Bele Chere Top 10 Things to Know: Kids, yes! Pets, no!

No.6: Bring the Kids!

Not only are kids welcome at Bele Chere, we have a whole area of the festival designed just for them. Located inside the U.S. Cellular Center, the Children’s Area is a great place to cool off and explore a great variety of games, rides and crafts.

“Kids are interested in so many things, you just can’t go wrong.” says Basil Punsalan, Event Specialist with the City of Asheville. “There is always something new going on.”

The alcohol-free Children’s Area lets kids be kids (and gives parents a break) with the Frog Hopper ride, laser tag and inflatables to jump around in. There are also plenty of free events, art activities and presentations from fun and interesting groups like the WNC Nature Center, the Colburn Science Museum and the Urban Arts Institute.

Thanks to all the non-profits and volunteers who help make the Children’s Area happen year after year.

See the Children’s Area performance schedule below, and find out more information at

Friday, July 27
1:00 – 2:00: Sun Soo Tae kwon Do
2:00 – 3:00: Asheville Area Music Together
3:00 – 4:00: Urban Arts Institute
5:00 – 6:00: Pretty Pitches Vocal Group
6:00 – 7:00: Elevate School of Life and Art Variety Show

Saturday, July 28
10:00 – 11:00: Asheville Area Music Together
11:00 – 12:00: WNC Nature Center
12:00 – 1:00: Animal Party
1:00 – 2:00: Kron Kids Story time
2:00 – 4:00: Rock Academy NC
4:00 – 5:00: Urban Arts Institute
5:00 – 6:00: Youth at Jazz
6:00 – 7:00: Mountain Thunder Cloggers

Sunday, July 29
12:00 – 1:00: WNC Nature Center
1:00 – 2:00: Asheville Fire Department
3:00 – 5:00: Asheville Music School

No. 5: DON’T bring the pets

Animals are not allowed in the Bele Chere festival boundaries, yes even the well-behaved ones. We know that pets are part of the family, but the crowds, the heat and the noises of the festival make it an unhappy place for dogs.

But please, do not leave pets in your car either. It is July after all, and that kind of heat is deadly to pets. Instead, for those people who can’t bear to leave pets at home (or those who get caught bringing their four legged friends into Bele Chere) there is Doggie Jail, a temporary kennel set up by the City of Asheville and operated by the Animal Compassion Network.

Located in front of Asheville City Hall and safely outside the festival, Doggie Jail is a fenced area with kennels provided by the WNC Nature Center. Owners pay $5 per hour to board their dogs, with a $20 maximum. Proceeds go to the Animal Compassion Network.

Volunteers, animal lovers all, give the pets attention and walks on a regular basis so that pet owners can wander the festival knowing their furry friends are taken care of.

Doggie Jail will operate Friday, 12p.m.-8p.m., Saturday 10a.m.-8p.m, and Sunday 12-6p.m.

This video gives a great perspective on why Bele Chere’s party animals should only be of the human variety:

See the whole Top 10 list (so far) here.