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joKE-tELLiNG to HoRsE-RiDiNG fInd YoUr fUn oUtsIde of downtown

By jEN NatHaN oRRis fRiDay, juLy 27 As tempting as it is to laugh at the many shirtless men at Bele Chere, there are other, less mean-spirited outlets for humor. Disclaimer Comedy’s local showcase, for one, yuks it up at Elaine’s Piano Bar in the Grove Park Inn starting at 8 p.m. To find out more go to Skip the throngs of festivalgoers for an upscale evening of galleries and restaurants at Brevard’s 4th friday Gallery Walk. Pick up a brochure of participating galleries at the Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce, 175 E. Main St., and stroll through downtown from 5-9 p.m. Free. Info: or 884-2787. Turn local into global at the folkmoot usa festival. Dance groups from new Zealand to Peru will participate in a nearly two-week celebration of international dance and culture. Friday boasts a 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. “extravaganza” performance at Stompin’ Ground in Maggie Valley. Tickets range from $15-$30. Info: Trade that giant bag of kettle corn for something more nutritious at Black Mountain Center for the arts’ Bag Lunch series. BYO lunch for an hour of jazz, poetry and music from noon-1 p.m. at 225 W. State St., Black Mountain. Free. Info: or 669-0930. no one wants to be attacked by a stray bird at Bele Chere (oh, those dreaded pigeons!), unless that stray bird is paired with Phil and Gaye Johnson for Tryon’s summer tracks outdoor concert. The Stray Birds, an Americana/folk outfit from Lancaster, Pa., will take the stage at 8:15 p.m. in Rogers Park. Bring your appetite for wood-fired pizza, ice cream and other tasty treats, starting at 7 p.m. Free. Info:

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Bele Chere is a haven for arts and crafts, but there are still plenty of reasons to take a break from downtown and head to UnCA’s Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. Internationally known fiber artist Lia Cook turns thread into pixels at her new solo exhibition, Bridge 11. “Large-scale weavings created on Jacquard looms from photographic images” will be on display noon-5 p.m. on weekdays at 1181 Broyles Road in Hendersonville. Free. Info:

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When you just can’t take downtown’s steaming sidewalks, enjoy a lazy ride down the French Broad River for a tubing adventure with the asheville outdoor Center. The center now offers “express” trips that take about an hour (depending on water levels), so if there’s a Bele Chere band you just can’t miss, you can float down the river after the show. $14;$10 children 12 and under. Info:

Bele Chere might feel like the Wild West, but not compared to the cowboys, Indians and train robbers that haunt the tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock. Hop on a coal-fired steam locomotive for a trip back in time, including a stay in the jail and an authentic shooting gallery. This mini-amusement park is open seven days a week so you can flee Bele Chere anytime you want. $35; $22 for children 12 and under. Info: tweetsie. com.



All of downtown feels like an improv comedy scene during Bele Chere, but leave it to the pros to bring something truly funny to the stage. Reasonably priced Babies, one of Asheville’s hottest improv troupes, wants you to take a two-day sabbatical from the insanity of downtown during its “summer getaway” comedy shows. If you missed opening night on Friday, catch Saturday’s performance at The Magnetic Field, 372 Depot St., starting at 7:30 p.m. $10. Info:

Mountain Xpress, July 25 2012  

Independent news, arts, events and information for Asheville and Western North Carolina