Bele Chere 2010: A Space Odyssey

Arts and crafts booths, live music, several city blocks worth of food options, thousands of revelers and… bright green (and blue and pink) inflated aliens.

These beings from beyond are not extra-terrestrial, but sub-terrestrial. Before falling into the arms, and eventually the homes, of innumerable kids half their size, the aliens resided in “Arena 45,” otherwise known as the Asheville Civic Center.

Beneath the hot paved streets of town, another festival happened simultaneously, with much cooler air, and yellow lemonade instead of yellow beer. This subterranean realm also hosted ticketed rides (roller coasters and carousels in miniature), participatory craft tables with beading and cloth flower making, a circus-themed fun house/maze and, finally, the “Mini Hi Striker,” a game that “everyone wins” who grabs the mallet, hits the base and shoots the puck up the ruled tower, whether they hit the bell or not. And what does everybody win? Something blue, pink, or green and inflatable. The stakes were as follows: For $3, an inflatable crayon; for $4, a Bottlenose dolphin; for $5, an alien.

The aliens appeared to be the most popular, followed by the dolphins and, a surprise in a so-called art town, the crayon. However, no exact numbers were available at press time as the Hi Striker attendant was very busy relaying creatures and crayons from the inflation station to the open arms of Asheville’s youngest strongmen.

Furthermore,this reporter was too tall to enter the adjacent UFO moon-bounce.

For more photos from the kids area, check out these photos from Halima Flynt.


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