Area Info / Bele Chere Festival 2010
Bele Chere Festival 2010
It's a beautiful life! Especially in Asheville, North Carolina. So much so that some thirty something years ago, the festival that was to become an annual tradition for these mountain folks was named "Bele Chere," which means "beautiful living" in an ancient Scottish dialect. Why ancient Scottish? Who knows! But you can be sure of a good time if you come to Asheville the weekend of July 23rd - 25th!
What's YOUR pleasure? Music? Got it. Food? Got it. Art? Incredible. Crafts? You betcha. Beer? Are you kidding me? This is Asheville! With new breweries popping up all over town to join those long established, Asheville has become known to many as "Brewville." So, yes: got it.
When Asheville throws a party, they mean business. A large section of the city closes to traffic. Stages are set up at four points and the streets become corridors of entertainment. Canopies go up as local and not so local craftspeople display their awesome wares. The Asheville Civic Center Arena becomes both the children's area and the Senior Oasis. Merriment abounds.
Hungry? Bele Chere 2010 will sport two food courts – one at Pritchard Park and A Taste of Asheville at Pack Square. A Taste of Asheville is a great place to sample the offerings of many local restaurants, al fresca, while still enjoying the festival. A list of local restaurants participating can be found here. It will definitely be worth stopping by.
Like music? Oh yeah. This is the place for you. With four stages set up at four ends of the festival, you are bound to find something that you like. If you would like to experience live folk, rock, bluegrass, indie, reggae, punk, jazz, soul, alternative, gypsy, pop, world, surf, blues, country, zydeco, mountain music or any fusion of the above check out the local, regional and national acts that Bele Chere has to offer. The music starts at 3:30pm on Friday, continues all day and evening on Saturday and then again Sunday until festival end. Check out the Line up and the schedule. Additional music can be found at the children's area and elsewhere throughout the festival.
Arts and crafts of all varieties can always be found in Asheville. If music is Asheville's heartbeat then art is its blood. Local artists as well as artists from around the country come to Bele Chere to give you the opportunity to take that "perfect piece" home. Find them at Arts Park, all throughout the streets of the festival, or visit the resident artists at the Grove Arcade Portico Market.
Want more entertainment? Go to the Lexington Ave. Performance Area where you will find salsa, zydeco, swing and ballroom dance lessons, jugglers and other assorted entertainers as well as the ever popular and very Asheville drum circle.
The Bele Chere festival is one of the largest annual festivals in the southeast, drawing approximately 350,000 people each year. If you need lodging, check out our Places to Stay. Getting there and getting around is easy if you know the following (courtesy of BeleChereFestival.com):
How do I get there?
You have a couple of options. You can drive to the festival or you can ride the Bele Chere Shuttle. If you drive, be aware parking is at a premium during peak times, but all the parking decks in the downtown area are open for business.
The two shuttle routes - one from the east and one from the west – run approximately every 20 minutes and the cost is $2 roundtrip.
If I drive, where can I park?
The City's parking decks remain open during the festival, but your access may be a little different than usual. There are also a number of surface lots around the perimeter that sell parking. In both cases, be aware that special event rates apply. Free handicapped parking is available at any metered parking space outside the festival boundaries.
Where can I catch the shuttle?
We always encourage festivalgoers to use the festival shuttles. Each day, service begins one hour before the festival starts and runs until one hour past regular festival hours. Shuttles run approximately every 20 minutes. The cost is $3 roundtrip.
East shuttle: Runs between 11AM and 11PM
West Shuttle: Runs between the same hours.
East will run from the back parking lot of the Asheville Mall. The Asheville Mall is located on Tunnel Road east of downtown. The west shuttle will run from the K-mart Plaza shopping center on Patton Ave
So get yourself to Asheville and as the locals say, have a great Bele Chere!