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.

Go Topless Asheville on Facebook.

Related link: My coverage of the Go Topless Asheville rally in 2014, complete with photo gallery.



  1. Pathetic, Tex. Perhaps if you put on your cowboy hat and spurs, you’ll come up with something clever.

  2. Peter Robbins says:

    Maybe Mr. Apodaca could do some lobbying. I understand he’s quite influential.

  3. Did I miss it? Aw, shoot.

  4. Can we get a local legislator to help?

    An Open Letter to Citizens and Visitors of Asheville,

    As many of you are aware, an event known as “GoTopless” is scheduled to occur in downtown Asheville this Sunday. If it is similar to last year’s event, a number of female attendees may be topless, exposing their breasts to public view.

    As citizens of Asheville and individual members of Asheville City Council, we do not endorse this conduct. We believe that it does nothing to help our community, and we recognize that it disappoints and embarrasses many of our citizens and visitors. We wish it were not happening.

    Despite our hopes over the past few months that this could be addressed by city ordinance, legal research indicates that this is a matter of State law, and that our city’s options are very limited. As soon as possible, we fully intend to seek legislation in Raleigh that will clarify the law and enable Asheville and other communities in North Carolina to respond more effectively. Please join us in urging our legislators in that direction.

    As for the event that is set to occur this Sunday, we urge citizens and visitors to avoid the event. Please do enjoy our vibrant downtown this Sunday in other ways, including your support for the Goombay Festival, other events, and our great downtown businesses.


    Terry M. Bellamy, Mayor
    Esther Manheimer, Vice-Mayor
    Cecil Bothwell, Councilman
    Jan Davis, Councilman
    Marc Hunt, Councilman
    Chris Pelly, Councilman
    Gordon Smith, Councilman

    “I remain very concerned about toplessness in Asheville and the folks who have targeted Asheville’s community to make a statement that seems unnecessary, yet destructive, and unhelpful to any causes championing women,” Manheimer said.

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