Cheekwood Harvest at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens in Nashville TN
Photo Credit: Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

Add These Tennessee Fall Festivals to Your Calendar

Herald in the autumn months by experiencing these Made in Tennessee fall festivals.

Featured in this Article:

Tennessee Fall Festivals in September
Tennessee Fall Festivals in October

Tennessee's festivals are in full swing with fall festivals quickly coming up. Here's the low-down on what you can experience this season.

Tennessee Fall Festivals in September

International Cowpea Festival & Cook-Off

Date: Sept. 9, 2023

Location: Charleston, Tennessee

The annual International Cowpea Festival & Cook-off is a tradition that brings visitors from around the nation to enjoy culinary cowpea creations and nationally renowned music artists. The Cowpea Cook-off is by invitation only to local, professional chefs. The entrees are judged by anyone who purchases a $5 souvenir spoon 2-5 p.m. in Cook-Off Corner. Children's activities and a Cowpea 5K and 1-mile run as well as a marketplace full of locally and regionally made items round out the entertainment.

Southern Heritage Classic

Date: Sept. 7-9, 2023

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

The football match-up between Tennessee State University and Arkansas-Pine Bluff are heralded in with the Classic Concert featuring Gladys Knight and Jammin Jay Lamont at The Orpheum Theatre. The Classic Tailgate, Battle of the Bands and Fashions & Brunch start the festivities on Saturday before the big game. Don't miss the AutoZone Halftime Show featuring TSU's Grammy Award-winning Aristocrat of Bands.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

Date: Sept. 8-10, 2023

Location: Bristol, Tennessee

Make your fall a musical one by listening to some of the top roots musicians in America during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. More than 130 artists perform on 20 stages hosted at various venues and on the streets of downtown Bristol. Enjoy live performances by Sierra Hull, Jim Lauderdale, Amythyst Kia, Larkin Poe, The Mavericks and many more.

Wine on the River

Date: Sept. 9, 2023

Location: Riverfront Park in Nashville, Tennessee

Sample wine, beer and spirits from different regions spanning the globe without leaving Nashville during Wine on the River. Culturally themed menus will be available for purchase as well as live music filling the air. Beverage providers include Stonehaus Winery, Turtle Anarchy Brewing Co., Old Hickory Bourbon, Little Harpeth Brewing Co., Castello Di Albola, Caymus Vineyards and many more.

Cherokee Fall Festival

Date: Sept. 9-10, 2023

Location: Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Vonore, Tennessee

The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee's only tribally owned museum, hosts the Cherokee Fall Festival Sept. 9-10, 2023. Celebrate Native American culture and tradition through arts and crafts demonstrations, music and dance by the Warrior Dancers of Ani-Kituhwa and authentic foods. The museum demonstrates the 1800s Acorn Printing Press during the festival. Blacksmith demonstrations, displays of Cherokee life in the 1700s and a Civil War encampment can also be experienced. Meet and speak with representatives from the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Bear-Varian Fall Festival 

Date: Sept. 9-Oct. 31, 2023

Location: Anakeesta, Gatlinburg

Celebrate fall at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg during the Bear-Varian Fall Festival, a two-month culinary extravaganza that celebrates the sights, smells and tastes of the season with food, beer, cider and entertainment. With the add-on beer pass for $21.99, adults can savor six 8-ounce pours of beer or cider from local and regional breweries. Indulge in prk schnitzel, smoked turkey legs, bratwurst and kraut, soft pretzels and the decadent chocolate cake funnel fries at Anakeesta's various restaurants.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Date: Sept. 16, 2023

Location: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee

America's Night Race starts when the green flag flies Sept. 16, 2023 at Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway. The most popular race in NASCAR attracts thousands of race fans to enjoy racing, heart-stopping finishes and clashes of the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. The world's fastest half-mile plays host to the top racers in the industry as they battle for top honors.

Collierville Balloon Festival

Dates: Sept. 16-17, 2023

Location: Collierville, Tennessee

The Collierville Balloon Festival brings together more than 20 stunning hot air balloons, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, food, carnival rides and tethered balloon rides. Balloon flights and displays will take place at dusk and dawn with a magical balloon glow at dark. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children (carnival rides and tethered balloon rides are separate ticketed attractions).


Date: September - October 2023

Location: Ober Gatlinburg in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Experience an authentic Oktoberfest without leaving Tennessee at Ober Gatlinburg. The month-long celebration features German-inspired menus, live music by the Smoky Mountain Oompah Band, traditional Bavarian folk dances, yodels and more daily performances. Enjoy the fall color and mild weather in the outdoor Bier Garten, open daily for guests 21 and older.

Cheekwood Harvest

Date: September - October 2023

Location: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens in Nashville, Tennessee

Cheekwood Harvest at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a multi-week celebration of autumn filled with mums, a community scarecrow trail, Cheekwood Beer Garden with special performances and Pumpkin Village with three pumpkin houses. Special events include a Japanese Moon Viewing, Halloween Pooch Party and El Dia de los Muertos.


Date: Sept. 19-23, 2023

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Thousands of artists, fans and industry professionals will make their way to Americana Music Festival & Conference happening at various venues around Nashville. Amythyst Kiah, Bahamas, The Band of Heathens, Bobby Rush, Dale Watson, Dan Tyminski Band are just some of the artists slated to perform this year with more to be announced soon. More than 165 showcases in venues around downtown Nashville give guests an insight on why Nashville truly is Music City. 

Dollywood's Harvest Festival

Date: Sept. 20-Oct. 30, 2023

Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dollywood's Harvest Festival presented by Humana has been voted America's No. 1 Fall Family Event by USA Today readers. With the Great Smoky Mountains ablaze in fall color, enjoy apple and pumpkin treats, illuminated carved pumpkin displays throughout the park and world-class artisans. 

Hermitage Ghost Tours

Date: Sept. 22-Oct. 31, 2023

Location: The Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee

Explore the haunted side of history during the Hermitage Ghost Tours. Embark on a distinctly spooky voyage at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage as you experience the mansion, grounds and cemetery by lantern light. Along the way, guides in period clothing will explore tragedies that befell the Jackson family, unusual experiences of Andrew Jackson and unexplained incidents at the site. Hear about strange encounters such as the spirits of the Battle of New Orleans and Jackson’s infamous meeting with Tennessee’s Bell Witch. Beware of eerie encounters, possibly even with President Jackson himself. Tours also include a discounted wine tasting for guests ages 21+ in the Natchez Hills Winery tasting room.

Pumpkin Fest

Date: Sept. 23, 2023

Location: Jonesborough, Tennessee

Pumpkin Fest takes place in downtown Jonesborough, kicking off a number of fall and Halloween-themed events. Take a stroll and pick up delicious pumpkin treats served by small businesses. There will also be a variety of family-friendly fall activities. The town will host additional fun fall festivals like Halloween Haunts & Happenings Oct. 27, 2023 featuring trick-or-treating, games, scary-oke (spooky karaoke), a haunted house and more chills and thrills; Brews & Boos 8-10 p.m. Oct. 28, 2023 featuring storytellers, seasonal craft beer, hot cider and cocoa held in Jimmy Neil Smith Park, behind the International Storytelling Center; and Made Around Here Market Nov. 10-11 featuring locally made treasures.

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival

Date: Sept. 23-24, 2023

Location: Franklin, Tennessee

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival was created to bring a meaningful, music experience to its attendees at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin. The region's best food and drink will be available and merchants selling art and crafts round out the festival's offerings. Everyone from Justin Timberlake to Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson and Beck have played at this festival. The festival dates and full lineup will be announced soon.

Fall Folk Arts Festival

Date: Sept. 23-24, 2023

Location: Exchange Place Living History Farm, Kingsport, Tennessee

Travel to Exchange Place Living History Farm in Kingsport where you can spend a perfect autumn weekend at the Fall Folk Arts Festival. This family-friendly event includes tasting kettle corn, Brunswick stew and apple butter, watching demonstrators, meeting live animals like Coswold sheep, Suffolk horses and cows, and hearing bluegrass bands and dulcimer players. Browse the harvest market where you'll find corn, pumpkins and squash for decorating. Watch demonstrations for vegetable dyeing, quilting, basket making, rope making, whittling, canning, blacksmithing, pottery and much more.

Mempho Music Festival

Date: Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023

Location: Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis, Tennessee

World-class musicians and artists from a wide range of genres will take the stage during Mempho Music Festival at the beautiful Memphis Botanic Garden. Get ready for live music and a unique artistic experience in the Incendia Dome, an interactive event space in a geodesic structure with propane flame effects. Inside, the hottest DJs in Memphis bump music that'll get you dancing under the warm glow. The 2023 lineup includes The Black Crowes, My Morning Jacket, Turnpike Troubadours, Band of Horses, The War and Treaty and many more.

Tennessee Fall Festivals in October

Boo Bash!

Date: Oct. 1-31, 2023

Location: Gatlinburg SkyPark

Come enjoy a family-friendly Halloween Boo Bash Oct. 1-31, 2023 at Gatlinburg SkyPark. Enjoy the Smoky Mountains bursting in fall color and the beatufiul fall decor around the SkyPark. The Fall Fest is Oct. 27-28, featuring games, face paining, balloon artists, prize pack giveaways, live music and more. Both events are included in your regular ticket cost.


Date: October 2023

Location: Tennessee Aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium's ODDtober is celebrated during the month of October and shines a light on animals who use camouflage, mimicry and other unique survival strategies. The aquarium is decorated with hair-raising decorations to add to the not-so-spooky atmosphere. Kids of all ages can enjoy the return of resident c-eel-ebrity Miguel Wattson’s pumpkin lights and costumed SCUBA divers who will show off underwater pumpkin carving skills each Saturday at 2 p.m.


Date: Oct. 6-7, 2023

Location: Von Elrod's, Nashville, Tennessee

Photo Credit: Von Elrod's

While in Nashville, celebrate Oktoberfest at Von Elrod's featuring local and international Oktoberfest and Marzen beers, live music and a DJ spinning. Pair your stein with a fresh-baked pretzel and house-made sausage. Keep an eye on Von Elrod's website for more information on planned festivities.

3 Sisters Festival of Bluegrass 

Date: Oct. 6-7, 2023

Location: Ross' Landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee

The 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival, named after the three daughters of Fletcher Bright, a bluegrass fiddler legend. The free, two-day festival hosts some of the biggest names in traditional and modern bluegrass. The music festival has been heralded as one of the top five bluegrass festivals in the U.S. Artists like Ricky Scaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Bela Fleck and Steep Canyon Rangers have all performed at past festivals. The 2023 lineup includes performances by Greensky Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent, Kruger Brothers, Tim O'Brien, Sister Sadie and many more.

Unicoi County Apple Festival 

Date: Oct. 6-7, 2023

Location: Erwin, Tennessee

The Unicoi County Apple Festival takes place in charming downtown Erwin. More than 100,000 people from across the country come to the small town for the two-day event. The Apple Festival features more than 350 craft and food vendors, including a fried-to-order apple pie stand. There’s also a baking contest, road race, entertainment, a kid’s zone and other fun activities. 

Robert A. Tino's Smoky Mountain Homecoming

Date: Oct. 6-8, 2023

Location: Robert A. Tino Gallery, Sevierville, Tennessee

Robert Tino, renowned artist, captures the essence of life in East Tennessee and the Appalachian mountains. Every October, the farm that is home to his art gallery comes alive during the Robert A. Tino Smoky Mountain Homecoming with local artisans, craftsmen, bluegrass music, barbecue, fried green tomatoes, burgers and more. See demonstrations like blacksmithing, corn grist milling, bee-keeping, lye soap making and many others. Shop for fall decorations, pumpkins, home decor, pottery and jewelry.

Knox PrideFest

Date: Oct. 6-8, 2023

Location: World's Fair Park

Knoxville's PrideFest happens in the fall with entertainment, a night parade full of glowing floats and displays and more. Celebrate community at the festival. The entertainment lineup and more information will be announced soon.

National Storytelling Festival

Date: Oct. 6-8, 2023

Location: Jonesborough, Tennessee

Travel to Jonesborough, the Storytelling Capital of the World, for the National Storytelling Festival. Stories from around the world are told throughout the town featuring famous tellers like Donald Davis, Mary Gauthier, Kevin Kling, Minton Sparks and Regi Carpenter. Immerse yourself in the stories performed on stage and under tents. Ghost stories, the Yarnspinners' Party and pre-festival workshops and concerts are fan favorites. Various ticket options are available that you can customize based on your interests.

Main Street Festival

Date: Oct. 7, 2023

Location: Downtown Gallatin

Photo Credit: Sumner County Tourism

Main Street Festival is an annual event in downtown Gallatin. See over 200 arts and crafts vendors, enjoy local entertainment performing throughout the day on two stages and grab something to eat at the food and beverage area. The kids will love the large children’s area, too.

Annual Fall Festival

Date: Oct. 7, 2023

Location: Downtown Pikeville

Experience the finest southern hospitality and embrace the genuine small-town charm during Pikeville's Annual Fall Festival, nestled in the heart of historic Downtown Pikeville Oct. 7, starting at 9 a.m. CST. Enjoy a day filled with live music by Chris Hennessee and Carrie Hassler, a captivating vintage car cruise-in, a vibrant kids-zone, an array of diverse vendors, thrilling free giveaways, and top it off with an enchanting glow run in the evening. The festival is free admission and free parking.


Date: Oct. 7-29, 2023

Location: Rock City Gardens in Chattanooga, Tennessee

German music, food and specialty beer flow at Rock City's Rocktoberfest. Kids will love the special Birds of Prey shows, costumed characters and other family-friendly activities. Oktoberfest is a great way to tour the gardens and see the valleys below vibrant in fall color. Music entertainment, special dining menus and more activities are slated throughout the month.

Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue

Date: Oct. 13-14, 2023

Location: Wiseman Park, Lynchburg, Tennessee

Some of the best barbecue teams in the world will come to Lynchburg, Tennessee for the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue. More than 40,000 people attend the two-day event to sample barbecue, see the competition occur at Wiseman Park and shop the booths and displays found around town.

6th Annual Tennessee STEAM Festival

Date: Oct. 13-22, 2023

Location: Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) will come to life at events and activities across the state. The festival was founded by the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring and incorporates events hosted by a wide range of museums, schools, community centers and other attractions. 

Goats, Music & More Fair

Date: Oct. 13-24, 2023

Location: Rock Creek Park, Lewisburg, Tennessee

Goat shows that celebrate the fainting goat, prevalent in Marshall County, take place at the Goats, Music & More Festival. A grand champion is announced each year. This agricultural-focused event includes family-friendly activities like kids’ games and rides, goat yoga, arts, crafts and a variety of fair food. Free concerts are performed nightly by big-name acts like Darryl Worley at Rock Creek Park.

Liberty Square Celebration & Lester Flatt Memorial Bluegrass Day

Date: Oct. 14, 2023

Location: Liberty Square in Sparta, Tennessee

Bluegrass, crafts, classic cars, food and fireworks that all celebrate the music contributions of Lester Flatt during the Liberty Square Celebration and Lester Flatt Memorial Bluegrass Day. Bluegrass bands are scheduled to perform throughout the day. The free event starts at 11:15 a.m. and wraps with a concert performed by Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers at 7 p.m.

Chattanooga Oktoberfest

Date: Oct. 14-15, 2023

Location: First Horizon Pavilion in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Live oompah music, cultural food and an expanded selection of beer and fun will be featured at the Chattanooga Oktoberfest. Beginning 10 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday, you can sample a wide variety of breweries and seasonal offerings in the Biergarten, buy from local farms, artisans and craftsmen, and listen to the Wurstbrats Oompah Band, a fan favorite among other family-friendly entertainment. Festive German attire is highly recommended. 

Reelfoot Lake Pelican Festival

Date: Oct. 20-22, 2023

Location: Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville, Tennessee

Climb into a canoe and have your own National Geographic experience during the Reelfoot Lake Pelican Festival at Reelfoot Lake State Park. See pelicans up close as they feed and thrive among Reelfoot Lake that has an unmatched ecosystem. The 15,000-acre lake is the only naturally-made lake in Tennessee. Craft vendors, an art and photo contest, and bird of prey programs are featured events at the annual festival.

Fall Jam

Date: Oct. 19-21, 2023

Location: Oliver Springs, Tennessee

All ATV and SxS enthusiasts can mark calendars for the Windrock Park Fall Jam, back after a two-year hiatus and bigger than past celebrations. Be there for haunted trail rides, off-road competitions, bonfires, food vendors and music. More information on all activities will be announced soon.

45th Annual Bell Buckle Webb Art and Craft Festival

Date: Oct. 21-22, 2023

Location: Bell Buckle, Tennessee

The popular Webb Art and Craft Festival in Bell Buckle is a juried festival with handmade arts and crafts by local and regional artists. Browse for unique gifts like pottery, metal works, wood working, jewelry, textiles and more. Live music, food trucks serving cuisine from around the world and an additional 700 booths of shopping and exploring downtown.

Casey Jones Village Festival

Date: Oct. 21, 2023

Location: Casey Jones Village, Jackson, Tennessee

The 2nd annual Casey Jones Village Festival will be Oct. 21. Guests can enjoy children's games, arts and crafts, and live music. Food vendors and local businesses will be in attendance, providing a one-stop shopping experience of local shops and businesses. Guest will be able to utilize the Festival Passport, where they will receive a special treat upon completing visits to locations throughout the village, including the Casey Jones, Train Museum and the Art In The Village art gallery. The event is free to attend, however certain vendors may charge, such as food for the petting zoo.

Historically Haunting Halloween Tour

Date: Oct. 26-28, 2023

Location: Blount Mansion, Knoxville, Tennessee

Are you brave enough for the spine-tingling, terror and intrigue you'll hear on a Historically Haunting Halloween Tour at Blount Mansion? Follow the ghastly guides to the afterlife where you'll hear tales of ghosts, supernatural phenomena and paranormal activity that are prevalent in Appalachia. See strange artifacts including a Victorian hair wreath, a possessed doll and more. Tours are conducted 8-9 p.m. Thursday, and 8-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Mountain Makins Festival

Date: Oct. 27-29, 2023

Location: Rose Center Council for the Arts, Morristown, Tennessee

Photo Credit: TN Tourism

Celebrate Appalachian traditions at Mountain Makins Festival that celebrates the region. This folk festival celebrates the region's diverse cuisine, music, fine arts, dancing, and storytelling for an unforgettable, family-friendly festival. The event is hosted at the Rose Center, Morristown's cultural arts center. 

GOODFest and Fall Market

Date: Oct. 28, 2023

Location: Moss-Wright Park, Goodlettsville, Tennessee

GOODFest and Fall Market is a free event and joins several of the Goodlettsville Farmer's Market vendors with additional local artisans and sponsor vendors. A food vendor area is provided along with a children's area of free activities. The Goodlettsville Visitor's Center and Gift Shop is open during the duration of the event.

Boo at the Zoo

Kids can enjoy safe and family-friendly Halloween fun at Boo at the Zoo hosted at Nashville Zoo nightly Oct. 13-29, 2023 with magical lit scenes around the zoo, giant hay creatures, special animal shows, 10 trick-or-treat stations, and the Scary-Go-Round carousel; Boo! at the Zoo at Zoo Knoxville is the place trick-or-treaters can get lots of goodies along the BOO! Trail and enjoy a variety of entertainment. Finally, Memphis Zoo hosts Zootoberfest every Saturday and Sunday in October where guests can purchase a commemorative stein to sip local beers from while they enjoy a fall afternoon at the zoo. The event is free with general admission. Zoo Boo also takes place Oct. 13-31, 2023 at Memphis Zoo. Grab your friends and family, costumes and trick-or-treat bags for sweets and more fun during the Stranger Things-themed event.

For more events happening in Tennessee, visit our events calendar.

Places in this article

12 Must-Visit Tennessee Barbecue Festivals

Follow your nose to these Tennessee barbecue festivals for competitions and the best barbecue samples.

Read More