Once a year Lexington Avenue is closed in downtown Asheville for this all day, all local, all original street fair that has grown to be the largest independent street fest in the southeast! This jam-packed day is filled with wild street performers, unique artwork, a wide variety of music, and just about everyone who wants to have some fun and celebrate in the streets of Asheville. Arts2People has been presenting LAAFF for 10 years with the support of the Asheville Community. No Dogs are allowed at LAAFF, not even if they're dressed in costume.
From the LAAFF website:
Greetings, fans of the strange and unusual! We are so glad that you have found your way once again onto the street that is the Heart, Horror and Glory of fringe living in A'ville, Lexington Avenue! Welcome to the 10th amazing year of the most unlikely, death-defying, uncanny, yet successful cultural phenomenon that is The LAAFF Festival! LAAFF is the proof that it is possible to defy cultural norms, the laws of physics, and the bounds of decency, and yet produce revenue, even for the arts and artists! How have they let us get away with it? The mind boggles...
LAAFF began as a block party thrown by the then proprietors of Sky People Gallery & Design Studio, Kitty Love and Michael Mooney. Joining with Arts 2 People, and making LAAFF a benefit for the Asheville Mural Project was the first serendipitous confluence in a long line of mini-miracles that followed. The spirit of collaboration, love of independence and creativity, the opportunity for free expression, and the sheer enjoyment of working with like minded freaks made LAAFF a meaningful endeavor for all those with an investment in the street and the culture it supports. Begun in part as a way to promote independent business on Lex, the festival has grown into an example of a unique economic development perspective. Only locally crafted goods and services will ever be found at LAAFF, showing what potential for economic health exists when we use our money briskly within our community. We believe that LAAFF itself, and outdoor cultural programming generally, provides financial opportunity and business incubation for creative professionals. Our commitment to being green while we do it all is evidence of our festival-wide policy on the use of all compostable materials, free water, and no itty-bitty water bottles!!
The content of LAAFF, guided by a group manifesto, is master minded by the community. As funds slowly grew, mini grants have provided the opportunity for artists to bring their creative ideas out for others to enjoy and be inspired by. Interactive content at the festival helps participants realize that art and creativity are joys available to all. LAAFF intends to bring out the kindergartener in everyone: the hidden dancer, singer, painter, writer and director we all were when we were five, before we knew what was "good."
LAAFF wouldn't exist without the financial support of its sponsors, and the hundreds of musicians and performing artists who have given their time for free over the years. The hundreds of hours and dollars generously given have supported the endeavors of Arts 2 People, which provides free art classes to those who can benefit most from the restorative power of creative activity, offers professional development training for artists, makes public art happen through the Asheville Mural Project, is home to the Moving Women Dance Company, and participates in advocacy for the arts through civic engagement.
We appreciate your presence at LAAFF, and hope that it will inspire you to deepen your participation in the arts in Asheville, and in your own creativity.
Be sure to check out the schedule as well as the band biographies for LAAFF.
For more information on the Lexington Avenue Art and Fun Festival.