Friday, October 1, 2010

2010 Bele Chere Festival Photos - Downtown Asheville, NC

Bele Chere Festival is a free street festival held each summer in the city of Asheville, North Carolina.  With 32 years under it's belt, Bele Chere Festival has grown to become the largest and most rockin free street festival in the southeast.
(Click photos for large view)
Bele Chere Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people each summer to see the music and art attractions that comprise most of downtown.  The city blocked vehicle traffic for the weekend to make way for hundreds of food and vending booths and four stages set up in the city streets.

More Bele Chere Festival photos and view the Bele Chere Festival slide show at Asheville event photography company, Performance Impressions. 

Bele Chere Festival has a active committee permitting only the finest in craft and vendors.  One of Asheville's most popular bands, Toubab Krewe, a gifted group of Afropop musicians, drew one of the biggest crowds in the street that Asheville has ever seen in front of the Battery Park Stage on Saturday evening.

People filled the street and sidewalks wall-to-wall all the way up the street.  The parking garage besides the stage had people lining the edges on all levels catching an aerial view of the performance.  Justin Perkins of Toubab Krewe can wail on native African instruments the kora and the kamelengoni as well as the electric guitar.  The sunset performance summed up why many live in the Asheville area and the reason Bele Chere Festival brings up to 350,000 people to the festive mountain city each recent summer.

Also performing on Saturday evening at Bele Chere was Grace Potter and The Nocturnals.  There was also a huge crowd gathered for Grace Potter's performance.  The talented, sexy and statuesque musician and vocalist rocked past the sunset alternating between guitar, her piano and her Hammond B3 organ.

The long awaited new city park brought comfort from the heat with the amusing Splasheville water fountain.  Kids of all ages beat the midday swelter in the water fountain which consists of many water jets flush mounted in the ground.  Columns of water shot off in a seemingly random patterns, leaving trails of cool water for the kids to chase.

Another one of Asheville's most talented performers is Laura Reed.  Formally with Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, Laura Reed has gone on to perform with various musical projects including recent collaborations with Yonrico Scott and also Kofi Burbridge.  Laura Reed has the energy and passion of Janis Joplin mixed with the spirit of Bob Marley; seeing her perform is always a treat and an uplifting experience.

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