By JP Chartier
Every Friday evening, hundreds of people gather together, forming a large circle in the delightfully eccentric mountain-town of Asheville, North Carolina. Many bring along some sort of percussive instrument – what happens next is referred to as “The Asheville Drum Circle,” and it’s damned exciting!
I found myself meandering, lost in thought one Friday evening traversing the maze of streets that make up downtown Asheville. It was early autumn and I could feel the change in the air, the cool mountain breeze energized me, and put me in a celebratory mood.
It was about this time I remember, that I felt the ground beneath me begin to shake! I could feel a rhythmic thump pulse deep inside me, vibrating my guts and rattling my bones. It sounded as if the earth had opened wide and let loose an army of combat-boot wearing soldiers stomping in step and set on destruction!
Imagine my relief when I turned a corner and realized that what I thought was an army of combat-boot wearing soldiers intent on annihilation, was in fact just a peaceful gathering of hundreds of very happy looking people dancing and beating away on various percussion instruments.
An eclectic crowd of individuals swayed to the beat, bobbing their heads and undulating their hips as if in a hypnotic trance.
There were street performers rolling crystal orbs with balanced perfection all over different parts of their bodies, something referred to as contact juggling. Mixed throughout the affable crowd were twirling hula-hoopers and hacky-sackers too.
This peace-loving celebration called “The Asheville Drum Circle” brings together all that is great about this town I love so much. People of all nationalities and backgrounds come together to rejoice in the moment, and in the fact that we are all alive and in a beautiful place at this moment!
The event is free and takes place every Friday starting at 6 pm during the warm months of the year, and generally lasts until 10 pm.
You can find the celebration off of Patton Ave near Grove St in downtown Asheville – Just listen for it!
Bring some bongos, bells, cymbals, gongs or something to bang on so you can join in on the fun.
What are some strange or interesting celebrations that you have witnessed during your travels?