6th Annual LEAF Downtown AVL!
Save the **NEW** Date: September 11th & 12th, 2020 

7/8/20 Update: LEAF is grateful and excited to be partnering with the YMI to create this event together! We will have a new collaborative name, TBD.

6/28/20 Update: As we have learned in 2020, everything changes quickly; therefore, LEAF is actively working with the City to explore a new creative format. We envision this event to be a collective of our community coming together both in person and virtually. LEAF fully honors Governor Cooper’s NC Laws and recommendations in regard to COVID-19. Safety details of requiring masks, timed entry, crowd control, etc will be integrated. Community safety is the priority. 

WHY LEAF Downtown??
LEAF Downtown connects our local communities and cultures while celebrating creativity and diversity in the heart of downtown Asheville! This special event works to further the city’s goals of equity, partnerships, and economic vitality in the greater Asheville area. The priority audience is our local families and friends of all ages & all neighborhoods coming together in a way that builds positive connections and allows locals to feel that downtown is theirs. This event also creates platforms for voices often unheard as we connect people to the world, each other, and themselves. LEAF’s vision to create a thriving global community starts right here in our own backyard.

Meeting Community Need at this time in 2020
LEAF recognizes that this may be one of the only events that is able to take place this season. We are grateful to be able to create something, and we want to make sure we are not “taking up space”, but rather creating a new collective way of utilizing public spaces and standing with our community.

2020 is an extraordinary time in our history. Being in an experience of historic global events of COVID and a revolution for Justice and Equality for Black Lives brings us into a new reality; therefore, a new approach to events is needed. We have been given time for reflection and reconnection to life priorities and values as we stayed home, and it has become clear not everyone was safe or feels safe in their home or community. The revolution, led by Black Lives Matter and leaders of the Black community, has stirred a new passion for for understanding, learning, and being part of creating a future of equality, access and meeting the common desire for safety for ourselves, others, friends and family. We walk this journey with LOVE. 

LEAF Downtown AVL is about FAMILYEasel Rider activities, a LEAF Family Adventure Zone, roaming artists & buskers, and interactive art installations for all to enjoy! Saturday 9am with the fun and family-friendly LEAF Art Dash 5K. DTKidsCostumesjp

LEAF Downtown AVL is about LOCAL COMMUNITY and CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT  | Through a partnership with Asheville Grown, we aim to highlight local artists & locally-owned vendors. In addition, LEAF Downtown AVL will host enrichment activities, cultural exchanges, and civic engagement will also take place at the Voices of Asheville tent through a series of collaborative alliances forged with HACA, Green Opportunities (GO!), Hood Huggers International, THE BLOCK Off Biltmore, BeLoved Asheville, Project Juntos, Nuestro Centro, UNCA Center for Diversity Education, Christine Avery Learning Center, YMI & many other community champions!

LSSHoopLineSA DTArtDashFamilyLEAF Downtown AVL invites, celebrates and appreciates YOU! | LEAF Downtown is dedicated to honoring the diverse and rich culture of Asheville. We seek to ensure every neighborhood, race, ethnicity, and culture has a voice and gathering space at our event. LEAF supports healthy expressions of progress featuring diversity and inclusion in all its signature events and LEAF Downtown gives us the unique opportunity to support local Asheville interests, honor heritage and share history. 


2020 LEAF Downtown is in the creation process.
The below links are our traditional engagement designs.

The 5th Annual LEAF Downtown AVL, happened August 2-3, 2019 in the heart of Downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park. Over 25,000 people, families, and friends of all ages and walks of life came out to enjoy.

LEAF Downtown AVL showcases dynamic musical talent, immersive cultural arts performances and local handcraft & culinary artists. At this special event, experience a world-class music, art & cultural immersion featuring over 200 performers on 3 stages, 70 hand-selected artisan craft & food vendors, non-stop family adventure programming, and the Voices of Asheville cultural epicenter. No matter who you are, where you are from, and what lights your fire, LEAF Downtown celebrates YOU – Championing diversity, equity & inclusivity as core principles at the heart of the event. – Ehren Cruz, Artistic Director

2020 Performers will be representing our LOCAL community with a few special guests. Below are the 2019 Performing Artists to give you a sense of who comes together to create LEAF Downtown AVL. 

LEAF Downtown – Stages & Spaces

LEAF Downtown Stage

Downtown Stage

Featuring a dynamic range of local, regional & national talent spanning a diversity of genres and artistic lineages that uplift, empower, and inspire!

Voices of Asheville

Voices of AVL is a gathering space to learn the rich history of AVL as well as the current challenges. Partners come together to share their stories and engage others: Center for Diversity Education, Eagle St Marketplace, Hood Huggers, Pisgah Legal Services, HACA Residents Housing Council & others representing lots of diverse Voices of Asheville.

LEAF Cafe Stage

Cafe StageA place to eat and engage with the family while tuning into Asheville’s rich local traditions featuring old time, folk, hip hop, Americana, blues and deep Appalachian roots.

Family Adventure Across the Park

Family Adventure

LEAF makes sure that there is plenty of engaging cultural arts and fun for the whole family throughout all of LEAF Downtown. Costume tents, roaming kids artists, puppets, jugglers, face painting, the Wandering Swordsman, parades & circus arts.

Community Arts Stage

U-LEAF Stage
Connecting and celebrating LEAF Schools & Streets youth performers, local arts education partners, community elders and voices of leadership.

Arts Across The Park

Art Around the Park
Roaming artists, arts experience, installations, & of course treasured LOCAL ARTS vendors to browse and shop. AVL Grown partners to recognize all the LOCAL ARTISTS at LEAF Downtown. 

LEAF Downtown AVL Map









Parking & Road Notes

Kick It Ticket Holders will enjoy complimentary parking at 35 Woodfin Street (Buncombe County Health Department Lot) during LEAF Downtown! Parking is limited and available with your paid Kick It Ticket until gone.

Road Closures:
LEAF Downtown will have the absolute minimum of road closures. Be advised, North and South Pack Square, Market Street & Spruce Street within Pack Square Park, and N. Spruce St. will be closed to vehicle traffic Friday (time tbd) through Sunday am. Surrounding streets, Biltmore Avenue and College Street will be open to vehicle traffic.

Asheville Transit Changes/Notes:

LEAF Downtown AVL will be set up at North and South Pack Square on Friday August 2, 2019 through Sunday August 4, 2019. On Sunday August 4, 2018, all ART bus routes will be operating on a limited holiday schedule for LEAF Downtown AVL. Routes will operate between the hours of 5:00 AM-11:30 PM Friday and Saturday and  8:00am-5:00pm on Sunday. 

Due to special events in and around Pack Square Park, some routes and stops will be impacted. Detours will be in place at 6:00 AM on Friday August 2, 2019 until 2:00 PM on Sunday August 4, 2019.

Routes Impacted

Stops Impacted:

Route Detour:

From the transit center, right onto Ashland Ave, right onto Patton Ave, left onto Broadway St, right onto Woodfin St., resume regular route.  Use Stop #404: College St at S Charlotte St for outbound trips leaving Downtown.

Inbound- Regular.

Detours will be in place at 6:00 AM on Friday August 2, 2019 until 2:00 PM on Sunday August 4, 2019.

Please check the Service Alerts page on RideTheART.com to stay informed on any additional service changes:  http://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/transit/service_alerts.htm

Where to Park:
Asheville provides on-street parking as well as four parking garages and several permit lots downtown.  There are more than 700 on-street metered spaces in downtown Asheville. All meters are for short term parking (two hours or less, as marked) at a cost of $1.25 per hour. The metered spaces are enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.   (Metered) Parking is FREE each Sunday. Parking Garages are also available throughout the city- check for any rate changes:

  • Civic Center Garage: Parking in the Civic Center Garage is free for the first hour and then $1.00 per hour for each hour or fraction thereof.
  • Rankin Avenue Garage: Parking in the Rankin Avenue Garage is free for the first hour and then $1.00 per hour or fraction thereof.
  • Wall Street Garage: Parking in the Wall Street Garage is free for the first hour and then $1.00 per hour or fraction thereof.
  • Biltmore Avenue Garage: Parking in the Biltmore Avenue Garage is free for the first hour and then $1.00 per hour or fraction thereof. 




ASSUMPTION OF RISK:There are inherent risks associated with being at LEAF Downtown or a LEAF event. By participating in LEAF (LEAF Community Arts) in any way (ticket purchaser, volunteer, staff, performer, vendor, etc) You are fully responsible for your physical and mental self, your belongings, your vehicle, your actions, injuries, accidents, illness, property damage, or other occurrence arising in any manner whatsoever out of your participation in activities sponsored by LEAF.  In addition, all persons attending this event, by their presence, may be photographed, videotaped, or broadcasted and, waive any claim related to the use of their image for promotional purposes for LEAF.  Be respectful, kind, and responsible.