Bele Chere Festival, Asheville NC

What Happened to Bele Chere in Downtown Asheville?

The final Bele Chere Festival was held in downtown Asheville in July 2013. Right now, there are no plans for Bele Chere to return.

See our calendar of other Summer Festivals. We love the much smaller LEAF Festival that has replaced it unofficially.

Bele Chere (pronounced Bell Cher), was the largest free outdoor street festival in the Southeast, attracting up to 300,000 in its busiest years. The three-day festival on the streets of Downtown Asheville featured live, original music all day and night for festival-goers. Bele Chere means "beautiful living" and comes from an ancient Scottish dialect. Bele Chere offers the unique opportunity to see, taste and hear some of the region’s finest art, cuisine and music. It ran for 35 years.

Bele Chere started in 1979 and was located on a whopping three blocks. 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 suburbs.

Today, downtown Asheville is a very different place since it's bustling every weekend. Thus, the festival was now hurting downtown businesses since so many streets were closed.

August 20, 2022
A fantastic world cultural arts festival, LEAF Downtown, returns in 2022 as LEAF Down by the River at Asheville's new outdoor venue, The Outpost (521 Amboy Road). LEAF hopes to... read more