Tennessee Celebrates Spring 2017 With Nationally-Known Festivals And Events

Thursday, December 15, 2016 - by Amanda Stravinsky

Once winter is done, spring festivals and events bloom in Tennessee. Wherever you go in the state, you’ll hear a soundtrack of beautiful music from nature’s song to Appalachian, Americana, blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Plan a spring retreat around these can’t-miss, 2017 Made in Tennessee festivals.


March 2-5

Nashville – The Nashville Lawn & Garden Show highlights the importance of gardens at The Fairgrounds Nashville.

March 4

Pigeon Forge – The Chuck Wagon Cook-off has a cook-off, workshops, cowboy dance and cowboy church service.

March 18

Erin – Wearin’ of the Green Irish Day Celebration hosts a parade, food, entertainment and crafts at the largest Irish Day celebration and parade in this area.

March 19-April 9

Pigeon Forge – Dollywood’s Festival of Nations hosts more than 200 performers from around the world celebrating music, dance and art.

March 21-25

Pigeon Forge – A Mountain Quiltfest welcomes quilters from around the nation for classes and a quilt show.

March 23-26

Knoxville – The Big Ears Festival is a highly-acclaimed weekend of world-class musical performances in theaters, clubs and galleries with workshops, exhibitions, film screenings and more.

March 27-April 2

Columbia – Mule Day, one of the world’s biggest mule celebrations, hosts events that include a mule sale, mule pulling, mule shows, pancake breakfast, flea market and parade.

March 31-April 1

Savannah – Blues Hog BBQ & Music Fest is a KCBS-sanctioned cook-off held at Wayne Jerrolds River Park with live music, a car show, a motorcycle poker run and a 5K.

March 31-April 9

Savannah – Shiloh 155th Anniversary welcomes thousands of re-enactment troops for a living history lesson at the Shiloh National Military Park. 



Knoxville – The Dogwood Arts Festival has miles of trails featuring some of the most spectacular dogwood trees.

Nashville – Awesome April has a major event each weekend during this musical tribute to the city.

April 1-2

Knoxville – The Knoxville Marathon, the largest road race in East Tennessee hosts a marathon, half-marathon, relay, 5K, and kids’ run with the finish line at Neyland Stadium. This is a Boston Marathon Qualifier.

April 4

Memphis – Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration offers a special program to commemorate the late civil rights leader at the National Civil Rights Museum.

April 6-8

Pigeon Forge – The Pigeon Forge Rod Run welcomes automotive enthusiasts for one of the area’s largest automotive events.

April 7-8

Gatlinburg – Smoky Mountain Winefest hosts more than a dozen wineries from around the state with local restaurants sharing their best.

April 7-9

Knoxville – Rhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival highlights Knoxville’s musical soundtrack, showcasing popular national acts alongside the finest musicians in East Tennessee.

April 8

Granville – The Upper Cumberland Wine Festival hosts wineries of the Upper Cumberland Wine Trail that offer tastings, food and live jazz and blues concerts noon to 5 p.m.

April 8-9

Wartburg – The 50th annual Wildflower Pilgrimage has botanists, park rangers and photography teachers who lead hikes in one of Tennessee’s best wildflower viewing sites, Frozen Head State Park. 

April 11-15

Gatlinburg – The 67th annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage has more than 110 different programs, hiking tours, demonstrations and lectures centered on the flowers, plants and wildlife in the great outdoors.

April 12

Kodak – The Tennessee Smokies Baseball Home Opener welcomes the families to cheer on this Minor League Baseball team at Smokies Park.

April 14-15

Jackson – The Bunny Run Jackson Rod & Custom Show is a car show that features approximately 450 vehicles that are 30 years old and older in conjunction with a swap meet and vendors.

April 15

Fayetteville – The Slawburger Festival is a street festival centered on the town’s famous Slawburger with an eating contest, live music, street food, shopping, vendors and kid’s zone.

Holladay – The Old Time Bluegrass and Fiddler’s Jamboree includes a street dance, variety show, games, famous barbecue dinners, clogging contest and bluegrass and fiddlers contest.

Maynardville – The Big Ridge State Park Annual Easter Egg Hunt features 12,000 treat-filled eggs and many prizes that are split into four hunts for different ages at Big Ridge State Park.

Memphis – Memphis Brewfest highlights beers, breweries, and hosts beer enthusiasts as they gather for a sampling of fresh beers of all colors, styles and tastes near the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

Millington – Shelby Forest Spring Fest is a day of music, kids’ activities, and arts and crafts at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park.

April 20-22

Clarksville – Rivers & Spires Festival is a free festival with more than 100 entertainers, a kids area, car shows, food, jazz and more.

Memphis – Africa in April is an annual cultural celebration that highlights a different country in Africa every year, featuring arts and crafts, authentic cuisine and live music.

April 21-22

Winchester – High on the Hog is a barbecue festival put on by the Franklin County Kiwanis Club in Winchester.

April 21-23

Union City – Civil War Days bring the Civil War to life with reenactors demonstrating life during the Civil War with authentic period clothing and weapons on the Great Lawn at Discovery Park of America.

April 22

Memphis – The Southern Hot Wing Festival is a cooking contest with more than 50 teams and tasting opportunities. Music and entertainment are also offered for the whole family.

April 22-23

Chapel Hill – The Horton 100 is the annual two-day, 100-mile bike ride that features two nights of camping, three meals, and fun activities.

April 23

Bristol – Food City 500 welcomes race fans to cheer their hearts out at this annual 500-lap, 266.5-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Memphis – Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is one of the largest one-day crawfish festivals and features food, live Cajun and Zydeco music, a crawfish-eating contest and crawfish races.

April 23-29

Paris – World’s Biggest Fish Fry has more than six tons of catfish that’s served to thousands of visitors, catfish races, a rodeo, and parade.

April 28-29

Cross Plains – The Kilgore Station Bluegrass Festival has nationally-known headliners and local bands in a venue with a stage built on the side of an old tobacco barn.

April 29-30

South Pittsburg – The National Cornbread Festival hosts the National Cornbread Cook-Off, art and shows.

April 29-May 6

Dresden – The Tennessee Iris Festival celebrates spring in downtown Dresden with music, exhibits and more.

April 30-May 6

Trenton – The 37th annual Trenton Teapot Festival is held annually to celebrate the rare collection of Porcelain-Veilleuses teapots.



Memphis – The Levitt Shell’s, the site of Elvis Presley’s first professional rock ‘n’ roll show, Free Concert Series hosts more than 50 free concerts and events.

May 2-Oct. 28

Jonesborough – Storytelling Live! welcomes storytellers from across the country who share stories and entertain guests each week.

May 5

Pigeon Forge – Dolly’s Homecoming Parade has Dolly Parton herself lead colorful floats, talented entertainers and lively marching bands as they make their way down the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.

May 5-6

Townsend – The Townsend Spring Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day has bluegrass music, clogging, arts and crafts, barbecue and other food vendors, Appalachian skill demonstrations, storytelling and wildflower walks.

May 5-28

Memphis – Memphis in May International Festival is a month-long series of events which includes Beale Street Music Festival and World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

May 6

Bartlett – Pickin’ Picnic Bluegrass Festival welcomes the public to bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy live acoustic music under the blue skies of spring during this free, family event near Appling Lake.

Clinton – The 13th annual Clinch River Spring Antique Fair hosts more than 100 exhibitors who offer a range of antiques and collectibles in downtown Clinton.

Granville – The Cornbread and Moonshine Bash Festival has cornbread tastings along with pinto beans and turnip greens, an operating grist mill, moonshine-making demonstrations, a pioneer village and live music.

Monterey – Spring on the Mountain is a festival that includes arts, crafts and food vendors, a cruise-in and a Latino Street Festival at Monterey Depot Museum.

May 6-13

Portland – The 76th annual Strawberry Festival sets the scene with food booths, games, activities, live music and a parade. There are several events leading up to festival day.

May 6-27

Wartburg – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival spotlights the mountain laurel all month with a 5K run, guided hikes, live band concerts and more.

May 7-13

Humboldt – The West Tennessee Strawberry Festival includes parades, live entertainment, a barbecue cook-off, concerts, fireworks and more.

May 9-13

Pigeon Forge – The Wilderness Wildlife Week is the ultimate Smoky Mountain experience with a series of activities connecting Pigeon Forge visitors with the great outdoors. Experts share their knowledge at seminars, lectures and hands-on workshops.

May 11

Gatlinburg – Celebrate Appalachian culinary past with Gatlinburg Beans & Cornbread Festival presented by Bush Brothers & Company with a cook-off, complete with foot-stompin’ mountain music, fun and games.

May 12-13

Memphis – The Memphis Greek Festival has live music, traditional dancing, Greek wares, cuisine and more.

May 13

Dayton – The Tennessee Strawberry Festival includes a parade, food competition, live entertainment and more.

Nashville – Iroquois Steeplechase is the nation’s oldest continuously run, weight-for-age steeplechase.

May 13-14

Millington – The Memphis Air Show has flight demonstrations by the Blue Angels, aircraft displays, exhibits, kids’ area, rides, food, drinks and fun for the whole family.

May 13-14, 20-21, 27-29

Harriman – The Tennessee Medieval Faire has events that are rugged, outdoor and interactive with entertainment, food and crafts in a medieval village.

May 19-20

Macon County – The 100-mile Highway 52 Yard Sale features vendors, food and antiques.

Paris – American Crappie Tour is a full televised crappie tournament with unprecedented payback to include a Ranger boat. The event brings thousands of visitors to Henry County.

May 20

Brownsville – The Exit 56 Blues Fest celebrates the blues heritage with live blues music, an arts and crafts show and a car cruise-in at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center.

Kingsport – Racks by the Tracks has barbecue, wlne and beer tastings, live music, cornhole tournaments and more.

Knoxville – The International Biscuit Festival is named one of the U.S.’s Top 10 food festivals and is a popular event that annually rises with food, fun, and music at Market Square in downtown Knoxville.

May 20-21

Greeneville – The Iris Festival has food, entertainment and an annual woodcarving show in downtown Greeneville.

May 25-27

Adamsville – The Buford Pusser Festival is an annual event honoring the famous “Walking Tall” sheriff and features music, family fun, and food.

May 25-28

Crawford – Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s is a camping and music festival that coincides with the taping of an episode of the “Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s Americana Music Series” on PBS.

May 26-27

Big Sandy – The Big Sandy Spring Festival includes a parade, car show, carnival, live entertainment, vendors, and food.

May 27

Granville – The 19th Annual Historic Granville Heritage Day remembers the 1930s with an antique car and tractor show, crafts booths, living history demonstrations, cloggers and bluegrass bands.

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