As the kids head back to school, you might think August means that summer is winding down. That’s not the case in Asheville. When you stay at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you’ll find that August is prime time to check out the city and the surrounding area. Here’s our list of Asheville events for August 2015.
Drum Circle — every Friday, starting around dark. You don’t have to be a professional drummer to participate in this weekly free event held at Pritchard Park downtown. Bring your drum and join in the festivities. Not up to making music yourself? Join the dancers or just sit back and people-watch. This is one of those outdoor Asheville events that continue into late autumn. Everyone is welcome.
Biltmore Village Art and Craft Fair — August 1, 10:00 AM–7:00 PM & August 2, noon–6:00 PM. Historic Biltmore Village is vibrant with color and creativity when hosting the annual art and craft fair. This free August event, held on the grounds of the beautiful Cathedral of All Souls, features handcrafted items and original art, from paintings to T-shirts and metalwork and much, much more.
LEAF Downtown — August 1, noon–10:00 PM & August 2, 10:00 AM–6:00 PM. LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) is a local music and arts fest held twice a year, in May and October. This year, organizers have added a free downtown event to the mix. A steady stream of live music, including Bootsy Collins’ Rubber Band, Santos, Empire Strikes Brass and Dangermuffin, provide a backdrop as you browse handmade crafts and incredible local art. While you’re there, enjoy a tasty meal or snack from one of the many local food and drink vendors.
Mountain Dance and Folk Festival — August 6–8, 7:00 PM. If you’re looking for some real Appalachian heritage, this Asheville event has it in spades. Held at Diana Wortham Theatre downtown, the festival highlights traditional mountain dance and music with a variety of performers. The clogging performances are always a treat, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for the music and tales that are such an integral part of our mountain culture. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under. <http://www.dwtheatre.com/>Buy tickets online or at the box office.
Riverfest — August 8, 1:00–7:00 PM. Now in its 15th year, Asheville’s Riverfest is a free event for the entire family. For the kids, there’s face painting and art making, hula hoops and puppy love (with Brother Wolf). Kids in and out of costume can join the Kids Parade at 1:00, but the real fun starts with the Everything that Floats Parade, featuring all manner of creative vessels on the water. Riverfest at French Broad River Park offers a variety of food, beer and nonalcoholic beverages for purchase.
Dirty Dancing Festival — August 14, 7:00–10:00 PM & August 15, 9:00 AM–4:00 PM. Asheville events extend a short drive away to Lake Lure, where the original movie was filmed. This event includes a free lakeside showing of the movie, live dance performances and music, food, crafts, and dance lessons so you can recreate the magic of Baby and Johnny. Tickets to Saturday’s fun cost $22 for adults ($27 at the gate) and $12 for kids ($14 at the gate). Packages are available as well.
Asheville Wine and Food Festival — August 20, 6:00–8:00 PM; August 21, 8:00–10:00 PM & August 22, 2:00–5:00 PM. Asheville is known for its beer, but we don’t ignore wine and cocktails. Asheville events don’t get more scrumptious than this three-day festival. Sample local spirits and cocktail creations from Asheville’s finest mixologists. Enjoy decadent desserts, sparkling beverages and more. The grand finale, at the US Cellular Center, offers just about every palate-pleasing delight Asheville has to offer, including wine tastings. Daily tickets are $49, with packages available.
Downtown After Five — August 21, 5:00–9:00 PM. This free concert returns in August with the Tony Furtado Band and local favorites Brushfire Stankgrass. Gather near the I-240 overpass downtown and enjoy an evening of music and fun. Some of Asheville’s finest vendors will sell food and beverages, while wine and beer purchases require the purchase of a $2 wristband.