The LEAF Festival Experience: Music, Arts, Camping, and World Culture in Black Mountain, North Carolina

The Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) brings a world of culture to Black Mountain, North Carolina, twice each year. With attractions ranging from international music acts to barn dancing to a much anticipated poetry slam, a weekend at LEAF is delightful for the entire family. This fall marks the 35th anniversary of the festival, taking place October 18th through 21st, 2012.

Lake View, photo by Alissa Whelan

Here's a few reasons you'll want to pack up the family for a fall break and head to Black Mountain for LEAF:

1. Music from around the world: Saharan Desert blues from Tinariwen; bluegrass with The Tony Rice Unit; Canadian folk from The Be Good Tanyas; funky New Orleans jazz by George Porter Jr. and the Runnin' Pardners. Whirl around the dance floor and get your body groovin!

2.Cultural and artistic inspiration in an idyllic mountain setting. Settle into the village of tents for three nights of family bonding and fun with your neighbors. There's nothing like a late-night campfire by the waterside in the cool autumn air.

3. Fun for the whole family at LEAFlet, an entire section of the 600-acre site that's dedicated solely to kids' activities. They'll be laughing all the way to the tent at bedtime.

4. Dozens of craft booths featuring local artists making wares such as pottery, fiber arts, metalsmithing, hand-blown glass, photography... It's a chance to finish up your holiday shopping!

5. Canoeing, hiking, a walk around the lake each morning, and dancing: Contra, Salsa, Swing, and Waltz!

Contra Dance Hall, photo by David Simchock
6. A Healing Arts Area with experts who specialize in the nourishment of your body and soul. Visit a massage therapist or a psychic reader to let your worries go.

7. Gourmet international food vendors, with all food prepared fresh on site and over 20 culinary vendors, from vegetarian fare to spicy gumbo to Pisgah beer brewed right down the street. Yum!

8. Support the local arts community by attending LEAF. When they're not putting on festivals, the organization supports music and arts outreach efforts in schools, hosts workshops, and empowers youth globally through international programs in 8 countries including Guatemala, Rwanda, Mexico, India, and Haiti.

9. October brings leaf peeping season and the surrounding mountains are full of colorful splendor.

Spend a few extra days in the Asheville area at a Carolina Mornings mountain rental cabin. After all that dancing, imagine soaking your bones in a private hot tub and watching golden leaves gently drift from the trees above. Carolina Mornings has a wide selection of Blue Ridge vacation rentals to choose from, including the cabins at Scenic Wolf Resort that sit at 4,300 feet with 360-degree long-range views. Call a Vacation Planner today to reserve your fall fantasy vacation and experience luxury mountain living!

Comment on this post!