This past weekend Lexington Avenue in Asheville came alive with art, music, costumes, impromptu performance art and quirky good fun. Arts 2 People has brought this free end of summer festival to Asheville for 10 years. They are a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture, supporting artists and exposing the public to the transformational power of creative expression. This year they extended the festival to two days with 3 sound stages and numerous smaller venues for music. You could find lots of local food, art, one of a kind clothing and gifts, not to mention events you won’t find at just any street fair, like bicycle jousting matches!
Everyone dresses up in their most creative and unique style including the fair-goers. A silver statue of a woman with urn in hand suddenly walks down the street. A veiled creature with black material where a face should be pushes a baby carriage full of stuffed toys. A car that has been transformed into a dissertation on heaven and hell is proudly displayed by the artist. Cirque de solei style performers roam the street. It is truly a quintessential Asheville event. Lexington Avenue is known for its artsy and funky shops even without the fair. It’s also home to some wonderful restaurants, like Bouchon and Boca. We took advantage of the front window table at Boca to enjoy lunch and the very best people-watching at the fair. It was on the second day of the fair and a brief deluge from the outskirts of tropical depression Lee sent fair goers scurrying for cover. In no time the soaked and costumed crowd accepted their fate and children splashed in the river flowing down Lexington Street.
A thoroughly wet and dripping man on stilts in nautical dress peered down at us, dry inside the window. Once the storm was over the booths flung open their flaps and the festivities resumed as is if nothing had happened. The living statues took up their stations and wet musicians played again.