Who is Bele Chere and how did she get her own festival? Belle Cher is some chick on Facebook, but Bele Chere is an annual event in Asheville, North Carolina. It is always held during the last weekend of July. According to the organizers, Bele Chere means “Beautiful Living” in an ancient Scottish dialect. I’m not ancient Scottish, so I’ll take their word for it. It’s a fitting name, however, as the event meanders through the blocked off streets of beautiful downtown Asheville.Free live music is a staple at Bele Chere. Multiple stages are setup at different points throughout the festival map. Genres of virtually every type can be heard at the 3 day event. The wide array of talent, offers something for everyone. As one attendee said, If you don’t find fun and music you like at Bele Chere, then you don’t like fun and music.
Asheville is known for it’s diversity, and people watching is part of the fun. A few dress in costumes and there is never a shortage of eclectic attire. Bele Chere has sort of a Mardi Gras air about it, but with a western North Carolina flair. Local Street musicians and performance artists display their talent as an integral part of downtown culture.
What you can expect to experience:
- Free Live Music
- Art In All Forms
- Local Craft Beer
- A Child Friendly Area
You are asked not to bring any pets to the festival. This sounds like a real drag as a dog lover, but after watching the City of Asheville’s video explanation, I fully support the position. The Ultimate Air Dogs attraction continues to bring enjoyment to the event, however.
A few pictures and a short write up can’t possibly describe such a wonderful event. The sounds, motion and mood is unique to Asheville. In short, if you have a festive spirit and don’t mind a good crowd, then the Bele Chere Festival should be your destination next July.
Click here to see a quick slideshow.
North of Asheville just passed Weaverville, we set out for the eagerly anticipated Echoview Farm 2nd Annual Hop Festival. We were privileged to attend last year’s successful event, and this year was equally successful. As we entered, we picked up our reusable bags complete with literature and tasting glasses.
This year, Echoview Farm provided several home brews made exclusively with Echoview hops; our favorite was the brown ale. Pisgah and Asheville breweries were also on hand. The food tent supplied hot dogs, bratwurst and veggie dogs with all the trimmings. Music was provided by the award winning High Windy bluegrass band.
We enjoyed some hops Q&A with Stacy the grower. With multiple varieties, including Cascade, Centennial, Magnum and Brewers Gold, we learned the challenges of growing hops in this climate. The complexity of soil pH, nutrients, temperature and rain are but some of the challenges to growing hops in western North Carolina.
The concept of buying local produce and goods is well known in these parts. For one thing, it just makes sense that when dollars don’t leave, they get reinvested in the community. There is also a sense of connection to those that live and do business together. Echoview Farm certainly understands this.
As the craft beer brewing industry in the greater Asheville area exploded, the need for hops and malt became greater. A few savvy individuals like Julie Jensen saw this need and set out to fill the niche. With a commitment to sustainable farming, Echoview Farm is setting a good example of how modern farms should operate. Ironically, it’s how many farms in the “olden days” always farmed.
We wish Echoview Farm continued success and look forward to next year’s event.
For more pictures go to http://youtu.be/Qild3MgMJjU