As the final city-run Bele Chere approaches, rumors have swirled about a private company or organization taking it over. But according to the city of Asheville, so far they’re just rumors.
When Asheville City Council decided to end Bele Chere in March, Council members speculated about another organization (or combination of organizations) taking the festival over. Mayor Terry Bellamy noted that the city “will look to the community for what form Bele Chere takes next.”
So as Bele Chere drew closer this year, there was speculation about what form it would take. So far, according to spokesperson Dawa Hitch, that’s all it is; the city’s received no offers for the rights to the long-running street festival, from either private companies or nonprofit organizations.
With LAAFF and Goombay on hiatus, the future of street festivals in Asheville is in a major state of flux. As for what emerges, at this point that’s anyone’s guess.