The Asheville Citizen Times has a great guide to summer events in Western North Carolina. Here is a list of some of Broker Asheville’s favorite festivals in and around our area happening in May.
Head to North Lexington Avenue downtown for the very first free favorite of the season. Downtown After 5 kicks off summer with a pre-Memorial Day concert on May 19, featuring headliner High & Mighty Brass Band, which combines New Orleans funk and R&B with afro-beat and hip-hop influences. Opening up the evening at 5 p.m. is a local favorite, the Josh Phillips Big Band. The warm-weather concert series is held on a large stage set up near the I-240 overpass on North Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville, and it runs on the third Friday of each month, from May to September, with a new band on stage. Lining the streets during the event are a variety of food and drink vendors, including local, regional and national beer as well as wine and soda. Food trucks at the event include DOGS, Kernal Mike’s Kettle Corn, Gypsy Queen Cuisine, The Grubbery, Scott’s Knots, Smoky Mountain Corn Roasters and Sunshine Sammies.
Located on the main street of the Historic Montford neighborhood, the festival has a new look with entertainment stages, artist and vendor booths, and central food court all now on one street, Montford Avenue. While visiting the neighborhood, you will walk the tree lined street, where trolley’s used to travel, marvel at unique architecture, from turn of the century “Victorian” to Arts and Craft designs and observe the diversity mix of its proud neighbors, who yearly volunteer to be your hosts for the festival. Put the 2017 Montford Music and Arts Festival on your list of To Do events and join us on Saturday, May 20 from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM on the main street of Montford Avenue just down from the Asheville Visitor’s Center in Historic Montford Neighborhood.
Also heading to downtown for Memorial Day Weekend is Asheville’s annual Beer City Festival, offering up an array of local and regional craft beer on the Roger McGuire Green on May 27. Benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC, the festival brings 30-plus breweries to the downtown park near Pack Square, and guests will enjoy live music from Strangelady, Travers Brothership and Dynamo. The event runs noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $45 for a festival wristband, tasting mug and access to all participating breweries.
In Lake Lure, more than 80 artisans will be heading to the lake shores for the annual Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 27-29. The festival features potters and jewelers, painters and music, and twelve food and refreshment vendors will be on-site offering snacks while you browse. The festival closes early on Monday, at 4 p.m.
Get active and shed those pesky winter pounds at the Mountain Sports Festival. Another Memorial Day Weekend tradition in Asheville, the music and sports festival is all about community, athletics and local business. From May 26-28, the free event showcases the terrain, environment and unique culture of Asheville and the mountains with a Cyclocross race, the Rock2Rock 10K race, an ultimate frisbee championship and disc golf course and an inflatable village for the kiddos.
It might sound a bit ridiculous, but the White Squirrel Festival is one of Western North Carolina’s most fun events. Taking place during Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28, the event is much more than just oddly colored tree rodents. Kicking off on Friday with a gallery walk and live music on the East Main Stage in downtown Brevard, the all-weekend street festival has contests, parades and awesome headliners like the Jeff Austin Band (formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band), Front Country and the Jeff Sipe Trio.