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Simple Guide to FREE Summer FUN in Asheville

There is never a shortage of FUN things to do in Asheville & Western NC! Summertime is full of great events, here are some of the FREE ones you don't want to miss.


5th Annual LEAF Downtown AVL in Pack Square Park

August 2-3, 2019

LEAF Downtown celebrates communities, creativity, diversity, and families in the heart of downtown Asheville!
LEAF Downtown will further the goals of inclusivity, community partnership and economic vitality in the greater Asheville area, while driving the greater LEAF Community Arts mission to connect cultures & create community through music & arts.

Get ready to Rise Up at the 5th Annual LEAF Downtown AVL, taking place August 2-3, 2019 in the heart of Downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park. LEAF Downtown AVL showcases dynamic musical talent, immersive cultural arts performances and local handcraft & culinary artists. Visit theLEAF.org/downtown for more info on this inclusive, family-friendly, FREE event!

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Shindig on the Green


Roger McGuire Green (downtown Asheville)

“Along About Sundown” ~ 7pm – 10pm

Jul. 27, 2019

Aug. 10, 2019

Aug. 17, 2019

Aug. 24, 2019

Aug. 31, 2019

2019 is the 53rd Season of Shindig On the Green!

Bring your instruments, families, friends, lawn chairs and blankets and join us for good times at the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage. In 2019 Shindig on the Green, which features a stage show and informal jam sessions around the park, continues at its original location — formerly known as City County Plaza, now transformed into the new Pack Square Park. Locals and visitors alike come together downtown “along about sundown,” or at 7:00pm for those who wear a watch, until 10:00p.m. Concessions are available. Come experience the beautiful music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia on a summer evening in the mountains.

The Folk Heritage Committee produces Shindig on the Green and its sister event, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Between 3,000 and 5,000 people attend Shindig on the Green evenings for free throughout the summer. In addition to throngs of locals, visitors routinely travel from out of state, across the country, and even around the world to make their way to downtown Asheville for Shindig on the Green.

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Sourwood Festival, Black Mountain

August 10-11, 2019

"Bee" sure to put this fun small-town festival on your list! The Sourwood Festival in downtown Black Mountain celebrates our bees and local sourwood honey. It's presented by the local Chamber of Commerce. Stroll down several streets with 200 vendors, eat festival food and listen to big variety of live music. Since the festival is on several side streets, Black Mountain's State Street (their Main Street) remains open, so you can also explore all the galleries, restaurants and stores.

Times: Saturday 9 AM-8 PM and Sunday 9 AM-5 PM. Admission is free.

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Concerts in the Park Series - Biltmore Park Town Square

We invite you to bring your family, friends and neighbors and enjoy a musical evening in Biltmore Park Town Square.  Grab a blanket and join us in Cecil Park, the green space near Hickory Tavern and Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, for Concerts in the Park.  The annual Concerts in the Park are held once a month, May - September, from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.  Concerts are FREE and open to the public.  Come enjoy two full hours of live music, dancing and fun for the whole family.

***Concerts in the Park will be held rain or shine.  In the event of inclement weather the concert will be moved inside Hickory Tavern***

2019 Concerts in the Park Dates:

Saturday, August 10th - The Big EZ's

Saturday, September 14th - Queen Bee and the Honeylovers

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Montford Park Players - North Carolina’s Longest Running Shakespeare Festival

Join Us for Live Shakespeare and Other Great Classics
Completely FREE To Attend
Friday, Saturday and Sunday Evenings at 7:30 pm All Summer Long!

We have a fantastic 2019 season lined up for you (and your friends and your family). The run of plays you’ll enjoy (completely free!) over the months ahead is enough to make any fan of live theater swoon. The nights you spend before the stage lights and under the stars with us will captivate, enchant, and thrill — making this a year you will never forget.

JUNE 28 – JULY 27 : Robin Hood: Quest for Justice by Jeff Messer & Robert Akers, Directed by Michael Lilly  (World Premiere!)

AUG 2-24 : Romeo and Juliet directed by Mandy Bean

AUG 30 – SEPT 14 : Winter’s Tale directed by Scott Keel

SEPT 20 – OCT 5 : 16 Years Tried by Travis Lowe, directed by John P. Mendenhall  (World Premiere!)

DEC : A Christmas Carol   (Dates to be Announced)

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River Arts District Second Saturday

August 10, 10:00am - 6:00pm


Asheville River Arts District

On the Second Saturday of each month, the River Arts District holds gallery walks with demonstrations, workshops, live music, wine tastings, delicious food, and more! Meander the mile-long district or hop on and off the free trolley and discover all that the “RAD” has to offer. There are more than 200 artists in the 23 buildings throughout the district. Most of them will be on hand to describe or show you their techniques and share their inspirations.

Ride the free trolley throughout the district from 11am – 4:30pm. Most studios and galleries open 10am – 6 pm. Special evening events listed.

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East End/Valley Street Community Heritage Festival

Martin Luther King Park or MLK Park

Address: 50 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Asheville, NC 28801


Unity in Community!

Friday, August 23 from 6pm to 9pm.

Saturday, August 24 from 10am to 9pm.

Sunday, August 25 from 10am to 6pm.

The Community Heritage Festival Parade and Car Show on MLK Drive starts at 11am on Saturday from South Charlotte Street (Historic Valley Street) to MLK Park. East End/Valley Street is Asheville's oldest African-American neighborhood. An alcohol free, family friendly festival! Come celebrate with us! Everyone is welcome! Food Vendors/Food Trucks - Ox Tails, Rice & Beans, Chicken Wings, Hot Dogs, Fish, Chicken on a Stick, Italian Ice, Bean Pies, Popcorn, Funnel Cakes & much more! Arts & Crafts - Clothing, African Clothing, Jewelry, Shea Butter & much more! Music & Entertainment - Stanley Baird Group, Otesha Creative Art Ensemble, Uptown Swagga Band, West Sound Band, Free Flow Band, Drummers (drumming, dancing, stilt walker) Djs and others! Children’s Area - Story Telling, Leaf’s Easel Rider, Balloon Creations, Face Painting, Bounce House, Arts & Crafts & more! Saturday Morning Parade & Car Show - Starts at 11am! Sunday Worship Service and Gospel Music - Worship service with Brent LaPrince Edwards of St James AME Church followed by Gospel Music with local choirs and gospel artists!

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Downtown After 5

August 16

The Artisanals 

The Artisanals’ blend of heartland 70s rock and alt-Americana coupled with influences like Bruce Springsteen, My Morning Jacket and The Cars. Their four-track debut EP received critical acclaim from Huffington Post, Paste Magazine and Day Trotter. 

Support: The National Reserve

The National Reserve mine an archetypal musical seam, marrying gutbucket R&B, Laurel Canyon lyricism, New Orleans funk workouts, late night soul, and bluesy, boozy rock ‘n’ roll to create their own timeless brand of American music.

Opener: Emma’s Lounge

Emma's Lounge has the unique ability to morph from rootsy folk to rollicking rock and powerful soul, to head-turning electronic-tinged psychedelic funkiness. Their strange range of creative influence is united by the band's raw energy on stage.

We're serving up plenty of local yumminess with food vendors: Delia’s Tea Time, D.O.G.S., El Kimchi, FroZen Monkey, Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Kernel Mike's Kettle Corn, Moe's Original BBQ and Sunshine Sammies.

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More Ideas from Explore Asheville


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