What to expect at the Spring LEAF Festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina

By Nikia Knapp

 

Spring LEAF Festival

 

"Let me feast my eyes on the evidence that there is a power so much greater than I.
Taking in the never-ending clear skies and immovable solid mountains kissed with the ever-giving forests surrounding me.
Enchant my soul with music tunes from around the world transporting me to another place.
Feed my human need to be enriched with culture and I shall find a place in my heart sweetened…
I indeed received all of these incredible notions at the Spring LEAF festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina."

Apache & I at Spring LEAF Festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

"Apache and I saw LEAF Festival welcomed groups of young and older friends, families and cuddling lovers. Some people enjoying the festivities for the weekend with intentions to camp and some being there only for the day. This is a family-friendly affair with plenty of entertainment for all age groups."

Super Bungee Jumping-Trampoline

Super Bungee Jumping-Trampoline

Getting to Spring LEAF Festival

"A small shuttle bus escorted us past the LEAF camp grounds to the festival from the parking area. The first thing we noticed was lots of children and families. This makes sense, because LEAF’s non-profit efforts are all directed to LEAF schools and streets for their local and global youth programs that support cultural arts education. With this knowledge, we were so happy to be participating knowing that our attendance allows us to be a part of the positive change we would like to see in our future. We were so delighted to see the education being imparted listening to children sing songs by civil activist women, such as Nina Simone and others from whom we could all learn. Watching the children share powerful quotes and history facts that complemented the tunes they proudly shared, I believe gave every viewer hope."

 

Children Activities

 

Children Activities

"Outside there was no shortage of things to do for the kids. We saw a Super Trampoline Bungee Jumping apparatus, large inflatable bouncers and even a children’s zip-line sending them right into the lake! Children dominated the mini man made beach along the lake, rode in Canoes and played on the floating Jungle gym which was equipped with a diving board. There was lots of space to run and opportunity to make new friends. We met one young teen who sat on the grass exercising her entrepreneurial and creative spirit selling necklaces that she had made herself. This young girl informed us that she had been selling her craft work here for several years now. She mentioned that she loved coming to LEAF every year with her family. We were impressed to see children of all age groups out doing the same thing. What a great way to encourage goal setting, self esteem, creativity and self independence in a child! Some of the events made available for the children included Teenage Female Power Funk, OSO Kid Hop Dance Party, a Teen poetry slam, a Magic and Wonder show and LEAF International Tanzania to name only a few options but all events are family friendly."

Children at Leaf Festival

Kids selling their own homemade arts & crafts

Colorful Leaf Festival

Colorful Ignite and Inspire Parade

"There was something for everyone. We decided to put our sheet down on the grass to relax where we people watched, sun bathed and enjoyed the view of the beautiful lake and mountains. After sunbathing we really loved the colorful Ignite and Inspire Parade!"

Colorful Ignite and Inspire Parade

 

Colorful Ignite and Inspire Parade

 

Live Music Performances

"We loved having multiple options for music including venues ranging from Reggae performances to Bluegrass and folk to Salsa dance parties, Blues dancing or even Techno Contra. There were singing/song writing workshops and an exciting fire performance that evening. Basically, you could make your festival day as chill or as active as you like."

 

leaf festival

 

Live Music Performances

 

Planning Ahead

"My best advice for managing this elaborate itinerary would be to go to the website, review it and study the map ahead of time, noting which events you would definitely not want to miss. This is so you can get to those events 20-30 minutes early to be sure of getting a good view to the show, dance space or seat at each event. If you want to vendor shop or blow some cash of course there are loads of clothing, art, jewelry and unique item vendors to explore."

 

Spring LEAF Festival

 

people Spring

Meeting beautiful people at LEAF

Food Options

"Food trucks offering international, vegetarian and health conscious options were plentiful, as well as typical junk food if you are so inclined. We chose to purchase the Culinary Passport available on the LEAF website. This offered us 5 full meals for the day catered by The Corner Kitchen, as much as you can fit on each plate for $50 USD. If you don’t purchase the ticket but want to have one of these meals, your plate will be weighed for purchase price. This worked out great for our main meals because the food was catered, very delicious and we were very satisfied after each meal. I believe we saved money doing it this way. Again, if you choose this option I would say arrive 15-20 minutes early to cut back on time standing in line. Although the line did move quickly, people become a little short when they are hungry waiting in line and its crowded. These special meals are served in a community dining style environment with entertainment."

 

Handcrafted Jewelry at LEAF

Handcrafted Jewelry at LEAF

Suggestions

"For our day trip, we packed a debit card, bed sheet, sun block, bug spray and a few bottles of water, although bottles of water at LEAF were only $1. I started out very comfortable in my summer dress but by evening it felt like 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so definitely bring layers because this event is held in the mountains. There were large areas that were very muddy because it had rained that morning. Keep in mind when planning, what to wear that you could potentially get dirty which could be fun. So remember layers and comfort is key. If you want to wear a costume feel free, this is a huge playground for children and adults alike. If you decide that you want to stay more than one day but you are not a camper type than using Airbnb is a great option!"

 

Adult-kids playing dress up at LEAF

Amazing art work for sale at LEAF

Amazing art work for sale at LEAF

Why you Should Attend LEAF

"LEAF offers a Spring and Fall festival each year, pulling artists from around the world to give attendees an opportunity to experience and learn about cultures internationally. LEAF Festivals have been in existence for the past 22 years! This organization has enriched over 55,000 children with their programs in 10 countries worldwide. LEAF Cultural Arts Education Programs are local and global! If you are unsure about whether you can afford to attend LEAF, remember that it is a non-profit organization for children and you may be able to use your tickets as a tax write off. LEAF was a very special occasion with great purpose and we agree with LEAF that the more we learn the more we grow!"

Poetry Slam at LEAF

Poetry Slam at LEAF

"For more family friendly things to do check out A #grownish-ish date night to the Children's Theatre of Charlotte."

 

 

Colorful Life Productions

Written by Nikia Knapp.
Edited by Craig Greshaw.

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