Asheville Festivals – Something For Everyone

Asheville offers an almost year-round festival schedule and you will find something for just about everyone from flowers to arts to sports to food to gay pride. I wasn’t even aware of some of these events until I decided to put together this blog and started doing some research. Starting in late January and going to November, this city stays busy!

Listed below are all the festivals I found, in chronological order, with a link (if I could find one) to the official website:

January

  • Asheville FringeArts Festival (held in late January – sorry, this one has already passed for 2010) – provides artists with opportunities to explore the edges of their work, collaborate across genres and bring new and innovative performances to culturally adventurous audiences.

February

March

  • Jazz After 5 Concert Series - Jazz After Five concludes Friday, March 12 from 5-8 pm, held at Pack Place. The Jazz evenings raise funds for operations of the Asheville Downtown Association and last year collected donations for Manna Food Bank. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable items to the concert and to leave them at the collection points.

April

  • Festival of Flowers – April 3 – May 16 – The Biltmore Estate – This year is the 25th anniversary of the “festival.” Herald spring at Biltmore with acres of blooms to boost your spirits and more Biltmore to enjoy than ever with the new Antler Hill Village.

May

  • Asheville Herb Festival – April 30 – May 2 – WNC Farmers Market – The WNC Chapter of the NC Herb Association represents the incredibly wide variety of herbalists and herb businesses in North Carolina: herb growers and vendors, natural gardening and landscaping specialists, and makers of herbal ointments, balms, soaps, teas, medicines, and other products.
  • Festival of Flowers – April 3 – May 16 – The Biltmore Estate – This year is the 25th anniversary of the “festival.” Herald spring at Biltmore with acres of blooms to boost your spirits and more Biltmore to enjoy than ever with the new Antler Hill Village.
  • Lake Eden Arts Festivel (LEAF) - May 6 – 9 – Camp Rockmont, Black Mountain, NC – a non-profit organization connecting cultures and creating community through music and arts.
  • Downtown After 5May 21 – 5 – 9 pm – Lexington Avenue, between Hiawassee Street and I-240. Free live music and dancing starts at 5 pm with food and drink available for purchase.
  • Mountain Sports Festival – May 28 – 30 – Events are all over the greater Asheville area, but the Festival Village is located at Carrier Park on Amboy Road, along the French Broad River in West Asheville. From intense trail running to laid-back disc golf, from adventure racing to the Iron Kids events, from high speed track racing to whitewater kayak clinics… there is something here to entertain and challenge you!

June

  • Downtown After 5 – June 18 – 5 – 9 pm – Lexington Avenue, between Hiawassee Street and I-240. Free live music and dancing starts at 5 pm with food and drink available for purchase.

July

  • Shindig on the Green - July 3, 10, 17, 31 – 7 pm – Pack Square green in downtown Asheville – This mountain tradition features an always-enjoyable variety of  Big Circle Mountain Dancers, Clog Dancers, Bluegrass and Old Time String Bands, Ballad Singers, and Storytellers.
  • Downtown After 5 – July 16 – 5 – 9 pm – Lexington Avenue, between Hiawassee Street and I-240. Free live music and dancing starts at 5 pm with food and drink available for purchase.
  • Bele Chere – July 23 – 25 – downtown Asheville – Bele Chere is a street festival with a wide variety of arts, music, food, beverages, events, and children’s
    activities.

August

  • Mountain Dance & Folk Festival – August 5 – 7 – 7 pm – Diana Wortham Theater – Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves “along about sundown” the first weekend in August.
  • Shindig on the Green - August 14, 21, 28 – 7 pm – Pack Square green in downtown Asheville – This mountain tradition features an always-enjoyable variety of  Big Circle Mountain Dancers, Clog Dancers, Bluegrass and Old Time String Bands, Ballad Singers, and Storytellers.
  • Downtown After 5 – August 20 – 5 – 9 pm – Lexington Avenue, between Hiawassee Street and I-240. Free live music and dancing starts at 5 pm with food and drink available for purchase.
  • Goombay! - August 27 – 29 – downtown Asheville – this African-Caribbean festival brings a variety of family-oriented entertainment from steel drums to African-American dancers to local Gospel groups to contemporary rhythm bands.

September

  • Shindig on the Green - September 4 – 7 pm – Pack Square green in downtown Asheville – This mountain tradition features an always-enjoyable variety of  Big Circle Mountain Dancers, Clog Dancers, Bluegrass and Old Time String Bands, Ballad Singers, and Storytellers.
  • Organic Fest – The website is still showing 2009 information, but check back for 2010 updates. The festival celebrates everything organic with live music, organic food, vendors, arts and crafts and a kids garden parade.
  • Downtown After 5 – September 17 – 5 – 9 pm – Lexington Avenue, between Hiawassee Street and I-240. Free live music and dancing starts at 5 pm with food and drink available for purchase.
  • Brewgrass Festival - Saturday, September 18, 2010 – Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Asheville, NC – Each year in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, we gather over 40 American breweries to showcase more than 120 different beers. We add a great lineup of national and regional bluegrass musicians and also feature a variety of area food vendors and plenty of water.

October

  • Blue Ridge Pride – October 2 – downtown Asheville – This event will encompass multiple events throughout the first week of October and culminate with an open festival at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Asheville, NC. In addition to live entertainment throughout the day, there will be vendor as well as educational booths.
  • Lake Eden Arts Festivel (LEAF) - October 14 – 17 – Camp Rockmont, Black Mountain, NC – a non-profit organization connecting cultures and creating community through music and arts.

November

  • Asheville Film Festival – website is still showing 2009 dates, but check back for 2010 updates – The Asheville Film Festival is produced by the City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. The festival offers screenings, panel discussions, special presentations, and more.

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