Bele Chere awakens

Here roll in the monsterous, rumbling, diesel-fuming trucks, their engines aching under the anticipation of the concession-hungry mob. Here rouses a summer-slumbering town, yawning slightly as the streets swell with harried townies and tourists alike. Here arrive the twin spirits of our age, Hustle and Bustle, guiding an army of logo-clad workers armed with neck-dangling laminated badges.

Here awakens the thing—this starving beast, now mawing at the air for its annual meal—called Bele Chere.

By tomorrow morning, this city will be changed.

Walk around tonight by the sodium lights, and one can feel the change in one’s bones. Ghostly workers in the dim haze of cooling streets, working under the growling hum of generators and the stinging clang of metal piping falling on asphalt, will create a tent city to rival any refugee camp. To see it happen is an eerie thrill known only by those who have lived it.

Purple prose aside, tonight is the last chance you’ll have to see the Asheville you know for a few days. Most of your favorite haunts will be crowded, and those that aren’t will probably be closed to avoid the chaos. Bele Chere is another place all its own.

We’ll be following it all here on the blogs. Be sure to check out our Mountain Xpress booth at the corner of Battery Park and Haywood, and feel free to post your thoughts and observations of the festival as comments in the field below.

—Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.