No, it isn’t “Leaf Season” as we’re accustomed in October, although the leaves on the trees are popping out in full force. We’re talking about the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF). LEAF is celebrating its 20th year and 40th festival this Thursday May 7th through Sunday May 10th. The festival is situated on the beautiful grounds of Camp Rockmont on Lake Eden Road in Swannanoa. Rockmont encompasses 600 acres of mountains, two lakes and all manner of outdoor recreational facilities and itself is situated on the grounds of the historic Black Mountain College.
Twice a year LEAF takes over the grounds for a music and arts festival which attracts performers from all around the globe. There are multiple stages, both indoor and outdoor featuring everything from African Tribal Dance to Jazz; Blue Grass to Reggae; Gospel to New Age Acrobatics (think Cirque du Soleil); Puppetry to Sleight of Hand; Poetry Slam to Contra Dance. At any one time, there are four to six live performances. It is designed to be kid friendly with multiple activities for children including street art, swimming and games. Its truly a circus type atmosphere.
Each year it attracts 6,000 or more visitors from all over the world for the four day festival with a large number of them camping on the grounds in tents or staying in one of the dozens of cabins. Its not unreasonable to say it has a “Woodstock” flair to it or is like an Earth Day celebration on steroids. Of course with the music comes food from all parts of the world. LEAF is an opportunity to experience cultures from all corners of the globe without requiring a passport. It has been so successful that it has grown beyond its primary venue as a twice a year festival to offering year round programs in schools and international exchange trips. So if you’re looking for something unique this weekend look no further than 20 minutes from the gate of Creston to the Lake Eden Arts Festival. The present weather forecast is looking great. Visit www.theleaf.org/ for tickets and more information.