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Asheville is a city in and the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina. It falls within the Asheville Metro Area, that covers four counties. It is located in the western part of the state, and is the largest city there. It is also the 11th largest city in the entire state. This area used to have Native American settlement before European immigrants came here. The city as such was established in 1784. The Buncombe County was formed in 1792, and "Morristown" was established in 1793. This was renamed as Asheville and incorporated in 1797. It has a total area of 41.3 square miles. 40.9 square miles of the area is land, and the rest is water. The city falls within the Blue Ridge Mountains, at the confluence of the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River.
The largest employers in the city are the Mission Health System, Buncombe County Schools System, Ingles, the state administration, Asheville VA Medical Center, Wal-Mart, The Biltmore Company, Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College, Eaton and some more. Public schooling here is administered by the Asheville City Schools, comprising a number of elementary, middle and high schools along with a School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville. For higher education there is the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
Music is an important part of the city culture, especially live music. A number of outdoor music festivals, such as such as Bele Chere and the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival (LAAFF) are organized here. The annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam also occurs here. The Asheville Community Theatre, established in 1946, is still operational. Other cultural centers include the Asheville Lyric Opera, the vaudeville, and the Arts Center. The city is also known for many fine example of Art Deco architecture. Local points of interest include the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Botanical Gardens, the North Carolina Arboretum, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NCDC is the world's largest active archive of climate data.
Other recreational options include sports such as whitewater kayaking. Asheville Citizen-Times is the local daily, and the Mountain Xpress the largest weekly newspaper in the area. The main television station here is ABC affiliate WLOS-TV Channel 13. The city has also been a filming location for movies such as Patch Adams, Nell, Forrest Gump, Mr. Destiny, Dirty Dancing, Bull Durham, The Private Eyes, The Swan, The Clearing and many more.
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