A soup-er good time

In the story of a concoction known as stone soup, an entire community is coaxed into providing a bit of food each to create a hearty meal for all. In that spirit comes the Stone Soup Summer Solstice Gathering, a catchall of area arts, crafts, dance and what-have-you in West Asheville.

Free summer festival, anyone?: The first ever Stone Soup Summer Solstice Gathering takes place in West Asheville this Saturday, June 23.

“If everybody contributes, we all have abundance,” emphasizes festival organizer Adam Pittman. Wanting to see a celebration that would blur the line between participants and attendees, and where everything could be experienced free of charge, Pittman asked around to see if any other locals wanted to be involved.  What he got back was an avalanche of offers to help.

“Ever since I started publicizing it, people have been coming forward and saying ‘I want to do something,’” he says. For this, the first such festival, that something turns out to be everything from disc golf to yoga, from herb walks to simply having a nice day at the park.

Festival co-sponsors include Asheville and Buncombe County’s parks and recreation departments, as well as local businesses and nonprofits.

“In our community,” Pittman says, “I think we can get a lot more done if no one group is footing the bill.”

It was merely a happy accident that the festival falls near the solstice, Pittman says, but it is a traditional time of community fellowship. The festival’s namesake will be featured too, so make sure to bring a bowl and a vegetable for the stone soup.

The Stone Soup Summer Solstice Gathering will be held Saturday, June 23, at Hominy Creek River Park from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visit www.solsticegathering.org for more information.

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