Plan Ahead For Tennessee Fall Festivals

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

When Tennessee transitions from summer to fall, with its numerous trees showing off a kaleidoscope of warm colors, festivals of all sorts occur in the small towns and big cities. From the nation’s largest music and folk festival, globally-known food festivals and millions of twinkling lights for the holidays, there are ample reasons why travelers make Tennessee their top fall destination. For a full list of events, visit tnvacation.com.

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 6-7 – A Milky Way Farm September Celebration, Pulaski – Hayrides, a petting zoo, tours of The Manor House and more will be conducted 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 6 and noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 7 at Milky Way Farms. milkywayfarm.org, 615-297-0773

Sept. 7 – Grinders Switch Music & Arts Festival, Centerville – 11 musical acts perform 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the midst of arts and crafts vendors, Gameland Alley, a kid’s zone and more. 931-729-5774

Sept. 13 – International Cowpea Festival & Cookoff, Charleston – A cook-off focusing on cowpea recipes, a marketplace, pageant, entertainment and a heritage area are included. cowpeafestival.com

Sept. 14 – Casey Jones Village Old-Time Music Festival, Jackson – Outdoor music festival dedicated to preserving old-time string, bluegrass and gospel music. 800-748-9588, caseyjones.com

Sept. 19-21 – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Bristol – Brings quality national, regional and local music to Bristol, the “Birthplace of Country Music,” in honor of its musical heritage and culture. 423-573-4898, bristolrhythm.com

Sept. 25-28 – Jammin’ at Hippie Jacks Americana Music Festival, Crawford – Americana music over a 3-day stint with camping, food and more. jamminathippiejacks.com, 931-445-2072

Sept. 26-28 – Eye Full of Paris Weekend, Paris – Celebrations include visual and performing arts. 731-653-7274, visitdowntownparis.com

Sept. 26-27 – Tina Turner Celebration, Brownsville – Tina Turner is honored through music, tours of Tina’s childhood school, Flagg Grove School and Nutbush, her childhood small town community. 731-779-9000

Sept. 27-28 – Southern Fried Festival, Columbia – Music by Shenandoah, 2Steel Girls, and Elijah Smith & the Wildhearts with food, vendors and more. southernfriedfest.com, 931-381-7176

OCTOBER

Oct. 3-4 – Unicoi County Apple Festival, Erwin – Vendors, crafts, a children’s area and entertainment. 423-743-3000, unicoicounty.org

Oct. 3-5 – National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough – This three-day event features compelling performances by internationally-known professional tellers. 800-952-8392, storytellingcenter.net

Oct. 3-5 – Reelfoot Arts & Crafts Festival, Tiptonville – Features more than 300 exhibitors including artists, potters, carvers, jewelry makers, music, delicious barbecue, fried pies, ice cream and more. 731-885-7295, reelfootartsandcrafts.com

Oct. 4 – 15th Annual Liberty Square Celebration & Lester Flatt Memorial Bluegrass Day, Sparta – Features a full day of music, crafts, food, games, truck and car show and much more. Visitors from across the country come to pay tribute to bluegrass legend Lester. 931-836-3248, sparta-chamber.net

Oct.4-5 – National Banana Pudding Festival, Centerville – This event will include, in addition to a national cook-off for the best banana pudding in America, two entertainment stages, a children’s area, craft booths, lots of pudding samples and more. 931-994-6273, bananapuddinfest.org

Oct. 5 – Culture Fest, Chattanooga – Celebrate diversity through performances, children’s events food and art. artsedcouncil.org

Oct. 10-12 – Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Norris – The most extensive and authentic gathering of old-time musicians and pioneer-type craftspeople in the country, the Homecoming is one of the nation’s largest music and folk festivals. museumofappalachia.org, 865-494-7680

Oct. 17-19 & Oct. 24-26Zoo Boo, Memphis – The Zoo’s most spooktacular event returns with more activities like the Costume Contest and Dracula's Disco. Take on the Rock Walland get ready for the best Halloween event of the year. 901-333-6500, memphiszoo.org

Oct 18-19 – Ketner's Mill Country Arts Fair, Whitwell – Visitors can watch the operation of a sorghum mill and purchase pure molasses. Stone ground corn meal and flour are also available for purchase. Buy quality crafts, paddle a canoe, enjoy good country cooking, and listen to a good variety of music. 423-267-5702, ketnersmill.org

Oct. 24-26 – 39th Annual Mountain Makins Festival, Morristown – The historic 1892 Rose Center is filled with juried fine arts and crafts, plus enjoy live music, dancing, storytelling, children’s activities, food and expert demonstrations of time-honored traditions. Named a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society. 423-581-4330, rosecenter.org

Oct. 25 – Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, Lynchburg – This event has been called the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world. 931-759-6332, jackdaniels.com

NOVEMBER

November - February – Smoky Mountain Winterfest, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Sevierville – The gateway towns to the Smokies turn into a winter wonderland with more than 5 million light displays and special events. 800-568-4748, gatlinburg.com; 800-251-9100, mypigeonforge.com; 888-766-5948, visitsevierville.com

November – January – Speedway in Lights, Bristol – Tour this stunning display of more than 1 million lights and hundreds of displays by car. Or make a reservation to bring your group through by bus. 423-989-6933, bristolmotorspeedway.com

Nov. 8 - Jan. 3 – Annual Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, Pigeon Forge – The Smoky Mountains’ family Christmas destination features more than four million lights, fun rides and tractions, plus award-winning holiday shows. 800-DOLLYWOOD, dollywood.com

Nov. 13-142014 Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event, Franklin – Join us as presenters discuss the battles, events and stories of the Civil War.  The Symposium will be sponsored by the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, and Tennessee Historical Society. Patricia.Grey@tn.gov, tncivilwar150.com

Nov.14 - Jan. 3 – Christmas at Graceland, Memphis – See traditional lights and decorations, a life-size Nativity scene, Santa and much more originally displayed by Elvis. 800-238-2000, elvis.com

Nov. 14 – Jan. 3 – Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas”, Nashville – Sensational decorations, entertainment and some of the most delectable food anywhere. Features the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, ICE!, and more. 888-OPRY-872, gaylordopryland.com

Nov. 28 - Dec. 28 – Ruby Red Christmas, Chattanooga – Celebrate the holidays 1,120 feet underground at Ruby Falls with holiday music, a light show and more festivities. 423-821-2544, rubyfalls.com

DECEMBER

Dec. 13 – Christmas at Historic Rugby, Rugby – Visit beautifully decorated historic homes to bring an old-fashioned Christmas holiday season to life. 888-214-3400, historicrugby.org

Dec. 13-14 – Dickens of a Christmas, Franklin – A Victorian-themed Christmas with more than 200 costumed characters reenacting the work of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” 615-591-8500, historicfranklin.com


Storytelling Given Greater Emphasis At 19th Annual Bear On The Square Festival

The National Storytelling Network (NSN) has awarded Dahlonega's Bear on the Square Mountain Festival the designation as this year's Southeast Regional Spotlight Event for Storytelling. With the designation, the NSN has approved a grant of $1,000 to the Southern Order of Storytellers to use to strengthen its participation  on Saturday  and  Sunday, April ... (click for more)

Tennessee Tourism Round Up: Music, Art And Valentine's Day Preparations

Tennessee’s upcoming tourism news is consolidated for your convenience below. For a complete list of Tennessee events, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing Paris –  The traveling Civil War exhibition “ Common People in Uncommon Times ” will be on display through  March 28  at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. Jan. 23 Memphis ... (click for more)

Girl, 12, Stabs Boy, 13, Twice At Lookout Valley Middle High School

A female student stabbed a male student twice at Lookout Valley Middle High School on Thursday morning. It happened in a middle school classroom. Sheriff Jim Hammond the students are seventh graders.The girl is 12 and the boy 13. He  said the boy was taken by ambulance and went into surgery after the mid-morning stabbing.  He said the boy received a superficial ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Officer Who Fired At Vehicle That Backed Toward Him; Attorney Vows To Fight To Reverse Decision

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed - And Response

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)