02 August 2009

Bele Chere 2009

Have you ever been to Bele Chere? It is a street festival, held every July in Asheville NC. It is a three day celebration of art, artists, music and one of my favorite cities. It is also pure Joy!
Artists and art are everywhere. There are what seems like miles of booths set up alongside the road. In some cases, like in my first three photos, the artist is the art. These living statues were quite wonderful. They would hold various poses, as still as you could wish, until someone spoke to them, or dropped change in their hat. When activated, they would bow gracefully then mime different things. Great fun. Especially since I suspect they felt as if they were
melting. It was quite warm.
We were able to go for all three days a couple of years ago, even that did not seem like it was long enough. This year, we were limited to just one day.
Did I mention the food? Several local businesses were offering tastes of their wares. One of my favorites was
French Broad Chocolates. No it is not run by a lady from France, it is named after a local river. Lovely Fudge. We shared a Felafel from "The Jerusalem Garden Cafe" and Dinner was a vegetarian combo from a street vendor. (Oh my goodness, it was wonderful) Unfortunately I did not write the name of
the vegetarian vendor down. I really don't think
you can go wrong with anything on offer.
The fourth is an example of the art that is all over Asheville on a daily basis. The giant Iron is sitting out on a corner, just waiting to inspire despair. (My sister Paula thinks it is funny that after all those years in the military and ironing uniforms, I chose another career that requires uniforms, and I still feel like I have to iron them). Do you even own an Iron? My iron is not quite this old, but my ironing board is a wooden one that was made many years ago for my Mother in Law. The neat thing is she was about my height (not tall) so it is just right for me.

The odd looking frame contraption is a mister. A great way to cool off. Don't forget to put the camera away first.
A lot of the booths were selling different types of art. One of the many that I particularly liked was, Starships.com I guess the anniversary of the moon landings has me thinking about space ships.
Another good booth was provided by "Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe". Books, nice atmosphere and coffee. Great combo.
One of the many things I love about Asheville is the blending of the new and the old. They have a lot of
wonderful architecture.

Some of the art is participatory. They have some giant canvas and paints ready for you to add to a mural and we even saw a walking puppet show. Cute.

There are stages set up in several locations. Far enough apart that they don't compete with each other and plenty of street musicians. Our dinner was accompanied by a couple of enterprising young ladies tap dancing.

Last but not least, a lovely bit of sunshine. This fine specimen was looking down on me from the yard next door to where we parked the car.
Have I wet your appetite? Bele Chere 2010 is less than 12 months away. Next years website is not up yet, but if you want a little more of a taste, try this years at MountainX.com

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