LEAF Downtown AVL announces festival schedule, pre-events

The inaugural LEAF Downtown AVL, a free festival in Pack Square Park, takes place on  Saturday, Aug. 1, noon-10 p.m. (opening ceremony at 11:45 a.m.) and Sunday, Aug. 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Other events include a cocktail party, a pre-party, a 5K race and more.

Press release from organizers:

LEAF Downtown AVL 2015 | Events & Highlights | Information & VIP Tickets

• LEAF Funky Cocktail Crawl – July 17th to 31st
• Bootsy Funk Dynasty Day – 9:30a to 5:30p on July 31st
• LEAF Downtown Pre-Party @ New Mountain Asheville – The Ohio Players – 6:30p on July 31st
• LEAF Art Dash 5K – 9a on August 1st
• LEAF Downtown After Party @ Asheville Music Hall – 10p on August 1st
• VIP Experience @ Twisted Laurel Café – 2p to 8p on August 1st and 1p to 5p August 2nd

LEAF is bringing the celebration of communities, creativity, diversity and families to downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park, which is the coalescence of twenty years of connecting cultures and creating community. Welcome to the first annual LEAF Downtown. The long-term vision of building quality of place is coming to life with local acts Santos; Old Landmarks Spiritual Revival, led by LYRIC; Unifire Theater; Yoga with Leaflin Winecoff; and the LEAF Love Band, a unique Asheville all-star collaboration made especially for LEAF Downtown. At the core of dynamic performances though, are the collaborative aspects of the event such as the LEAF Art Dash 5K; VIP Experience sponsored by 98.1 The River; LEAF Funky Cocktail Crawl and the Voices of Asheville tent, a lounge space for connection and storytelling of African- and Latino-American heritage in Western North Carolina.

LEAF Downtown is sustaining the legacy of connecting cultures by aligning with Yona FeatherHawk, a Cherokee wisdom keeper and ceremonialist as Master of Ceremonies. “Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to share at the downtown event, says Yona of the Cherokee Nation. “It is a wondrous space you have provided for so many to come and feel welcome to share their voice in a supportive community. Your creation and realization of your vision inspires me. I am honored and humbled to be able to share with the larger community that is Asheville… The bridge from the ancient past to the ancient future is in constant need of support. Thanks for being there.”

In addition to the engaging conversation and transformational spaces at Pack Square Park, LEAF Downtown is an opportunity to experience creativity in many new ways.

The LEAF Art Dash 5K is an artistic twist on a traditional route around downtown Asheville. At key points there will be a hands on community art, busking and roaming performances for runners and onlookers to enjoy.
VIPs have access to Twisted Laurel Café for: Complimentary drinks and appetizers; Surprise Acoustic Performances; Artist Meet and Greets; Indoor Restroom Facilities; Official LEAF & Event Sponsor Swag and more! Tickets are $75 per person.

For those ready to dive into LEAF Downtown as soon as possible, the LEAF Funky Cocktail Crawl launches this Friday, July 17th with voting open on AshevilleGrit.com for your favorite “Funky Cocktail” until 31st. Over 15 local venues plan to participate.

Proceeds from LEAF Downtown benefit arts education through LEAF Schools & Streets and LEAF International.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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