Asheville’s annual topless rally organized by the Go Topless folks is set to return on Aug. 28. The event is planned for 1 p.m. at Pritchard Park in the center of downtown.
Go Topless organizes dozens of topless rallies each year around the U.S. in an effort, they say, to raise awareness about having positive attitudes toward women’s bare breasts and to call attention to laws stopping women from appearing topless in public.
In Asheville, the rallies have been controversial, though interest in them has declined precipitously since the first gathering around the Vance Monument in 2011 drew 2,000 oglers and a couple dozen topless women and caused a city-center traffic jam.
The topless movement in Asheville, such as it were, caught on at Bele Chere, with half-naked women competing with shouting street preachers for festival-goers’ attention.
Over the past couple of years, the events have drawn a dozen or fewer bare-breasted women and a hundred or so mostly male viewers with bulging eyes and cameras on burst.
Related link: My coverage of the Go Topless Asheville rally in 2014, complete with photo gallery.