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LAAFF took place on Sunday Sept 5th in downtown Asheville and was a complete success! Thank you to everyone involved; we appreciate all of our volunteers, performers, vendors, staff, costumers, fellow freaks, photographers, and all of the LAAFFers!!!! Check out some of my pictures below.

Some of the comments we have been receiving on facebook are:

Zen Sutherland “A huge thanks to you, and everyone who worked long before, during and after! It was a masterpiece!”

Steven J. Rash -“oh man. the fest was fantastic as usual. i’m already counting down the days to LAAFF 2011. thanks again!”

Paper Tiger at LAAFF 2010

Daniel Simmons “A day I will remember forever!”

Molly Kummerle “had such an amazing day/night yesterday – thank you thank you thank you!! kudos on another rocking fest ;)”

Cute Mustasheville kid on the LaZoom Bus

Jason Kimenker “You rock!! Thanks for helping to make LAAFF such a pleasure to work. I had a really great time, thank you thank you thank you!!”

Jeremy Long “Another great festival. Thanks for making it as fun and unique as Asheville itself.”

Dreamspider Erin

Darlene Wright “I’ve gone every year except for the first. I go to many festivals, but this is by far my favorite one. I look forward to it every year. It occurs on or near my birthday and is a great way to celebrate it. I look forward to many more years of it.”

Alien Dancing to Woody Pines aat LAAFF

Patty Dougherty Haberman “Fun, Freaks, Family, Food, Finds, and Favorite…..LAAFF”

Jason V. Martin “My favorite Asheville festival..favorite period!!”

Dj Candice B at the Bobo Stage

Alice Smyth “Thanks everyone for giving me a great day of FUN! Loved every minute of it and the weather sure was great! I will be sure to make it next Labor Day as well! (o;”

Sandy Scholze “saw the photos in Garys posts. Its fun to see all the costumes.Kinda like mardi gras and halloween all rolled into one

Vending Coordinators: Rebeccaand Rose Hecht

and here are some fun #LAAFF tweets:

@tracyhyorth: #LAAFF is really Asheville’s Mardi Gras. Just takes place in September. Aren’t we lucky?

@aRagingMuse: At the poetry van the Asheville Horns are funkin’ up my world as all the stars start to shine… #LAAFF -ing all the way

@adam_casto Fests like #LAAFF spoil me. keep checking the fridge hoping 4 tacos, pizza, ice cream,loaded hot dogs,various beer.

Mountain Xpressers: James Fisher and Mackensy Lundsford

@zensutherland: @lexfest It was the best #LAAFF so far! Can’t wait for you to see ’em all (whew, i took over 6 gig of shots)

@elizzlebizzle:guh, I am so beat from [#LAAFF &] repping @trashincavl. met Oscar the Grouch, drank a lot of kombucha, saw a lot of freaks

RT @ayanaberry: Totally. My favorite fest in #avl RT @jar_e: Thank you @Dreamspiderweb for making another wonderful day… So much fun! @lexfest #laaff

RT @papertigermusic: BEST.  #LAAFF.  EVER. thank you asheville, paper tiger loves you 😉

RT @mackensy: Feeling a little fuzzy-headed to be giving interviews today. I have a LAAFF-over. #laaff

Sanders, Sipe, Pond, and Cardine

RT @hopicecream Thank u @lexfest and everyone else for giving #Asheville reason to celebrate the local community! Had a blast 🙂 #LAAFF

RT @mxenv: Loved the labels on the waste bins at #LAAFF today: glass, plastic, and LANDFILL. That’s the truth…LANDFILL doesn’t mean GONE

Tall Bike Freak: The Reverend Michael Mooney

RT @robinplemmons laughed really hard @ #LAAFF. Best part is meeting customers who get me & love my creations. smiled so much my cheeks hurt

RT @phetched: Scrumptious Hardcastle dawgs, Pisgah Pale, Kovacs & the Polar Bear + sexy @robinplemmons at #LAAFF… now it’s naptime. #zzzz

RT @AskAsheville: 12seconds – Alien dances to Woody Pines at #LAAFF in Asheville http://tiny12.tv/R2D03 #avlent

RT @AskAsheville: Laughing my A-S-S off! This is such a cool event! #LAAFF w/ @thesavvyeater @avlcustomcloset)

Fun guy, AskAsheville Gary, and AVL Custom Closet Amanda

RT @AskAsheville Great #wedding #photo of Jack & Rosetta at their #LAAFF marriage in downtown #AVLhttp://su.pr/1KM88P #avlpics #avlwed

RT @aRagingMuse: Beautiful with Archrivals soundtrack! RT @rsulock: awesome #LAAFF footage from Jesse Hamm for Xpress! http://bit.ly/c6r2ME #avlent

Bike joust! RT @AshevilleLife: RT @fobes RT @ ashevillein : call it a draw then? #LAAFF #avlevent http://flic.kr/p/8yrQVR

Jenny Juice's Songwriter Lounge

RT @houseofdevochka: Dudes. Seriously. @lexfest was amazing! I’m going to bed. Right now. For three days. Or 5 hours. #laaff

RT @AskAsheville: People… I am talking about 169 photos of the Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival #LAAFF in Asheville NC right here.. http://su.pr/3ai4ud#

Bright Life Photography- Lissy multitasking at LAAFF 🙂

RT @lyndacd: #LAAFF: Lex Ave Arts & Fun Festival – Still the best fest in Asheville! Great day with interesting people, food, music, fun!

AVL Beer, Jenny Juice, Bob 7, Amy

RT @Iveys: Body paint & a human float. Asheville’s Mardi Gras. #laaff http://plixi.com/p/43517320

RT @adam_casto: Enjoyed spending time downtown at #laaff today. Need to make an effort to get out more. We really do have a wonderful city here. #AVL

Robin Plemmons

RT @SocialLifeAvl: Just got lil one a mocha oreo from the @hopicecream tent with @robinplemmons @lexfest #LAAFF

RT @SocialLifeAvl: I just saw that. My daughters wants to it. BAD RT @ncmattj: http://twitvid.com/M6VW9 – Street Jousting at #LAAFF

Lulu and Dreamspider Erin

RT @SocialLifeAvl: Downtown is packed for @lexfest #LAAFF alot of culture, music, food and vendors.

Molly, Crissa, and Billy Jack

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by Kitty Love, LAAFF Festival Director

Spirit of the Smokies http://livingnewstories.com/

September 2005

The Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival is about to happen. All the weirdness elves have dusted off their magic wands and pulled out their bags of pixie dust for another day of enchanting surprises.

In reading Gayatri’s instructions for how to write an article for Spirit in the Smokies, what emerged on paper was more a poem than an article. It’s about empowerment, and the nature of creativity, and working together, and creating community, and healing our relationship to profit.

The LAAFFestival is a totally homegrown arts festival, consisting of exclusively local WNC offerings (even the beer!), which takes place Sunday of Labor Day weekend on Asheville’s funkiest street, Lexington Avenue. Its reason for being is contained within the mission of its parent organization, Arts2People. We are seeking to preserve the culture created by the united anarchists, the artists, the folks whose lives are art (this means you!) we have come together here for a purpose, drawn inexorably out of our dull and destructive pasts, and have created an affiliation that deserves celebration.

As chief cat-herder, the festival has been for me an exercise in trust. I have always had a do it myself attitude, often to a fault. The downside of being capable is allowing limited opportunities to see the miracles of which others are capable. In part, I created the fest to further the enlightenment I received from the experience of single motherhood. At that time, I wasn’t averse to begging help from strangers in parking lots, much less from my friends and family. I was astounded at what people could do; things I never thought of, solutions that were totally unique.

So the festival is like that. My coordination style is this (to the organizers): “Here’s some insurance, money, a tent, some supplies and a couple of volunteers. Knock us all out and don’t leave any trash.” And we unleash our creativity on the town.

This article, of course, is an unabashed sales pitch designed to entice you, the reader, into joining the frolic. I have become addicted to the process of co-creation of community and radical self-expression, and I know you will, too. We open the invitation to everyone to come and do something funky with us, and then enjoy the wacky, weird and wonderful result. Come in costume! We encourage participation, not just voyeurism (though there’s plenty to gawk at!)

A few festival tidbits include: beer painstakingly crafted in Asheville by the French Broad Brewery, food by local culinary artisans, WNC crafters, an underground art competition, interactive art games, kids art activities by the Arts Council and ArtSpace Charter School, art cars and an art car painting party, performance in three separate areas, and more, all brought to you entirely by volunteers from the community. Last year, we successfully enticed over 10,000 of you to come out and share the fun!

To share a few lines from the free association exercise that preceded this more left brain discourse:

When I work on creating the LAAFFestival I…

See peoples’ desire to connect and give and share

Feel like art has a chance against profit

Feel like art and profit can happen together

Believe poor people can prosper

Believe we can deflate the false importance of money

See god/dess

Feel divine guidance

Feel the presence of the energies of the mountains

Remind people to play

Create an investment in home

Acquaint people with the birthplace of creation

Its what the arts are all about, and how they create a quality of life worth preserving against the seduction of growth choices made with only profit in mind. As our area prospers, lets not relinquish what drew us here in the first place.

Arts2People works to preserve our culture, to strengthen the prosperity of our professional creatives, and to empower people through the creative process. Please go to arts2people.org to learn more about us.

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