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Asheville’s Energy Loop to be Rededicated on Friday

Monday, July 20th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Energy Loop – Asheville’s first piece of public art – was recently restored and will be at its new location next to the Buncombe County Health Services Parking Deck on College Street. The rededication ceremony will take place on opening day of Bele Chere just as the first dedication did in 1983 when then Governor Jim Hunt unveiled the sculpture at Bele Chere.

The Rededication will take place Friday, July 24 at 12 noon in the plaza area adjacent to the Buncombe County Health Services Parking Deck on College Street.

The Energy Loop, a corrugated metal sculpture, was created by Swannanoa artist Dirck Cruser.

Bele Chere Inroduces Arts Park

Monday, July 20th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Bele Chere festival has always been known for presenting great entertainment, but recently it has raised the priority and quality of the arts and crafts exhibitors. Hence the creation of Arts Park where the best, most high quality crafts will be located.

Arts Park features the best artists of Bele Chere. These 60 artists are selected by area art professionals. Arts Park Artists display the highest quality work including jewelry, photography, pottery, wood-working, painting and metalwork.

New to Arts Park is Artist Demonstrations! A variety of local artists will be demonstrating their work in a special area located near the back of Arts Park. The schedule of artists and their mediums will be listed on the Bele Chere website (www.belechere.com) as soon as they’re confirmed!

Hours for Arts Park: Friday, noon-9pm, Saturday, 10am-9pm- Sunday noon-6pm.

Arts park is located in the Drhumor parking lot and Asheville Savings Bank lots on Patton Avenue between Church Street and Lexington.

Winner of Bele Chere’s ‘Last Band Standing’ Selected

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Now You See Them is the winner of Last Band Standing Road to Bele Chere! Out of 52 local bands that applied for the battle of the bands-style competition, Now You See Them is the victor, winning a performance slot at Bele Chere, a day of recording at Echo Mountain Studios, and a professional photo shoot by lydia see.

Now You See Them will kick off Bele Chere on Friday, July 24th at 3:30 pm on the Rock n’ Kiss Stage. Bele Chere and the City of Asheville would like to thank all of the fans that showed overwhelming support for local music and WNC magazine for making Last Band Standing possible. We’d also like to give a special shout out to all of the bands that applied, especially the four bands that gave us an incredible night of music at the Orange Peel for the final round of Last Band Standing: Buster, Brushfire Stankgrass, Now You See Them, and A.C.E.

Bele Chere Announces Drumming Tent Schedule

Friday, July 10th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Bele Chere is pleased to partner with The Roots of Rhythm to present the Lexington Avenue Drumming Tent. Come and experience the sound and feel of drumming through a variety of performances and interactive sessions facilitated by Roots of Rhythm. The Drumming Tent will be located at the intersection of Walnut and Lexington Streets.

Drumming Tent Schedule

Friday, July 24, 2009

  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Drumming 101
  • 4:15 – 5:00 pm – Open Jam
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm – West African Drumming
  • 6:15 – 7:00 pm – Performance by Wild Bodema
  • 7:00 – 7:45 pm – Open Jam
  • 8:00 – 10:00 pm – Community Drum Circle

Saturday, July 25, 2009

  • 1:00 – 1:45 pm – Kids Workshop – Food Lion Children’s Area – Civic Center
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Found Sounds
  • 4:15 – 5:00 pm – Open Jam
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm – Performance by Zabumba!
  • 6:15 – 7:00 pm – Open Jam
  • 7:00 – 7:45 pm – Improv 101
  • 8:00 – 10:00 pm – Community Drum Circle

Sunday, July 26, 2008

  • 1:00 – 1:45 pm – Kids Drumming
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Performance by Arundas
  • 3:30 – 4:30 pm – World Beats
  • 4:30 – 6:00 pm – Community Drum Circle

Bele Chere Gets Back to Basics

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Bele Chere Festival

ASHEVILLE, NC – This year’s Bele Chere will certainly set a different tone than it has in recent memory. Over the years, the festival has grown beyond expectation, with some unforeseen consequences. Big name bands had headlined multiple stages with 25 dollar tickets, and last year the entertainment budget was nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Though the money was still pouring into downtown, Bele Chere had lost something that had made it unique to Asheville.

This year’s festivities will include fewer performers, shorter hours, and a greater emphasis on local bands and music. Despite the reductions, there are benefits to the truncated entertainment; it’s free. Not to mention, the budget will be less than half of what it was in 2008.

In an effort to redefine the festival, Asheville Parks and Recreation will be including 43 acts compared with last year’s 57. With a focus on local bands, including names like The Afromotive, Balsam Range, Sons of Ralph and David Holt and the Lightning Bolts, it would appear that the city is returning to the original mission of Bele Chere which was to promote local art and business. The festival will also be shutting down earlier, at 10 p.m., in an effort to coerce the crowds into downtown bars and restaurants.

The main stage on Lexington Ave. will become a drum circle. Two food courts will be set up. One at Pritchard Park and the Taste of Asheville will be setup around the Vance monument. The children’s area will be located in the Civic Center along the Senior’s Oasis in an effort to provide an air conditioned venue as well.

The line up is as follows:

Friday:

Winner of the Last Band Standing contest, Nikki Talley, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Tennessee Hollow, The Afromotive, The Hip Abduction, Stephaniesid, The Two Man Gentlemen Band, Bull’s Gap

Headliners – Cracker, Freekbass, Dar Williams

Saturday:

Bayou Diesel, Hot Politics, Christabel & the Jons, Laura Blackley Band
Fusebox Funk, Charles Sayles, Highly Kind, Ras Allen, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues, WSNB, GFE, Sons of Ralph, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Delta Moon, Drew Holcombe & the Neighbors, David Holt & the Lightning Bolts.

Headliners – Colt Ford, Old 97’s.

Sunday:

Carolina Gator Gumbo, Skinny Legs & All, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Marsupials. Orleans, Webb Wilder & the Beatnecks, Brother Joscephus & the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra, Chuck Brodsky.

‘Battlle of the Bands’ Winner to Perform at Bele Chere

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Bele Chere Festival

ASHEVILLE, NC – Think your group has what it takes to make it to the stage at Bele Chere? Then consider participating in a battle-of-the-bands competition, "Last Band Standing," to win an opportunity to perform at the Bele Chere 2009 Festival on the Biltmore or Battery Park stage.

Fans will vote online from June 8-24 to narrow the field and determine the top five bands that will face off at a battle of the bands-style concert at the Orange Peel on July 8.

The winning band will be announced immediately following the live performances and will receive a time slot to perform on stage at Bele Chere July 24-26 along with other prizes.

The Orange Peel will host the event 7 p.m. July 8 and will be free and available in June.

Western North Carolina bands and musicians in the following counties are encouraged to apply: Allegheny, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Graham, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Jackson, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey, Watauga and Wilkes.

Applications are now available on the official Bele Chere Web site at www.belecherefestival.com. Applications are free to submit and will be accepted until 5 p.m. June 3.

Asheville’s Bele Chere – FAQ

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Bele Chere it With Friends

FAQ

What is Bele Chere?
Bele Chere is a street festival with a wide variety of arts, music, food, beverages, events, and children’s activities.

When is the festival?
Bele Chere is always the last FULL weekend in July. For 2009, the dates and hours are:

  • Friday, July 24 Noon to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 25 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 26 Noon to 6 p.m.

Where exactly is Bele Chere?
In Asheville’s central downtown business area.

Who produces Bele Chere?
The City of Asheville, with the Bele Chere Board of Directors.

What does Bele Chere mean?
Bele Chere means "beautiful living" and comes from an ancient Scottish dialect.

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 $3 round-trip.

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 festival-goers 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 round-trip. Shuttle information will be updated soon.

What if I need help once I get there?
Festival Information Booths are located at key intersections of the festival. Also, look for our roving "infotendants." They’ll be on street corners and in other high traffic areas, wearing official Bele Chere shirts. Also look for festival staff and volunteers wearing shirts that say Area Manager, Board, or Staff. First Aid tents are located at Pritchard Park, the Children’s Area (inside the Civic Center), and on Lexington near College Street.

Where can I get some extra cash?
ATMs are located at the following downtown locations:

  • Asheville Savings Bank – Patton Avenue at Arts Park
  • Bank of America – 162 College Street & 68 Patton Avenue
  • BB&T – 1 West Pack Square
  • First Citizens Bank – 108 Patton Avenue
  • Premier Credit Union – Haywood Street at the Civic Center
  • Wachovia – 1 Haywood Street

How can I find out what streets are going to be closed?
The city will post a Bele Chere Traffic Control Map on the official website as soon as it is confirmed.

Can I buy beer at Bele Chere?
Yes, but you must have a wristband to carry alcohol on the streets during Bele Chere. Be prepared to show your picture ID when buying alcohol as the wristband itself is not proof of age. Wristband colors change every day.

NOTE: Consumption of alcoholic beverages on the street is prohibited after 10 p.m. Friday & Saturday. SUNDAY IS ALCOHOL-FREE.

How do I get the wristband?
Wristbands can be purchased for $2 at booths located adjacent to beverage stations or from participating merchants. A wristband is not required to drink in Asheville’s downtown pubs – only while drinking on the streets. And of course, a valid picture ID is required.

Can I bring my own cooler?
No, coolers are not allowed inside the festival area.

Can I bring my pet to the festival?
Sorry, pets are not allowed within the festival boundaries. We feel it’s safer for all the festival goers AND the pets.

How long has Bele Chere been around?
Bele Chere started in 1979 and was located on a whopping three blocks of downtown Asheville. It was the brainstorm of a handful of downtown Asheville merchants and business people with the vision of revitalizing our downtown business district, which was largely abandoned as retail businesses & residents moved to the outskirts. Now, downtown Asheville is home to restaurants, galleries, retail businesses,
theaters, art exhibits, and a growing number of residents who call downtown "home."

How many people attend Bele Chere?
Our most recent estimate is about 300,000 to 350,000 people over the three days of the festival.

Bele Chere 2008 Information | Bele Chere 2007 Information

Bele Chere 5k Registration Begins

Friday, April 3rd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Registration opens today for the 30th consecutive running of the Bele Chere 5K, presented by Southcliff Asheville.

More than 1,400 runners are expected for the 5K and the Asheville Tourists Fun on Saturday, July 25 at McCormick Field.

As part of the 30th anniversary celebration, the Asheville Track Club will provide technical shirts for the first 1,400 runners registered for the 5K, pre-race coffee and post-race breakfast from Dunkin’ Donuts, and commemorative awards.

The first 100 Fun Run entrants will receive a T-shirt and water bottle.

To register for both races, visit www.ashevilletrackclub.org, or to register just for the 5K, visit www.setupevents.com (click on Other events) for the 5K.

Bele Chere Extends Deadline for Asheville Restaurants

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Bele Chere Asheville

ASHEVILLE, NC The city has extended the deadline for Asheville restaurants to apply for the Taste of Asheville food court at the 31st annual Bele Chere Festival, July 24-26.

The Taste of Asheville food court offers restaurants the opportunity to sell food to approximately 300,000 festival attendees. All restaurants located within the city limits are eligible to participate. Priority will be given to applicants on a first-come, first-served basis and to non-chain restaurants.

Taste of Asheville booths are offered at up to a 70 percent discount from the non-local food vendor rate and tents will be provided. The early application deadline to receive a beverage fee waiver, a $750 value, has been extended to April 10. All applications must be postmarked by April 17.

For more information and an application, contact Kristin Pérez at 828-259-5800 or [email protected].

Asheville City Invites Public to Bele Chere Meeting

Friday, March 27th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department has announced a series of meetings to provide information about plans for the 2009 Bele Chere Festival, being held July 24 – 26 in downtown Asheville. Changes for the 2009 event will be presented followed by a question and answer session.

While the meetings are mainly designed for downtown Asheville business owners, all downtown stakeholders are welcome to attend. Meetings will be held Monday, March 30 at 3 p.m. in the Grove Arcade Conference Room at 1 Page Avenue, Wednesday, April 1 at 5 p.m. in the City of Asheville Economic Development Office at 29 Haywood Street, and Wednesday, April 8 at 9 a.m. in the YMI Cultural Center at 39 S. Market Street.

Bele Chere is produced by the City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department and is the largest free street festival in the Southeast. For more information, visit www.belecherefestival.com or call (828) 259-5800.