Press release from the Montford Music and Arts Festival:
The Montford Music & Arts Festival, the longest-running and only free-to-the-public festival in the greater Asheville area, will stage its 17th annual event on Saturday, May 30, the first time the festival is being held after Memorial Day.
Presented by the Montford Neighborhood Association along tree-lined Montford Ave. in the historic Montford District, the event will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year’s festival was scheduled later in May to avoid conflict with the 50th Leaf Festival, which will be presented May 14-17 at Lake Eden this year.
“This annual event has been a great way for Montford residents to open their neighborhood to our friends in Asheville and remind all of us about the rich history of this historic district,” said Dan Rogers, chairman of the Montford Music & Arts Festival Committee. “With free admission, everyone has access to our festival and can enjoy a day of live music, great food, artist displays and fun activities while mingling with their neighbors.”
Perhaps the most family-friendly street festival in western North Carolina, the Montford Music & Arts Festival features a special children’s area for face painting, interactive displays, sidewalk chalk art contest and other fun activities.
Located on Montford Ave. between Chestnut and Waneta Streets just down the street from downtown Asheville, the Asheville Visitors Center and Chamber of the Commerce, the all-day event will also feature a music stage with another attractive lineup in 2020. Comprised solely of local musicians, the performing schedule will be announced shortly.
Attendees will also be treated to a wide variety of specialty cuisine, courtesy of food booths and food trucks. In addition, more than 100 booth vendors will be on hand, with various artists, crafts people and nursery plant purveyors selling their merchandise.
Featuring turn-of-the-century “Victorian” homes and several bed-and-breakfast inns, a portion of Montford is proclaimed a National Register Historic District. Many of today’s Montford historic homes were designed by the same architect hired by the Vanderbilt Family to create the Biltmore Estate.
World-famous authors Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried in Montford at the nearby Riverside Cemetery, while the community’s rich history also dates back to the once thriving African-American community of Stumptown, which ended in the 1960’s.
The very first Montford festival was presented as strictly an arts event in 2004, held inside of Pyper’s Place, which is now Nine Mile Restaurant, and Sweet Heaven Ice Cream Shop, now a real estate office.