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Bele Chere Set for July 27-29.

Bele Chere, Asheville's fun-filled downtown festival, will celebrate it's 22th anniversary July 27-29, and organizers are determined to make this year's event the best ever.

When the festival was established in 1979, it covered a couple city blocks and attracted less that 1O,000 people. Since then, the festival has become the largest, free, outdoor street festival in the Southeast, with activities spread over most of the downtown area, and attendance estimated at 365,000 people last year.

Entertainment, as always, will feature something for every musical taste: country and bluegrass, rock and blues, acoustic, big band, and an assortment of folk music and musicians from around the globe. Classical and modern dance troupes as well as traditional high-stepping clog and smooth dance teams will perform throughout the weekend.

As in past years, festivalgoers will have a wide selection of food to choose from, ranging from ethnic to traditional: Greek, Asian, Turkish, African, Scottish, and Middle East dishes, plus mountain barbecue, funnel cakes, cotton candy, ice-cream, and a wide assortment of beverages. Asheville restaurants and caterers will be represented, offering tastes of their more popular fare.

Some of the finest artisans from throughout the Southeast will display and sell fine hand-crafted jewelry, pottery, original art, furniture, clothing, and objets d'art.

Other activities include the annual Bele Chere 5K Road Race and Fun Run, Bele Chere Mile, bed race, waiters' relay race, and the popular half-court basketball shot for a chance to win a brand new vehicle, For children, raft rides will be available in the Pack Square fountain, and McDonald's Funland will offer a variety of activities for youngsters, including rides, games, jewelry making, and painting.

For additional information about Bele Chere, contact the City of Asheville's Festivals Office at (704) 259-5800. Or visit our web site at www.belechere.com.


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