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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.
With the purchase of an additional sunrise ticket, enjoy a VIP experience, beginning with boarding the Gatlinburg SkyLift before dawn. Lifted to the SkyDeck, you can start the day with live music and complimentary breakfast and coffee while watching a spectacular sunrise from the Gatlinburg Skybridge. With an immaculate bird’s eye view, experience the Great Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg waking up during the fall season.
The football match-up between Tennessee State University and Jackson State University are heralded in with the Classic Concert featuring The O'Jays at The Orpheum Theatre. The Classic Funk Fest includes performances by The Bar-Kays, SOS Band, Original Lakeside and ConFunkShun. Sept. 10 is game day, beginning with the tailgate and parade, battle of the bands, a fashion brunch at The Guest House at Graceland and finally, the anticipated football game.
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 JJ Grey & Mofro, Tanya Tucker, Del McCoury Band, Rosanne Cash, Asleep at the Wheel and many more.
Bring a chair to enjoy live music entertainment and family fun during the Horseshoe Riverbend Festival. The day begins with a car show and kids activities, including food vendors throughout the afternoon. Music begins in the evening at Riverfront Park. The lineup includes 7 Bridges, Alex Miller and Stretta.
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 C. Mondavi & Family, Buffalo Chip American Whisky, Hap & Harry's, Ballotin Chocolate Whisky, Evan Williams Bourbon, Broken Shed New Zealand Vodka, Fighting 69 Irish Whiskey and many more.
Thousands of artists, fans and industry professionals will make their way to Americana Music Festival & Conference happening at various venues around Nashville. Jewel, The Vespers, Patty Griffin, Glen Hansard, Buddy Miller, and Parker Millsap are just some of the artists who have participated in the past. More than 165 showcases in venues around downtown Nashville give guests an insight on why Nashville truly is Music City. The 2022 lineup is currently being planned.
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 $12 for adults and $6 for children (carnival rides and tethered balloon rides are separate ticketed attractions).
One of the most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations, Schulz Brau Brewing in Knoxville is meticulous in following Munich traditions as closely as possible. So much so, that the brewery has a barrel-tapping ceremony on Munich-Time (6 a.m. EST). After the ceremony, doors open and the fun begins. Polka music fills the air and Stein-Hoisting competitions, Best Dirndl-lederhosen contests, bratwurst-eating contests, dog racing, Sunday brunches and more take place over the two-week festival.
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.
Dollywood's Harvest Festival presented by Humana has been voted America's #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.
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.
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.
Location: Jonesborough, Tennessee
The inaugural 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 Food Trucks & Flicks Oct. 14; Made Around Here Market featuring locally made treasures; Haunts & Happenings Oct. 28; Brews & Boos Oct. 29; Spot on the Hill, an original history-based play about the town, performed in the cemetery; and the Jack-o-Lantern Drive Thru featuring decorated pumpkins throughout downtown Halloween weekend.
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.
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.
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 2022 lineup will be announced soon.
World-class musicians and artists from a wide range of genres will take the stage during Mempho Music Festival Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2022 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 2022 lineup includes The Black Keys, Widespread Panic, Wilco, Portugal The Man, Celisse, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio and many more.
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.
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.
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.
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 the full lineup of activities will be announced soon.
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.
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 Peter Chand, Chuna McIntyre, Jay O'Callahan and Noa Baum. Immerse yourself in the stories performed on stage and under tents. There is also a virtual event option for those who are unable to travel but want to experience the world-class storytelling.
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 such as Sister Sadie, Breaking Glass, The Tenos, Blake Williams and David Davis & the Warrior River Boys are scheduled to perform throughout the day. The free event starts at 12:45 p.m. and wraps with a beautiful fireworks finale at 7 p.m.
Bruce Street Brewfest happens on Bruce Street in downtown Sevierville with beer tastings, entertainment and competitions. The craft beer festival has a participation and people's choice competition open to homebrewers 21 years of age and older. Attendees can taste and vote for their favorites while listening to live music and enjoying the businesses in historic downtown Sevierville.
Live oompah music, cultural food and an expanded selection of beer and fun will be featured at the Chattanooga Oktoberfest. Beginning 10 a.m. both days, 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.
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. The grand opening celebration for the new General Store and family-friendly activities will be announced soon.
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.
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.
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.
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 Gary Nichols and The Midnight Riders at Rock Creek Park.
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.
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.
Celebrate Appalachian traditions at Mountain Makins Festival that celebrates the region. This folk festival celebrates the region's diverse cuisine, music, fine arts, dancing, music and storytelling for an unforgettable, family-friendly festival. The event is hosted at the Rose Center, Morristown's cultural arts center.
Kids can enjoy safe and family-friendly Halloween fun at Boo at the Zoo hosted at Nashville Zoo nightly Oct. 14-30, 2022 with magical lit scenes around the zoo, giant hay creatures, pumpkin patch 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. Boo in the Zoo at Chattanooga Zoo has trick-or-treat stations, pony rides, inflatables, costume contests and much more. Finally, Le Bonheur Zoo Boo 2022 at Memphis Zoo is where families can enjoy straw mazes, candy stations, hayrides and more.
For more events happening in Tennessee, visit our events calendar.