Tennessee Tourism Announces June - December Events
Thursday, March 3, 2016 - by Amanda Stravinsky
Summer heralds in visitors from around the world for Tennessee’s concerts and festivals as the Soundtrack of America turns up the volume with several music events like CMA Music Festival, Riverbend, and Bonnaroo. Fall is then welcomed with the smell of hickory smoke as the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue takes place and some of the nation’s scariest Halloween attractions send a shiver down spines. The holiday season wraps up the fun with millions of lights, constant entertainment and good cheer.
For a complete list of Tennessee events, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.
Memphis – Memphis Italian Festival is a community celebration demonstrating the values of family, faith and fellowship in the Italian-American tradition through music, food, events, games, arts and crafts and more.
Dunlap – Dunlap Coke Ovens Bluegrass Festival celebrates the traditional bluegrass music of the Sequatchie Valley and region. While there, guests can explore the 88-acre Dunlap Coke Ovens Park and Museum, which preserves the remains of 268 beehive coke ovens that were part of a former coal mining operation that dates back to 1899.
Johnson City – Blue Plum Art & Music Festival is an outdoor music and arts festival in downtown Johnson City that features children’s entertainment, music and more.
Manchester – Bonnaroo Music Festival takes place on a 100-acre farm that becomes the largest city in the state for the four-day festival of the best performers in rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, Americana, hip-hop, electronica and more. This year’s artists include Pearl Jam, LCD Soundsystem, J. Cole, Ellie Goulding, and Tyler The Creator among others.
Nashville – CMA Music Festival is “Country Music’s Biggest Party.” The festival brings country fans and artists together for four days and nights of live music.
Chattanooga – Riverbend Festival takes place on multiple stages of diverse music, plus fireworks, 5K and 10K runs, and a children’s village.
June 10–July 30
Gatlinburg – Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales is the summer session that takes place each night in downtown Gatlinburg. Enjoy storytellers, musicians, artisans and entertainers at different locations along the Parkway.
Bell Buckle – Bell Buckle RC Moon Pie Festival celebrates a Southern tradition with music, cloggers, games, crafts and the cutting of the world’s largest Moon Pie.
Knoxville – Kuumba Festival showcases local African American art and artists, featuring entertainers performing on three stages, live demonstrations, food vendors and crafters.
Smithville – Smithville’s Fiddler’s Jamboree & Crafts Festival features various state and national championships, jam sessions and juried craft exhibitors.
Gatlinburg – Midnight Independence Day Parade is the “First July Fourth Parade of the Nation!” Festivities kick off at midnight July 3. Floats, balloons and marching bands pay tribute to our country.
Nashville – Music City July 4th Spectacular is Nashville’s largest one-day party and features live music, family activities, food and one of the nation’s best fireworks displays.
Murfreesboro – Uncle Dave Macon Days Old-Time Music Festival honors the memory of Uncle Dave Macon, one of the first Grand Ole Opry superstars, with music, arts and crafts, food, storytelling and competitions.
July 14–16, 21–23, 28–30
Elizabethton – Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals is Tennessee’s official outdoor drama. It continues with a three-weekend run – Thursdays through Saturdays – beginning 7:30 p.m. in Fort Watauga Amphitheater.
Kingsport – Kingsport Fun Fest features live concerts, children’s activities and hot air balloons making this family-friendly festival a must.
July 30–Aug. 3
Rutledge – The Grainger County Tomato Festival events include Civil War encampment, arts and cultural exposition, tomato wars, entertainment and more.
Jamestown – World’s Longest Yard Sale stretches for 690 miles along Highway 127 and is the subject of HGTV shows while also luring pickers like History Channel’s Mike Wolfe.
Jackson – Rock-A-Billy Festival, the world’s largest gathering of Rock-A-Billy artists and musicians, features pioneers of the genre as well as new artists.
Memphis – Elvis Week is the celebration of Elvis Presley’s music, movies and life at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. The event culminates in a moving candlelight vigil.
Bristol – Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race heats up the track at this popular NASCAR night battle at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Aug. 24–Sept. 3
Shelbyville – The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is the world championship show of Tennessee’s native breed of show horse. Division champions compete and the World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse is named at the ceremony.
Jackson – The African Street Festival promotes African culture awareness with entertainment, workshops, educational seminars and more.
Memphis – The Southern Heritage Classic is a football match-up between Tennessee State University and Jackson State University preceded by fun events.
Bristol – Battle at Bristol, college football’s biggest game in history takes place when the Volunteers of the University of Tennessee battle it out against the Hokies of Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Charleston – International Cowpea Festival & Cookoff is a cook-off focusing on cowpea recipes. A marketplace, pageant, entertainment and a heritage area are included.
Jackson – The Casey Jones Village Old Time Music Festival is an outdoor music festival dedicated to preserving old-time string, bluegrass and gospel music at Casey Jones Village.
Bristol – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion brings quality national, regional and local music to Bristol, the “Birthplace of Country Music,” in honor of its musical heritage and culture.
Paris – Eye Full of Paris Weekend celebrates the arts with three full days of visual and performing arts in a variety of venues.
Huntingdon – One Way Music & Arts Festival brings together music, entertainment, and arts for an artistic flair that celebrates the rich history of Huntingdon.
Sept. 25–Oct. 1
Pigeon Forge – National Quartet Convention is the biggest event in Southern gospel music, drawing more than 40,000 individuals to the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.
Sept. 30, Oct. 1–2
Tiptonville – Reelfoot Arts & Crafts Festival features more than 300 exhibitors including artists, potters, carvers, jewelry makers, music, barbecue, fried pies, ice cream and more.
Allardt – The annual Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-Off features food, live music, a beauty pageant and official weights and measurements for pumpkins, watermelons and green squash for world record consideration.
Centerville – National Banana Pudding Festival hosts a national cook-off for the best banana pudding in America. This two-day event includes two entertainment stages, a children’s area, craft booths, lots of pudding samples and more.
Erwin – Unicoi County Apple Festival includes vendors, crafts, children’s area and entertainment, and, of course, apples baked and cooked in a variety of ways.
Jonesborough – The National Storytelling Festival is a three-day event featuring compelling performances by internationally- known professional tellers.
Sparta – Liberty Square Celebration & Lester Flatt Memorial Bluegrass Day features a full day of music, crafts, food, games, a truck and car show, and much more. Visitors from across the country come to pay tribute to the bluegrass legend, Lester Flatt.
Whitwell – Ketner’s Mill Country Arts Fair takes place on the banks of the Big Sequatchie River in Marion County. There, stands the only remaining water-powered grist mill in the area with parts of the mill dating back to 1824. Visitors can watch the operation of a sorghum mill and purchase pure molasses. Stone ground corn meal and grits are also available for purchase. Buy quality crafts, paddle a canoe, enjoy good country cooking, and listen to music.
Oct. 21–23, 28–30
Memphis – Memphis Zoo Boo is the zoo’s most spooktacular event with more activities than ever! Enjoy a costume contest, Dracula’s Disco and a straw maze. Get your costume and prepare for the best Halloween event of the year.
Lynchburg – Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue has been called the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world.
Morristown – Mountain Makins Festival boasts fine arts, crafts, live music, dancing, storytelling, children’s activities, food and expert demonstrations of time-honored traditions in the historic 1892 Rose Center.
Ruby Falls – Haunted Cavern, voted No. 4 on Buzzfeed’s “19 Terrifying Haunted Houses You Should Experience Before You Die,” is a eerie cave 26 stories underground where no one can hear you scream.
Nov. 25–Dec. 17
Gatlinburg – Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales takes place Friday and Saturday nights in downtown Gatlinburg. Enjoy musicians and entertainers at different locations along the Parkway.
Nov. 7–Jan. 3, 2017
Pigeon Forge – Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas features more than 4 million lights, fun rides and attractions with award-winning holiday shows each year.
Nov. 26-Jan. 1, 2017
Nashville – Start a new holiday tradition by viewing more than 750,000 lights, live reindeer, s’more pits, carolers, drinks and hot toddies for purchase and more during Holiday Lights at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art.
Bristol – Speedway in Lights is a stunning display of more than 1 million lights and hundreds of displays. See it by car or make a reservation to bring your group through by bus.
Memphis – Christmas at Graceland illuminates with traditional lights and decorations, a life-size Nativity scene, Santa and many more decorations that were originally displayed by Elvis.
Nashville – Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas” is made of sensational decorations, entertainment and delectable food. The annual event features an extravagant holiday production at the Grand Ole Opry House and more.
Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Sevierville – Smoky Mountain Winterfest brings together the gateway towns to the Smokies for a winter wonderland experience. More than 5 million light displays and special events are planned each year.
Chattanooga – Ruby Falls Christmas Underground takes place Thursdays through Sundays. Visit the Ruby Falls gem mines and discover Joystone, a rare gemstone that helps spread the spirit of Christmas. An adventure to see Santa leads to an ice cave. Watch gemstone miners play; catch a view of the Northern Lights; and journey through the Sugar Plum Fairy Village.
Franklin – Dickens of a Christmas is a Victorian-themed Christmas with more than 200 costumed characters reenacting several works of Charles Dickens on the Main Street of Franklin.
Dec. 10 and 17
Rugby – Christmas at Historic Rugby highlights beautifully-decorated historic homes to bring an old-fashioned Christmas holiday season to life.
Explore more Made in Tennessee events at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube.