Despite the supposed prevalence of good cheer, Christmas can be rough — particularly for transplants whose friends and family are far away. Since Asheville has a large population of out-of-towners, THE BLOCK off biltmore (aka TBob) is inviting those in need of a little holiday camaraderie to a community Christmas celebration.
The occasion is a plant-based potluck, so attendees are asked to bring a vegan dish to share. More specifically, that means “a plant-based entree, side or dessert to serve four,” says owner Cam MacQueen. “Please, no animal products of any kind, including dairy [or derivatives such as whey or casein], eggs, honey or flesh.”
TBob will also have cocktails and other libations for sale, including festive, holiday-themed drinks.
“At TBob, we’ve met many newcomers to Asheville whose friends and family are elsewhere. In my case, my family is here but they are traveling to be with other family members in different states,” says MacQueen. “Realizing that we have a festive space to share, we made the decision to open the doors for those of us looking for community on Christmas.”
In addition to food and drink, there’ll be tunes. MacQueen is hoping to book a live band for the occasion, but in lieu of that, TBob will be spinning recorded holiday songs by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Vince Geraldi, James Taylor and others.
The potluck isn’t just a social occasion — the event also serves as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina, with a portion of the suggested $10 donation benefiting the organization.
It’s the perfect place to celebrate one of the most important values Christmas has to offer: compassion. And, in the words of Darlene Love: “Nobody ought to be alone on Christmas.”