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


Mountain Tough Benefit To Raise Funds For Gatlinburg Fire Recovery On Dec. 17

The November fires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee took a steep toll in lives, homes and businesses, touching anyone who cherishes the culture of East Tennessee and its musical soul. Answering the call to help, Ole Smoky Moonshine, Yee Haw Brewing Company, the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and Music City Roots are partnering to produce and present “Mountain Tough” on  ... (click for more)

Ober Gatlinburg Plans To Reopen After Smoky Mountain Wildfire

After what will be a 10-day recovery period from the devastating wildfires that swept through Gatlinburg, Ober Gatlinburg will reopen in two phases. On  Friday,  Ober Gatlinburg’s Downtown Tramway Mall will be open from  9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m .  This will include the Ski Mountain Grind Haus Coffee Shop, LeConte Deli, Tramway Gifts, Mountaineer Candy Kitchen, ... (click for more)

Tennessee Members Of Congress Urge President To Approve Federal Disaster Assistance For Tennessee Counties

Members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation on Saturday urged President Obama to quickly approve Governor Haslam’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Tennessee to help five Tennessee counties impacted by wildfires and severe weather in November rebuild and recover. “Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Public Assistance and Individual ... (click for more)

1 Person Injured In Drive-by Shooting On North Germantown Road Friday Afternoon

A person was shot early Friday afternoon on North Germantown Road.  The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 1:45 p.m. to the 700 block of North Germantown Road on a person shot.   The victim was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound, and  was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS.   The victim was shot from a suspect ... (click for more)

New School Funding Ideas

After reading the article “County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding,” I could not help but think about how helpful it would be to have the millions of taxpayer dollars given the owners of Walnut Common apartments to build some new schools.   In case you did not know, since 2008 our elected officials have given away millions in taxpayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facebook Starlet

The Pants Store, a toney women’s boutique in Birmingham’s Mountain Book community, held its annual Holiday Open House about a week or so and, as usual, the popular store was full of customers and holiday cheer. It was a festive gathering, fun for all, but as store employees cleaned up for the next day, they happened across an empty designer-shoe box and a brassiere somebody had ... (click for more)