The Moonlight scoop

The Asheville Downtown Association’s sizzlin’ Mardi Gras-style celebration starts at noon, with tempting and spicy Cajun food served all day at Pack Square. At 5 p.m., a Strive-Not-to-Drive bike parade (with merchants marching alongside) will snake through downtown streets, winding up at Pack Square. And at 5:30 p.m., Moonlight Over Downtown officially kicks off. Get warmed up with the soulful sounds of Asheville’s own diva, Kat Williams. Then, Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin’ takes the stage for a foot-stompin’ zydeco dance party. And to keep the Mardi Gras theme going, clowns, masked performers and crawfish-eating contests will be the order of the evening. Co-sponsored by the Asheville Parks and Recreation Dept., Moonlight Over Downtown is a free event — for the entire family.

And watch for the ADA’s five free Downtown After Five events on selected Friday evenings throughout the summer — each featuring a popular band, and plenty of food and drink.

In case you’re wondering, the Asheville Downtown Association is a 10-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the downtown area as a place to be savored and enjoyed. Originally consisting of only four volunteers, the Association now boasts 200 members and 225 volunteers. Call 251-9973 for more info on the ADA, its Downtown After Five events, or to volunteer.

— M.B.

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