Festivals in Asheville, NC
Unique celebrations and events draw tourists and keep residents entertained.
PHOTO CREDIT: Greg Emens
Asheville's creativity and offbeat spirit doesn't stop with its dining, shopping and music scene. The city also offers any number of festivals and events – some of which are so unique they defy categorization.
New in spring 2010 was the inaugural edition of ActionFest, the world’s first film festival for action films and those who make action cinema possible, from filmmakers to stuntmen and fight choreographers.
ActionFest, held at at The Carolina Asheville theater, featured about 50 screenings of classic action movies of all periods and included an appearance by karate champion and action superstar Chuck Norris.
The event also included a competition section juried by genre experts from around the country, including award recipient Norris, and stunt displays.
HATCHfest Asheville focuses on a variety of creative disciplines and is designed to foster arts economic development in Asheville through seminars, workshops and performances.
The annual event includes panels and workshops on topics like film, fashion, architecture, journalism, music, design and technology and photography.
Film screenings, concerts and exhibits from groundbreaking artists from around the world occupy venues including Asheville Area Arts Council, Echo Mountain Studios, Fine Arts Theatre, Pack Place and The Orange Peel during the event.
HATCHfest’s mission is to encourage economic development through mentorship, educational panels and labs. All educational events are free to the general public.
Pronounced "Bell Cher," the Bele Chere festival is the largest free outdoor street festival in the Southeast. It is held each summer in downtown Asheville and offers the unique opportunity to see, taste and hear some of the region’s finest art, cuisine and music.
The festival features four stages of free live music and an impressive array of arts and crafts; as well as entertainment and activities for children.
Bele Chere means "beautiful living" and comes from an ancient Scottish dialect.
The sights, sounds and tastes of the African-Caribbean are the focus of Goombay!, a free weekend festival in August in downtown Asheville. The event is an honoring and interpretation of the cultural expression of a people enduring slavery days in Bermuda.
Goombay! brings a variety of entertainment from steel drums, African-America dancers, local gospel groups, and contemporary rhythm bands.
Both music and rhythm were brought form Africa and West Indies. The original dancers used a skin-covered drum that was called "Gombey" meaning rhythm. In the Bahamas, the word is "Goombay" and in Jamaica, the dance is known as "Gumbay". The Goombay dancers wear colorful costumes and high headdresses topped with feathers.
Learn more about Asheville, NC Culture.