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Asheville’s final Bele Chere festival ends

ASHEVILLE (AP) — Asheville’s popular Bele Chere festival may have ended for good.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that city leaders have decided not to continue funding the downtown festival, citing budget shortfalls. That would make the 35th annual Bele Chere that closed Sunday its final edition.
Festival coordinator Sandra Travis says it’s unlikely another organization will continue the Bele Chere name and format.
Bele Chere is credited with helping revitalize downtown Asheville. When it began in 1979, downtown streets and buildings were empty. But the newspaper reports that once downtown came back to life, many merchants found Bele Chere more annoying than fun.
At the final Bele Chere, eight teenage boys ranging from 16 to 19 were charged with fighting Saturday night. There were nearly two dozen other arrests over the weekend.

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