Making the stage: Picking the Bele Chere bands

This weekend, a group of local music lovers will shut themselves in an Asheville hotel suite and spend three days listening to some 600 musical submissions for the 2011 Bele Chere Festival. The ritual takes place every year at the end of February and results in the entertainment lineup for the festival, held this [...]

Asheville Fire Department Sept. 11 memorial service and recognition of firefighters

On Saturday, September 11, members of the Asheville Fire Department and their families gathered at the Grove Park Inn to participate in a ceremony commemorating firefighters who served and died in the 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City. The ceremony was presided over by Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette, who [...]

The Bele Chere Breakdown, part 2

Since pedestrians are still walking around the festival area after Bele Chere closes, officers from the Asheville Police Department stand guard at the festival barricades, keeping the streets closed to traffic. By about 6:30, when pedestrian traffic has thinned enough, festival officials put out a call to APD officers and festival staff that vendor vehicles [...]

Picking up what you’re throwing out

Within the boundaries of Bele Chere, there are approximately 210 trash barrels and 120 recycling bins. Still, without regular rounds by the City of Asheville’s sanitation crews, those containers would be piled beyond capacity. Crew leader Booby Austin says teams of two crew members hit each container every 45 minutes on Friday, the slowest day of [...]

Area managers keep the festival on its feet

Harry McDaniels is walking in front of the Asheville Art Museum carrying a stack of Bele Chere schedules to deliver to one of the festival’s information booths. It’s details like that, large and small, that Bele Chere Area Managers have to keep on their radars for three days to make sure the festival’s moving parts [...]

The view from inside Doggie Jail

It’s one of the big no-no’s of Bele Chere: Dogs simply aren’t allowed (excepting those competing in the Purina Air Dog competition.) The heat, the crowds, the noise – it all makes for an inhospitable atmosphere for dogs. But what happens to the dogs that try to get in on Bele Chere festivities? They typically wind [...]

Local nonprofits quench your thirst at Bele Chere

  The beverage booths on the streets of Bele Chere probably don’t need to offer much more incentives to attract patrons. They do, however, have the added bonus of being completely staffed by volunteers from area nonprofits and groups that support nonprofits, who then share in the revenue while getting added community exposure. For three days [...]

Volunteers step up for Bele Chere 2010

Volunteer efforts are crucial to pulling off an event like Bele Chere. Fortunately, the City of Asheville has a large population of repeat volunteers that step forward to pitch in every year. “We have a very loyal volunteer base,” says the festival’s volunteer coordinator Stacey Witkowski. “We have people that have been with for 15 years [...]

Finding the right place to recycle at Bele Chere

This year’s Bele Chere festival has more opportunities than ever to make sure your discarded containers get recycled. On top of the city’s own bins and bins provided by a contractor, there also 70 new recycling stands provided by a grant by Coca-Cola for Bele Chere 2010. There are also new recycling cans next to [...]

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