Last night, Asheville Downtown Association held a volunteer orientation meeting at The Orange Peel — but this wasn’t just any do-gooder get-together.
It was also a kickoff for Downtown After 5, the monthly free block party that takes place the third Friday of the month every May through September on North Lexington Avenue (between Hiawassee and the I-240 overpass) from a little after 5 p.m. until about 9 p.m. Along with live music, there’s food and beer. (Sales of wristbands for beer benefit a different charity each month. For 2011, those are Asheville Greenworks, YWCA of Asheville, Asheville Grown Business Alliance, Homeward Bound and the Asheville Design Center.)
The bands are:
May 20 is the start of the season, setting the tone with Asheville Horns (above) and Black Mountain-based cajun/zydeco band Bayou Diesel.
Head back downtown on June 17 for Americana/country rock band The Blue Dogs (below – from Charleston), who share the stage with w/ The New Familiars.
On July 15, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra (below) performs at an all-local evening, along with Bonnaroo-bound Aaron Woody Wood.
August 19 brings Miami-based funk/gospel sacred steel collective The Lee Boys with Lubriphonic, a funk and soul band from Chicago.
September 16 wraps up with local bluegrass group Town Mountain (above).