Free downtown events in Pritchard Park!

From hula-hooping jams to free music at lunchtime to a new Saturday market, the Asheville Downtown Association and Arts2People aim to keep it lively.

After hours at a computer, I’ve found the Tuesday hoop jams a great way to get moving. They always make me smile, whether it’s from my own clumsiness or the abilities of the experienced hoop dancers. Asheville Hoops comes out with a cadre of different-sized hoops for children and adults, and they play a variety of unusual music. If you’re good, you can hoop-dance to it. If you’re not (like me), you can laugh while you try to keep the hoop from falling on the ground. Or you can just watch, which is always entertaining.

The hoop jams happen every Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thanks to the Asheville Downtown Association for sponsoring the free events at Pritchard Park, under its Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program. Other events scheduled for the summer:

The “Grab Lunch & Unwind” series (Thursdays, noon to 2 p.m.): Grab a park-friendly lunch from a participating restaurant, or pack your own, and take it down to the park for a lunchtime performance. Restaurants offering park-friendly lunches are listed here.

The “After-Work Perk” (Thursdays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.): “Thursday night is almost the weekend and time to perk up a bit with lively and explosive music and dance performance after work,” says the PPCAP’s Web site.

The Saturday Umbrella Market (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.): “This newly-themed Umbrella Market will feature vendors of handmade or homegrown products that might include art, crafts, jewelry, photography, flowers, tomatoes, herbs or … whatever. You are likely to find a different mix of items every Saturday, plus a variety of entertainers will be woven into the day as well. One thing’s for sure, Saturday at Pritchard Park will always offer a great experience.”

Funday Sunday (noon to 4 p.m.): “Sunday is Funday in Pritchard Park with family-friendly entertainment. From noon to 2 p.m. will be live music, such as gospel, followed by a variety of children’s entertainment.”


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