads of fun to be in this fest.

Manang Kim said...

This is what I like in summer so many activities and lots of food. Happy weekend!

Vicki said...

Air Dogs is a brilliant idea. The dogs would love it on a hot day.

Lesley said...

I love zydeco music. This looks like great fun for everyone.

Gee said...

I like the misting tent...looks so refreshing..

Kat_RN said...

Old Kitty directed me to you. We were at the festival on Friday (I had to work the weekend). It is fun to read another blog about the same thing.This time of year we head to your cooler mountains as often as possible.
Nice to meet you.

stan said...

What a day of festivity it must have been! Love the dog air event!

charmie said...

looks you had a great time. I love the zydeco photo.:)


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