Tennessee Blossoms With Spring 2014 Events

Friday, December 13, 2013

Old Man Winter may have just settled in, but Tennessee is gearing up for a busy spring as festivals, celebrations and commemorations sprinkle each region.

In East Tennessee, Dollywood’s Festival of Nations will explode with color, performances, and world-class cuisine March 22-April 21. Cultural experiences from more than 25 countries, including France, India, China, and Poland, will be represented through dance, music, food, and art. Guests can experience a smorgasbord of ethnic offerings through the World Passport to Food, a guide to foods like Mexican beef empanadas, Brazilian beef ribs, and fried rice and shredded chicken from the Philippines.

Rivers & Spires Festival is the place to be April 24-26 in Clarksville. This award-winning, free festival features live music and entertainment, food, and more. Events include Brewfest, where nearly 40 different craft brews are offered; Clarksville’s Got Talent, as amateur stars shine at the local talent competition; and the Marketplace that hosts vendors selling a variety of items. Rivers & Spires Festival fans can cast their votes now for the 2014 headliner. In the running are music artists Thompson Square, Rodney Atkins, Gretchen Wilson, and Joe Diffie.

Memphis in May International Festival has good barbecue and good music, making this month-long event a must-attend. The Republic of Panama will be the spotlight country for the International Festival May 5-11 with exhibits, performances, and, of course, food. The 38th Beale Street Music Festival will give its 1.1 million music fans a mix of rock, blues, soul, and modern talent at the foot of historic Beale Street overlooking the Mississippi River. Past talent has included The Black Keys, John Legend, The Roots and Fleetwood Mac. The smell of barbecue will fill the air May 15-17 as Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest comes to Tom Lee Park. Hundreds of teams compete for over $110,000 in prizes and deck out their areas with decorations, creative names, and trophies of past victories. Here are some more spring dates to jot on the calendar and for a full list, check out www.tnvacation.com/calendar.

MARCH

March 15 – Irish Day Celebration, Erin – Enjoy a parade, food, entertainment and crafts at the largest Irish Day celebration and parade in this area. 931-289-5100, houstoncochamber.com

March 8-16 – Shamrock City, Chattanooga – Rock City’s 7th annual Irish celebration features music, entertainment and Irish delicacies. 800-854-0675, seerockcity.com

March 31-April 6 – Mule Day, Columbia – One of the world’s biggest mule celebrations. Events include mule sale, mule pulling, mule shows, pancake breakfast, flea market and parade. 931-381-9557, muleday.com

APRIL

Month-long – 52nd Annual Dogwood Arts Festival, Knoxville – Miles of trails feature some of the most spectacular dogwood trees of all kinds. 865-637-4561, dogwoodarts.com

Month-long – Awesome April, Nashville – A musical tribute to the city that promises a major event each weekend. 800-657-6910, visitmusiccity.com

April 4 – Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration, Memphis – The National Civil Rights Museum offers a special program to commemorate the late Civil Rights leader. 901-521-9699, civilrightsmuseum.org

April 17-26 – Nashville Film Festival, Nashville – With genres from drama to comedy to foreign documentaries, this festival has something for everyone. 615-742-2500, nashvillefilmfestival.org

April 21-27 – World’s Biggest Fish Fry, Paris – More than five tons of catfish are served to thousands of visitors, plus a rodeo, parade and catfish races. 731-644-1143, worldsbiggestfishfry.com

Apr 26-27 – National Cornbread Festival, South Pittsburg – Visitors can experience the National Cornbread Cook-Off, art and shows. 423-837-0022, nationalcornbread.com

MAY

May 4-10 - West Tennessee Strawberry Festival, Humboldt – This festival includes parades, live entertainment, barbecue cook-off, concerts, fireworks and more. 731-784-1842, wtsf.org

May 6 – Nov 1 - Storytelling Live! Jonesborough – Storytellers from across the United States will share stories and entertain guests. 800-952-8392, storytellingcenter.net

May 10 – 73rd Annual Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase, Nashville – This is the nation’s oldest continuously run, weight-for-age steeplechase. 866-207-2391, iroquoissteeplechase.org

May 15-17 – International Biscuit Festival, Knoxville – Named one of the country’s top 10 food festivals, this popular event allows guests to enjoy food, fun and music. biscuitfest.com

May 15-17 – Buford Pusser Festival, Adamsville – This annual festival honors the famous “Walking Tall” sheriff and features good music, food and family fun. 731-632-4080, bufordpussermuseum.com

May 16-17 – Sevierville’s Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass, Sevierville – This event features the Tennessee State Championship Barbeque Cook-Off, bluegrass concerts from rising stars and bluegrass legends, kids games, great food and authentic mountain crafts. visitsevierville.com/vsevents.aspx

May 17-18 – 19th Annual Iris Festival, Greeneville – A juried arts/crafts festival plus food, entertainment and more surrounded by the history of President Andrew Johnson. The Annual Woodcarving Show is held each year in conjunction with the festival.

May 22-25 - Americana Music Festival, Crawford – Enjoy a three-day camping and music festival that coincides with the taping of an episode of the “Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s Americana Music Series” on PBS. A similar fall festival is held in September. 931-445-2072, myhippiejack.com

May 30-June 1 - Memphis Italian Festival, Memphis – This community celebration demonstrates the values of family, faith, and fellowship in the Italian-American tradition. 901-767-6949, memphisitalianfestival.com.


Historic Rugby Hosts Late Summer Workshop Series

Over the next two months, Historic Rugby is offering a series of late summer workshops giving participants the chance to learn skills for traditional hobbies that include knitting, basket weaving and even making and playing a dulcimer. The 1880 museum village, with its unique Victorian architecture, lodging in historic buildings and wooded river gorge setting, is an ideal location ... (click for more)

Tennessee Tourism Round Up: Art, Festivals, And Pioneers

Tennessee’s upcoming tourism news is consolidated for your convenience below. For a complete list of Tennessee events, visit tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing Memphis -–  Purchase a pair of season tickets for the 2014-2015 Broadway Season at The Orpheum Theater between now and Aug. 4 and receive a free $50 gift certificate to The Majestic Grille. July ... (click for more)

House Approves Expansion Of Chattanooga Veterans Affairs Clinic

The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to authorize funding for a new lease and expanded Veterans Affairs clinic in Chattanooga. This veterans’ package has been approved by the House and Senate Conference Committee.  Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said, “I am proud to announce the legislation passed this afternoon will fund a new lease for a multi-specialty ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council To Hold Special Meeting On Naming New City Judge

The Cleveland City Council will hold a special called meeting next Monday to consider an interim appointment of a city judge. It will be at 11:45 a.m. at the City Council’s regular meeting place in the Cleveland Municipal Building, 190 Church Street, NE. The council will also establish the process for application for city judge. Longtime City Judge Bill Moss died July ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)