On the weekend of October 14–15, a festival that debuted last year returns to downtown Asheville in the midst of autumn splendor. The Lovely Asheville Annual Fall Festival (LAAFF) will be held on Saturday, October 14, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, October 15, from 12–6 p.m. With stages and festival areas set up in Pack Square Park, on the Roger McGuire Green and at the Reuter Terrace, the festival has as its backdrop the lovely, fall-colored mountains and the vibrancy of downtown while raising funds for a good cause.
The idea for an annual fall festival was born during a conversation organizers Ray Mapp and Olympia Adams had last year. “We both agreed that a fall festival needed to happen to truly celebrate the nature of the Asheville area while promoting the preservation of nature through clean efforts and green energy,” says Mapp. Abby Felder, executive director of Asheville Creative Arts (ACA), shared their enthusiasm, and her organization became the fiscal non-profit agent for the festival.
The family-friendly festival is free and open to the public and features entertainment, food, cultural activities, merchants and informative speakers. Live music in genres including R&B, pop, rock, jazz, Afrobeats, reggae and inspirational will be performed throughout the day. An exhibit will include tributes to some of the Asheville area’s native sons and daughters who have achieved fame in the fields of acting, sports and music, including Chris Chalk, Brad Daugherty, Roberta Flack, Cameron Maybin, Nina Simone and Bellamy Young.
ACA produces and performs theater that helps teach valuable life lessons in an entertaining way, while giving young people opportunities to experience the creative and technical sides of theatrical productions. Proceeds from the festival will help support ACA’s performing arts programs, making them accessible to area youth.
Plans are to hold LAAFF annually during the second weekend in October. “We are working to grow this fall festival every year while becoming more entertaining and educational, leading to sustainable environmental improvements for the lovely Asheville area,” says Mapp, who hopes LAAFF will educate the community on ways to keep this scenic area beautiful for residents and visitors alike. “This festival will always demonstrate the fact that Nature is worth celebrating, preserving and improving in and around the Asheville area.”
To learn more, visit LovelyAsheville.com or call 828.333.4875. Pack Square Park, the Roger McGuire Green and Reuter Terrace are located in downtown Asheville at or near 1 Court Plaza.