The Last Bele Chere
The 35th and final Bele Chere Festival started today in downtown Asheville.
Area business owners say they expect big crowds for the annual street festival.
The festival still boasts an economic impact estimated from $8 to $10 million, but the city says it's also been costly, losing as much as $450,000 a year in overtime, security and other expenses.
Expect congestion in downtown Asheville through Sunday while Bele Chere is taking place.
Street closures in effect Thursday 5:30 p.m. until Sunday midnight:
Biltmore Avenue from Hilliard Avenue to College Street
College Street from Biltmore Avenue to Patton Avenue
Patton Avenue from Biltmore Avenue to Asheland Avenue
Coxe Avenue from Patton Avenue to Commerce Street
N. Lexington Avenue from W. Walnut Street to S. Lexington Avenue
Battery Park Avenue from Haywood Street to Otis Street
Haywood Street at the U.S. Cellular Center to Patton Avenue
Wall Street from Battery Park Avenue to Otis Street
Otis Street from N. French Broad Avenue to Patton Avenue
Click here for a map of these street closures, so you can plan ahead.
Click here for parking and shuttle information during Bele Chere.
By Evan Donovan
Follow Evan on Twitter @EvanDonovanNews