As soon as our vacation destination was switched from Virginia Beach to Myrtle Beach I was excited about the possibility of stopping in Asheville, NC. We had a caravan of four cars on the way down and drove throughout the night to get there, leaving the return trip as our chance to see it. Since we were checking out of our beach house rental on Saturday morning, we decided that we would spend Saturday night in Asheville.
Originally I thought that it would be an easy place to find a cheap hotel for the night. However what I found were inflated hotel prices, I think partly caused by the Bele Chere music and arts festival taking place in downtown Asheville. Even though rooms were more than I wanted to spend, we figured the festival would give us plenty to do for our afternoon and evening in town. I won the 3.5 star Crowne Plaza on priceline.com for $150. This resort was very nice and I would definitely stay here again, especially if offered at a cheaper price.
Our hotel offered a $5 per person round-trip shuttle bus to downtown, which we gladly paid for. We headed for the festival in the early afternoon and ended up staying until 8 or 9 that night. There were four stages of music, children’s areas, a Taste of Asheville, along with other standard festival style food offerings.
Those of legal drinking age can buy a wristband for $2, which allows you to have an open alcoholic container. I’m not sure if this means that you can bring your own beer in, but we saw plenty of people doing just that. I stuck to the $4 cans of microbrew that were being sold throughout the festival grounds.
Besides the scheduled entertainment on the four festival stages, we also ran into a number of street performances. One guy had created his own percussion style using a guitar as his main drumming device. Attached to the guitar were various noise making artifacts, such as a fork and a pack of cigarettes.
As far as I could tell the festival was well attended. The crowds were pretty thick in the central area of the festival, but since there are so many streets involved, it was easy to find space to spread out. I especially enjoyed getting to see Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band perform. Trey also had a great time at the festival. Below are some pictures from Kim’s iPhone.