Posts Tagged Bele Chere

Get your Bele Chere on in Asheville

One of the biggest weekends of the year in Asheville is coming up July 23-25, just two weeks away! It’s Bele Chere, which some say is the largest street festival in the Southeast. It’s FREE, it’s food galore, it’s music and dancing, it’s people-watching and performing dogs, arts and crafts, funky vendors and lots of joy.

When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re an easy five-minute drive to the Asheville Mall, where you can take a shuttle that goes downtown to the festival, unless you want to make the 10-minute drive downtown yourself. Many downtown streets are blocked off for Bele Chere, so some people think it’s easier to let the shuttle do the driving.

Free music in Asheville

On four different outdoor stages downtown, you’ll hear a range of music: blues, rock, country, reggae, folk, funk, bluegrass, jazz and various hybrids. Take your pick. Toubab Krewe will perform its world-music magic. The Fabulous Thunderbirds will rock you. Other performers will be Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Southern Culture on the Skids, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty band, the Randall Bramblett Band, Bomshel and many others.

Asheville restaurants

Sample sweet and savory from a selection of Asheville restaurants. The aromas wrap themselves around the festival to tantalize you. Seafood, Southern, organic and gluten-free, Indian, Greek, French, chocolate, barbecue, Italian, Asian, fabulous ice cream. Local breweries also will tap their suds for the crowds. Be hungry, and be fed.

Once you’ve fed the party animal in you, come home to the private peace at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental. Here, other Bele Chere visitors have relaxed and savored their bliss.

Leave a Comment

Lovers’ Loop Retreat July muse-letter

 Bring the summer on! Fireflies, flowers, long days and evenings, lingering sunsets over the mountains and lots more in a rejuvenating body-and-soul experience for guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville B&B alternative here in western North Carolina.

Right now at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, blue and pink hydrangeas and lavender hostas are bursting in bloom. And each night, our resident fireflies put on an incredible, pulsating, green and yellow light show that’s hard to stop watching. The lightning bugs are just one form of free entertainment in the Asheville area. For more free things to do in Asheville, check out our June 21 blog (at, which lists many free activities around July 4, but most of the items mentioned are relevant after the 4th, too.

Make Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville vacation rental, your place to stay when you explore Asheville, NC recreation, arts, restaurants and summer festivals. Events are posted and updated through the year on Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. You can link to our blog,, on the home page, and we’re also on Twitter! Our Web site now features a link where you can contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

July features some of Asheville’s biggest annual events: the Bele Chere street festival, Folkmoot, Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, Shindig on the Green. Don’t miss out! One of the free summer events in Asheville is Shindig on the Green, a series of outdoor concerts downtown that kicks off July 3 and runs into September. There’s a great community spirit at Shindig, which features mountain music and dance, some rehearsed and played on stage, some spontaneously created in the crowd. We’ve had guests who’ve built their Asheville trip around Shindig on the Green. Bring your stringed instrument, your voice and your dancing shoes, or just listen, tap your feet and grin.

OK, we’ll say it: July begins with a bang. Asheville’s Fourth of July fireworks will rock the sky downtown, preceded by other July 4th activities downtown.

The Carolina Mountain Ribfest in Asheville July 9-11 serves up all the barbecue, (with music and art), you could want. Move from barbecue to bamboo with the Bamboo Festival July 10-11 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. The Bamboo Festival truly is a cool event, where you might even find bicycles made of bamboo. The Big Crafty on July 11 downtown is a free fair with some funky crafters.

For chuckles and outright belly laughs, don’t miss the Laugh Your Asheville Off comedy festival July 15-17 downtown. The same weekend, you can catch the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands July 15-18 downtown, one of the major arts events of the year, with a repeat fair Oct. 21-24. The juried event, which represents artists throughout the Southeast, is well worth attending.

One of the most diverse performing arts events of the year in the Asheville area is Folkmoot, an international dance festival that starts July 22 and runs through Aug. 1, with performances in Asheville and other localities. It’s dazzling.

Bele Chere, the free and freewheeling festival with music and food in downtown Asheville, will be July 23-25. That’s followed by Christine Lavin’s 25th anniversary concert in Asheville on July 30 and a women’s roller derby bout with Asheville’s Blue Ridge Roller Girls on July 31.

August brings antiques, crafts, a river festival, an African-American/Caribbean festival and lots more.

All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville! Email us at to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

Leave a Comment

Cheers to our fifth year providing lodging in Asheville, NC!

            Last October, Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, entered its fifth year in business. It’s hard for us to believe!

            In that time, we’ve greatly enhanced our lodging space with comfortable furniture and a queen-size pillow-top mattress, piles of much-appreciated information about places to go and things to do, funky books, wireless Internet and such features as a Ping-Pong table that many guests have loved to use.

            Over the years, we’ve hosted guests from around the United States – from Oregon, California and Montana to Michigan, Indiana and Ohio to Maine, Florida and nearly every state between Maine and Florida. We’ve had repeat guests and a visitor from Vancouver, Canada. Some guests have stayed for a week and longer.

            One aspect of Lovers’ Loop Retreat that many people have thanked us for is the Web site we’ve developed with a calendar of events and a list of resources. We let you know what’s happening. We post blogs regularly on the Web site to personalize the area for visitors. And we’re now on Twitter, too, so accessing our blogs is just a sweet tweet away.

            Some of our guests have never visited Asheville, and others come as often as they can. Some visitors have come to Asheville for specific events – concerts, conferences, poetry readings, their own anniversaries, the Bele Chere street festival downtown, the Shindig on the Green free traditional music series, holidays including Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. They’ve enjoyed exploring the fantastic and always-entertaining downtown Asheville, experiencing the vast Biltmore estate, biking and hiking the beautiful mountain terrain here, dancing at the many and varied dance venues, swaying to the drum circle downtown, checking out the area’s extensive and amazing arts and crafts heritage at galleries and studios, satisfying their taste buds at the growing and renowned diversity of restaurants, wetting their whistles at Asheville’s 10 breweries.

            So many reasons to come to Asheville, and we at Lovers’ Loop Retreat are happy to host you for any reason you decide to visit. We love to greet the world through our guests. Visitors appreciate that we take time to answer questions and acclimate them to the area, suggesting restaurants, dance halls and clubs, hiking spots and attractions.

            When you plan your trip to Asheville, put us in your plans. See you at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville vacation rental.

Leave a Comment

Don’t miss the Bele Chere festival in Asheville

The belle of the ball in Asheville in July is undoubtably Bele Chere, the annual street festival downtown that’s one of the largest such events in the Southeast. Join us July 24-26 this year for this rocking party, and for the first time, every musical event is FREE this year. When you visit our Lovers’ Loop Retreat vacation rental, we’re an easy five-minute drive to a shuttle stop, where a bus will take you downtown, so you can walk around without having to bother with parking and streets that are closed for Bele Chere.

Bele Chere is people and crafts and food and lots of energy. Locals mix with visitors. There’s a pulse in the streets and comraderie in the air. For refreshment, locally-made beers and many restaurants sell their selections at booths. Oh, there’s fresh lemonade, too. And lots of local crafters have an amazing range of goods for sale.

The live music varies, so you’re bound to hear something you like while you’re there, from bluegrass, Americana and rock to reggae, world and blues— local, regional and national bands. Come check it out and enjoy one of the best festivals in the region.

Leave a Comment

Lovers’ Loop Retreat July Muse-letter

If it’s July, it’s festival time in Asheville, N.C., so guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat vacation rental in Asheville have plenty of fun adventures waiting. A few of the area’s biggest annual events occur in July — Bele Chere, supposedly the largest street festival in the Southeast, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, and Folkmoot, an international folk dance and music festival.

            And to top it off, the fireflies are back at Lovers’ Loop Retreat for their summertime mating ritual. Yes, we’ve learned the wisdom of finding pleasure in small things, and so we peer outside at the nightly light show in the yard. It’s a beautiful spectacle, and it’s yours to watch for free when you stay at our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative.  

            Visit our Web site at to see a list of events we update regularly. We’ve posted events through December, so you can see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. You can link to our blog,, on the home page.

            July 4 kicks off the annual Shindig on the Green free outdoor music series near downtown Asheville with folk and bluegrass and dancing. It’s held on most Saturday nights through early September, a real community event.

            The weekend of July 10-12 will offer a bunch of activities: the Asheville women’s roller derby team bout, the annual bamboo festival, an Asheville Puppetry Alliance performance, the Big Crafty art show.

            The following week, July 16-20, is busy, too. There’s a comedy festival, Folkmoot performances and the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, which fills the Asheville Civic Center with work by crafters from multiple states.

            July 24-26 is the Bele Chere phenomenon, which features large amounts and varieties of music and food and lots of blissed people.

            The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival July 30-Aug. 1 is a big deal for those who enjoy bluegrass and folk music and clogging.        

            All of these events and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, where the lovely lavender hostas are starting to bloom! See you in Asheville!



Leave a Comment

Lovers’ Loop Retreat June Muse-Letter

 Wow – hard to believe we’re so close to summer. The summer solstice arrives on June 21, according to our calendar here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat in Asheville, N.C. There’s no better place to be on the solstice, the longest day of the year, than fabulous Asheville, where you can watch the sun set slowly over the mountains; dance, sway and be mesmerized at the weekly Friday night drum circle downtown (bring your own drum, and pound away); look for wildflowers on trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway; devour the assortment of eye candy at the many art galleries; sample homegrown beers at breweries; and many other activities, many that are free.

Whatever you choose to do, our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental, is a roomy, comfortable place to hang your hat while you hang out. Visit our Web site at to see a list of events we update regularly. We’ve posted events all the way to December, so you can see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. 

One of our favorite seasonal happenings will start soon, and you can watch the free show right here at our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. It’s the return of the fireflies, which light up our large lot with their silent fireworks. It goes on most evenings for a month or more. Watch and be enchanted.

Warmer weather in Asheville also brings street musicians, who entertain passersby downtown. Guitars, banjos, accordions, violins, saxophones. And there are random, wordless performers, mimes of a sort, who stand like statues in costumes and come alive only when someone throws them a coin. They always draw intrigued crowds.

Nature lovers will appreciate that access to Mount Mitchell, about 30 miles north of Lovers’ Loop Retreat on the Blue Ridge Parkway (which is just around the corner from our guest suite) is back to normal. A road construction project – which has just ended –  had closed part of the parkway, which meant a lengthy detour to Mount Mitchell State Park. Now, you can zip up the parkway easily from Lovers’ Loop Retreat again. It’s worth a trip. Mount Mitchell is the highest point in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River.

We’re looking forward to attending a performance at the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre downtown in early June. The theater is known for its experimental, funky productions, and their works emphasize diversity. Their Physics of Happy Hour event runs June 4-7, with a reduced rate for a choice of performances.

On June 5, there’s the Asheville art walk, a stroll through downtown galleries, which stay open longer and offer refreshments. Sometimes artists are on hand to talk.

The Montford Park Players, North Carolina’s oldest Shakespeare company, starts its season June 5. All performances are free at the park’s amphitheater just outside downtown Asheville. This makes for a relaxing evening under the stars.

June 13-14 brings the River Arts District Studio Stroll, a self-guided tour of artists’ studios just outside downtown.

And June 19 is Downtown After Five, a hopping block party with live music and food.

And, of course, the mother of block parties is Bele Chere, the biggest street festival in the Southeast, July 24-26 in downtown Asheville. Live music, great food and art for sale. It’s quite a scene.

Another July note: the annual Shindig on the Green, a free outdoor concert series, kicks off near downtown on July 4. Bluegrass and folk music with clogging. Pretty cool. All of these events and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat! See you in Asheville!

Leave a Comment

Bele Chere Festival 2008 | Asheville, NC

Bele Chere is Asheville’s street festival of the year! The 30th annual Bele Chere. It’s the biggest free street festival in the South. From Lover’s Loop Retreat you can drive to a nearby parking lot where you can get a special shuttle that will take you there and back for just $3. No problems parking downtown!

Three days of fun! July 25, 26 and 27th! Days and nights, that is. There will be six stages for a constant flow of live entertainment of all kinds. The schedule is not complete, yet, but you can see the line-up of who’ll be there on the website: Bele Chere Festival 2008 | Asheville, NC. In the evenings, there is a fee to see some of the major performers, but there’s lots to see and do that you don’t have to pay for.

Do you know what “dock diving” is? Come to Bele Chere to see it yourself. The local grocery chain, Ingles, is sponsoring this event. There’s a special pool set up with regular demonstrations of dogs that compete in “splashes” to get “ultimate air” as they run and jump into the water to see who can get the furthest distance. The dogs are all shapes and sizes. And they seem to really enjoy it – and who wouldn’t love getting wet on a July day!

There will be booths of all kinds, some with free samples and demonstrations. There’s a special childrens’ area. Of course, not festival in Asheville is complete without some incredible arts and crafts on display with some fine work for sale.

You’ll see people walking around with various kinds of yummy looking foods. That’s one reason you’ll want to stay for all three days! You can’t try it all in one day. Plus, as long as you’re over 21, you can get a wrist band that will allow you to purchase beer and carry it with you until 10:30 pm.

We hope you’ll call or email us soon to reserve a place to stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat!

Leave a Comment

Free Stuff to do in Asheville!

Every day in the newspaper we read about prices going up-up-up on all kinds of things. That’s one reason why it’s great to visit a place like Asheville. There are so many things to do here and many of them are FREE! For more info, please see the schedule of events on our Web site

I’m going to give you a list of free events here, but I’m sure there are things I’m missing. The first thing that comes to mind is the Montford Park Players. This is North Carolina’s oldest Shakespeare troupe and they perform free on summer weekend evenings at a park in Asheville. Our friend Gina was selected to play the queen in “Henry VIII,” which will run July 11-20 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 pm. Come see it with us!

Other entertainment that’s free in Asheville this summer includes Concerts on the Quad, outdoor concerts from June 9 through July 14 at the University of NC campus here. Shindig on the Green is mountain music and dancing at its best near downtown June through August. Downtown After Five is a free concert series located on Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville.

Asheville is known for the arts of all kinds. Art gallery walks are free and held regularly in and around Asheville. You can do a self-guided tour of galleries and studios. To learn more about some of these, look at the list of events on our Web site at I love to visit the Blue Spiral Gallery in downtown Asheville. It’s huge and full of incredible artwork.

Just walking around downtown Asheville is a free fun thing to do. On Friday nights, listen for the drums — there’s drumming at Pritchard Park in the middle of downtown. It’s a great place to go people-watching. There are occasionally other free events here, too. I once saw an incredible troupe of fire-dancers perform there. Another time there were break dancers. Walking around downtown just about any time you’ll see street performers of all kinds. There are all kinds of interesting shops, galleries and restaurants. You can just buy something to drink and sit at a sidewalk cafe to watch the people walk by or catch up on Asheville news reading a free local paper such as the Mt Xpress or New Life Journal.

Of course in July there’s Bele Chere, the South’s largest free street festival. People come from all around to enjoy the varous vendors, musical entertainment, exhibitions, food and people! This takes place all over downtown. You’ll want to check the Web site to learn more about it before you come, so you can figure out where to park. 

The Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) is not nearly as big as Bele Chere, but it’s so much fun. It’s a very funky, artsy festival.

Ready to head out to nature? You can visit the Botanical Gardens at UNC Asheville just north of downtown for free. There’s ten acres of nature to stroll on. The N.C Arboretum is located just south of Asheville, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and it has free admission, but it costs $6 to park – except on Tuesdays, when it is totally FREE! There are exhibits as well as walking trails to enjoy. 

Speaking of the Blue Ridge Parkway… People ride bikes on it all the time. For hiking, there’s the Mountains to Sea Trail. There are also other places to hike along the parkway. The Destination Center is the parkway’s official visitors’ center and it recently opened just a couple miles from our Lovers’ Loop Retreat guest suite. Just a couple miles farther is the Folk Arts Center, which is also free. There are always special exhibits upstairs and a  shop of local artwork and crafts downstairs. A wonderful place to browse. Very often there are free special events such as craft demonstrations and gee-haw-whimmy-diddle competitions. Ha! You’ll have to Google that one if you want to learn more.

There are more fun, free things you can do around Asheville, but that should get you started. Don’t forget to check our Web site for a more complete list of upcoming events in the Asheville area: . And plan to stay with us when you come!

Leave a Comment