Tennessee Tourism Round Up: October Events

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - by Jill Kilgore
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival Tunes and Tales, Gatlinburg
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival Tunes and Tales, Gatlinburg

Fall brings crisp, cool air, apple and pumpkin picking, spine-chilling ghost & cemetery tours and festivals like the Reelfoot Lake Arts & Crafts Festival; Hatchie Fall Fest; Bell Witch Fall Festival; Southern Festival of Books; Goats, Music and More Festival; Days Gone by Harvest Fest; National Storytelling Festival; Mountain Makins Festival; Smoky Mountain Harvest Tunes and Tales; Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring the Great Pumpkin LumiNights; Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Festival and Genealogy Jamboree and Pioneer Days. For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee in October, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.



Gatlinburg – Visitors can meet costumed storytellers; see musical ensembles, cloggers and 1800s Appalachian characters along the Parkway Friday and Saturday nights during Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival Tunes and Tales.


Oct. 3

Shiloh – Come enjoy a night out with dinner, drinks and music from local singer/songwriters during Songwriters in the Round 6:30 p.m. at The Chateau at Shiloh. Tickets are $50 per person.


Oct. 3-5

Livingston – Search for treasures and bargains during the Rollercoaster Yard Sale, which features more than 150 miles of yard sales, crafts, antiques, flea markets, historic sites and parks.


Oct. 3-6

Nashville - Create. Innovate and Activate. The International Black Film Festival at Watkins College of Art & Belmont University focuses on engaging and sharing the work of creatives from around the globe.


Oct. 3-12

Nashville – The Nashville Film Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary presenting the best in world cinema, American independent films and documentaries by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors and first-time filmmakers.


Oct. 4

Jackson – Join the Rack Pack at Hub City Brewing for live music by Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster, pink beer and silent auction 7-11:30 p.m. during Racktoberfest.


Oct. 4-5

Selmer – The McNairy County Quilt & Craft Trail will begin and end at the Latta Theater, including stops along the way. Tickets are $5 and include a trail map for one day. Tickets for a two-day pass and trunk show with a meal on Friday are $10.


Portland – Take a stroll through yesteryear at the Days Gone by Harvest Fest. See a sawmill in action, sample homemade apple cider and ice cream, see a WWII plane, antique tractors, steam engine, tour the museum and explore horse-drawn equipment like carriages and buggies. Admission is $5 per person. Kids 10 and under get in free.


Scotts Hill – Scotts Hill Appreciation Days include live music, old-fashioned games, K9 police dog demo, car show, a parade, arts and crafts and candle scramble at Scotts Hill City Park.


Oct. 4-6

Tiptonville – The Reelfoot Lake Arts & Crafts Festival features more than 300 exhibitors, including artists, potters, carvers and jewelry makers, plus live music, barbecue and fun.


Jonesborough – One festival, three days and a world of stories are in store at the National Storytelling Festival at the International Storytelling CenterCheck out the full lineupspecial events to attend, and buy tickets in advance.


Oct. 4-13

Statewide – Hit the road for a Made in Tennessee road trip. Tennessee Craft Week connects and celebrates craft artists with events, craft fairs, workshops and demonstrations across the state.


Oct. 4-27

Gatlinburg – Come face to face with the spine-chilling terrors that lurk inside Ripley’s Haunted Adventure during Ripley’s Fright Nights on Friday and Saturday nights in October.


Oct. 5

Jackson – The Jackson Comic Expo 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.at The Star Center will feature comic books, vintage to new toys, collectibles, cosplay, manga, gaming area, panels with special guests, professional wrestlers, food vendors and painters.


Franklin – Stop by Franklin Visitor Center to sample Still Water Cold Brew, browse handcrafted ceramics from Particle Ceramics and see two local artisans showcasing their work 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. during the Tennessee Craft Week Artisan Showcase.


Goodlettsville – How much truth lies behind the folklore of the Legend of the Bell Witch? The Fireplace Chat 10:30 a.m. at Historic Mansker’s Station separates fact from fiction. Register here. Seating is limited.


Gallatin – Hear the historic stories of past Sumner County residents when actors in period clothing portray the departed along illuminated pathways during the 23rd annual Candlelight Cemetery Tour 4-9 p.m. at Gallatin City Cemetery. Tickets are $15.


Columbia – CultureFest showcases the Columbia Arts District with live music, theatre performances, storytelling, a Chalk Art Contest, hands-on kids’ activities, food trucks and a children’s art display. The fest on Depot Street is free.


Crossville – Furry, four-legged friends can get a treat and exercise by tackling corn mazes during Doggie Maze Day at Autumn Acres. The event also features demonstrations and activities for dogs.


Pigeon Forge – Professional and aspiring artists will gather at The Island in Pigeon Forge to create colorful masterpieces during Chalkfest. This year’s theme is food. Participants will have from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to complete their work.


Oct. 5-6

Nashville – Fall Fest at the Hermitage is a spectacular weekend of art, music and history at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage featuring more than 90 artisans. Proceeds benefit Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage.


Sneedville – Hancock County celebrates its 43rd annual Fall Festival at Newman’s Ridge Road with crafts, a tractor parade, music and demonstrations. The fest kicks off with a tractor parade at 10 a.m. Saturday.


Newport – Enjoy the enticing aroma of festival foods, see local crafts, listen to live music, hop in bounce houses, saddle up and ride a horse and take part in other fun activities during the Newport Harvest Street Festival downtown.


Oct. 5-27

Chattanooga - Get in touch with Rock City’s German heritage during the 14th annual Rocktoberfest which includes live German music, polka lessons, German food, the Fall Fairy, Ik the Troll King and family fun.


Oct. 7

Jackson – The Tennessee Music Awards at the University of Memphis Lambuth will honor Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll Tina Turner with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. The event will feature many independent artists ceremony.


Oct. 9

Union City – Stand under the beautiful night sky for Stargazing Nights 8:30 p.m. at Discovery Park of America. Learn the distance between the moon and earth or look through a super-powerful telescope built just for stargazing.


Oct. 10

Murfreesboro – Enjoy an adults’ night out 6:30-8 p.m. at Discovery Center for Science on Tap: The Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Explore ideas in science and technology, enjoy a local brew and flashback to music from the “Easy Rider” film soundtrack.


Bristol – Radio Bristol presents the Farm and Fun Time live variety show at 7 p.m. from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum featuring Chatham County Line, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, and Bill and the Belles.


Oct. 10, 17

Elizabethton – Brave the shadows for Mysterious Candlelight Tours of the Carter Mansion at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Hear tales of ghosts, unexplained happenings, mysterious past events, strange superstitions, history and humor.


Oct. 10-27

Gatlinburg – The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair brings a wealth of arts, crafts and entertainment together for three jam-packed weeks in the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Artisans demonstrate their skills, answer questions and sell their art.


Oct. 11-13

Hornbeak – Relax and unwind during the West Tennessee Wine Tasting Weekend at Blue Bank Resort. Meet the wine maker, take part in the walking wine tasting through the garden, enjoy dinner, take a boat ride and listen to live music.


Lewisburg – Goats, Music and More Festival at Rock Creek Park includes live music, kid’s games and rides, fainting and Boer goat shows, vendors, great food and fun for the whole family.


Oct. 11-13

Memphis – Shop, play and explore at the 47th annual Pink Palace Crafts Fair featuring over 100 of the world’s best craftsmen and artists, fun activities for kids, art demonstrations, petting zoo and choo-choo train at Pink Palace Museum.


Nashville – The Southern Festival of Books offers the opportunity to meet storytellers, hear readings, participate in panel discussions and book signings at War Memorial Plaza and Nashville’s Main Public Library.


Oct. 11-13, 18-20, 24-27

Nashville – Boo at the Zoo at the Nashville Zoo features carnival games, bounce houses, a Howl-O-Ween Hayride and trick-or-treating. Visit the Frightful Farm for a tour or explore the haunted barn.


Oct. 11-20

Statewide – Join the fun as science, technology, art and math (STEAM) come to life at events at museums, schools, community centers and attractions during the Tennessee STEAM Festival.


Oct. 12

Jackson – The West Tennessee Artisan Trail will host the 3rd annual Art on Track Festival, featuring art, railroad history, demonstrations and storytelling 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the NC&St.L Depot downtown.


Adamsville – Painting the Town 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on The Square on East Main Street includes community painting, music, food trucks and art demonstrations. Artists ages 15 years and older can compete for prizes.


Savannah – Bring lawn chairs and enjoy live music 5-7 p.m. at the Savannah Market downtown. Unity 4 Quartet will perform for Music on Main.


Kenton – Vendors will be set up among the beautiful grapevines for the 3rd annual Arts & Musical Festival 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at White Squirrel Winery. The festival will feature artisan crafts, fine art, music and wine.


Nashville – Cemetery residents “come alive” to tell stories of the city’s history during the Nashville City Cemetery’s Living History Tour. This year’s theme is “If Tombstones Could Talk: Triumph and Tragedy from the Wild, Wild Western Frontier.”


Monterey – Celebrate rich Native American heritage during the Standing Stone Day Celebration. The wreath-laying, dance and ceremony starts at 11 a.m. and features a cruise-in, arts and crafts vendors, parade, flea market and live music.


Murfreesboro – Discovery Center kicks off the Tennessee Steam Festival 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Storybook Science Day. Come dressed as a storybook character and step into the STEAM lab for a lesson on weather and take part in fun activities.


Maynardville – It’s gospel night at the Union County Opry, featuring a performance by the Union County Opry Band with the Beterway Quartet. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.


Piney Flats – Celebrate the spirit of the harvest during the Fall Family Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rocky Mount State Historic Site with harvest-themed crafts and demonstrations like blacksmithing, cider-making and hatchet-throwing. Admission is $10.


Oct. 12-13

Harriman – Ahoy, Matey! The Tennessee Pirate Fest will have Caribbean and Celtic music, interactive comedy and dance shows, a mid-day parade, new kids’ shows, Pirate Olympics, scavenger hunt and games.


Oct. 15

Jackson – Paint & Sip 6-9 p.m. at Century Farm Winery to create a pumpkin door hanger. The event includes a glass of wine, discounts on bottles, cases and tastings, door prizes and giveaways. Tickets are $45.


Nashville – The Gospel Music Association’s 50th annual Dove Awards 6:30 p.m.at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena will celebrate rich musical diversity with powerful performances and honor outstanding achievements over the past five decades.


Oct. 17

Selmer –Play games, paint pumpkins and sip coffee while enjoying food and live music at the Selmer Pumpkin Festival 5-9 p.m. at Rockabilly Park. The event includes food trucks, corn hole, face painting, chainsaw pumpkin carving and ice cream.


Oct. 18-19

Cumberland Gap – Learn how to start your own family tree and see how ancestors made everyday items during the Genealogy Jamboree and Pioneer Days. Guests can buy soap, lotion, weaved baskets, caned chairs and leather goods and visit local shops.


Clarksville – Oktoberfest at Star Spangled Brewing Co. includes live entertainment, Oktoberfest beer on tap, food trucks with German cuisine, stein-holding competition, a tricycle beer race, Alpine horn contest and marionette drinking contest.


Nashville – Stroll among the garden for an evening of song and symphony on Cheekwood’s Swan Lawn featuring the critically-acclaimed Music City Hit-Makers and backed by the Music City Symphony 7-10 p.m. during Songwriters under the Stars.


Oct. 18-20

Tiptonville – Bring the whole family for a fun-filled weekend during the Reelfoot Lake Pelican Festival at Reelfoot Lake State Park with pelican pontoon cruises, pelican canoe floats, birds of prey program, art & photo contest and silent auction.


Oct. 18-19, 25-26

Chattanooga – Boo in the Zoo 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Chattanooga Zoo includes cartoon characters, trick-or-treat stations, costume contests, pony rides, games, scavenger hunts, inflatables and animal enrichment activities.


Oct. 18-Nov. 9

Jonesborough – Escape and enjoy a three-course dinner and solve a mystery at “The Haunting of Horace Crawford” inside the Historic Eureka Inn. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at the Historic Eureka Inn, EventBrite or by calling 423-483-7242.


Oct. 19

Brownsville – Brownsville’s 16th annual Hatchie Fall Fest is packed with fun, including live music, arts and crafts, kid’s activities, games and a contest. Admission is free.


Huntingdon – Singer and songwriter Tyler Hilton, known as playing Chris Keller on the CW series “One Tree Hill” takes the stage at the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available here.


Bolivar – Mark the calendar and channel creativity for Crafts on the Square 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Warren Street downtown. Spaces are limited and the cost is $30. Only handcrafted items are allowed.


Nashville – The Tennessee Beer and Wine Festival returns for its 10th year noon to 5 p.m. to Two Rivers Mansion, benefiting local Donelson and Hermitage charities with more than 100 beers, 90 selections of wine, tastings, local artisans, vendors and music.


Oct. 24

Elizabethton – Hear tales of woe and terror and the weird and macabre during Scary Stories at Fort Watauga 7:30 p.m. at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.


Oct. 25

Farragut – Children ages 12 and under and in costume can “trick or treat” on the walking trail, get treats, and take part in games and cookie decorating during the Freaky Friday Fright Night 5-7 p.m. at Mayor Bob Leonard Park.


Oct. 26

Memphis – Scare up a creepy costume, grab a blanket and chairs and head to Flick or Treat 5-9 p.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden. “It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” begins at 7:15 p.m. and there will be food truck concessions, photo opps, treat stations and activities.


Jackson – Beer lovers rejoice. Enjoy dozens of unlimited samples of the finest craft beers from around the world, shop local vendors, enjoy delicious food, games and entertainment during the 11th annual Jackson Brewfest 1-5 p.m. at Fairgrounds Park.


Clarksville – Shop local crafters and check out beautiful classic cars 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Fall Festival at the Mill.


Goodlettsville – Step back in time and take a night tour through the grounds of the Bowen Plantation Home and Historic Mansker’s Station. Historical interpreters will guide guests on the Ghost and Lantern Tour.


Franklin – Mark your calendar for Pumpkinfest 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. along Main Street and its side avenues downtown with local artisans, incredible food, fun costumes and family activities.


Rocky Top Wine Trail – Enjoy a glass of wine paired with handcrafted desserts 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mountain Valley WineryHillside Winery and Sugarland Cellars Winery during the Chocolate Wine Trail. Tickets start at $25.


Oct. 26-27

Memphis – More than 180 artists from around the country gather downtown to showcase their latest works during the 13th annual RiverArtsFest, a street celebration of fine arts and local music with a juried artist market and hands-on activities.


Morristown – The Mountain Makins Festival celebrates the very best of Appalachian culture, crafts and music. The historic Rose Center and grounds are filled with pottery, glasswork, jewelry, wood carvings, soaps, folk art, candles and more.


White Pine – Capture fall color during the Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Festival 1-9 pm. at Chilton Farm. The fest will have live music, antique tractors and engines, local farm fare, climbing walls, kid’s activities, live music, artisans and wine garden.


Oct. 27

Jackson – Soon-to-be brides and grooms can meet with local wedding vendors and enjoy an afternoon filled with bridal fashion, catering and cake samples and more during the Tie the Knot Wedding Show noon to 4 p.m. at the New Southern Hotel.


Oct. 30

Memphis – The National Civil Rights Museum will honor John Legend, Gloria Steinem and Hafsat Abiola as recipients of the 28th Freedom Award. The museum’s signature event pays tribute to individuals for their contributions to civil and human rights.


Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Knoxville – Learn about the spirits that still roam the rooms and grounds 6 and 7 p.m. during The Spirits Within at the Historic Ramsey House. Tickets are $10 per person. Space is limited so register here or call 865-546-0745. Guests can enjoy s’mores and refreshments around a warm bonfire before and after the tour.



Memphis- Join docents from the garden for a Fall Tram Tour of the beautiful grounds of Memphis Botanic Garden. The tram will leave approximately every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to noon. The tour is free with regular garden admission.


Nashville – Celebrate autumn and the changing leaves during Cheekwood Harvest. Stroll through the garden among oaks, maples and dogwoods and enjoy fun activities.


Nashville – Artober in Nashville is a month-long celebration of the arts in Music City and includes hundreds of events in visual and performing arts, music, theatre and dance.


Eagleville – Conquer the corn maze, pick pumpkins, visit animals at the petting zoo, join a pony ride or wagon ride and pick up some local honey, pumpkin pie or freshly-made kettle corn during the Fall Family Fun Fest at Lucky Ladd Farms.


Adams – The month-long Bell Witch Fall Festival celebrates local history and legends beginning with Red River Tales; leading up to the acclaimed musical SMOKE; and the grand finale, the haunting masterpiece SPIRIT: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch.


Red Boiling Springs – Find out what goes bump in the night. Join paranormal investigators for an overnight Ghost Hunt at the Thomas House Hotel Friday or Saturday nights in October. The event includes lodging, a meal and guided tours of the property.


Chattanooga – Lurking in the shadows, nothing is as it appears within Dread Hollow’s more than 20,000 square feet of pure terror at Ruby Falls. Professional actors, elaborate costuming, makeup and scare tactics make this an award-winning horror experience.


Pigeon Forge – Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is a glow-tacular experience with thousands of carved and illuminated jack-o-lanterns. Great Pumpkin LumiNights features artistic sculptures, whimsical scenes, pumpkin-themed foods and interactive opportunities.


Gatlinburg - Scenic beauty and old-fashioned fun blend to create one big celebration of German culture during Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg with Bavarian-style cuisine, polka, a bier garten and live entertainment.


Gatlinburg – Visitors can experience a ghoulish good time at Anakeesta’s Legend of Hallow Mountain with spine-chilling scare zones, zombie ziplining, plus fun and spook-free activities abound during this premier Halloween event, happening every weekend until Nov. 2. 

No Way Home (For The Holidays): Spider-Man’s Latest, Polar Express Bring Big-Screen Joy To Aquarium’s Seasonal Celebration

PHOTOS: Rock City Opens 27th Season Of Enchanted Garden Of Lights

Scenic Overlook Panels Unveiled, Marks New Designation For Sequatchie Valley Scenic Byway

The holidays are the one time a year when families and friends brave claustrophobic flights and bumper-to-bumper traffic to see one another. The same is true for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, ... (click for more)

Rock City Gardens has begun its 27th season with its annual Enchanted Garden of Lights that includes over a million sparkling LED lights and 30 scenes. The event opens nightly at 5 p.m. and continues ... (click for more)

Two new interpretive panels were unveiled Tuesday morning in Sequatchie County. Located at the SR-111 overlook near Dunlap and the US-127 overlook near Signal Mountain, these educational signs ... (click for more)


No Way Home (For The Holidays): Spider-Man’s Latest, Polar Express Bring Big-Screen Joy To Aquarium’s Seasonal Celebration

The holidays are the one time a year when families and friends brave claustrophobic flights and bumper-to-bumper traffic to see one another. The same is true for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but Marvel Comics’ wall-crawler probably won’t enjoy the reunions awaiting him in Spider-Man: No Way Home . The third Spidey flick to star Tom Holland as the beloved superhero ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Rock City Opens 27th Season Of Enchanted Garden Of Lights

Rock City Gardens has begun its 27th season with its annual Enchanted Garden of Lights that includes over a million sparkling LED lights and 30 scenes. The event opens nightly at 5 p.m. and continues through Jan. 2. (click for more)

Breaking News

Home In Birchwood Destroyed By Fire Saturday Evening

A home was destroyed Saturday evening in the Birchwood area. At 7:25 pm, the Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded to a residential fire at 11306 Birchwood Pike. The first engine on the scene reported a fully involved residential fire. Once firefighters confirmed everyone was out of the house, they conducted a defensive attack to contain the fire to the one structure. ... (click for more)

MAINX24 Parade Is Zany As Ever

The annual Mainx24 parade was as zany as ever as a huge throng gathered on Main Street on Saturday to take in marching bands, politicians, hula hoopers, grown men in pajamas running, riders on strange contraptions and strange riders. The parade rocked on for well over an hour and again included sizable breaks in the action designed for parade goers to get to know one another ... (click for more)


The Plight Of The Homeless

I work very closely with the homeless population in our Chattanooga area. My son and I take around 50 meals a week to our friends living in the tent cities. On Wednesday at 9 a.m. I witnessed first hand the Tennessee Department of Transportation destroying everything - my friends' homes and all of their possessions. My friends in the tent cities have always told me that TDOT ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 4,200+ Shot In Chicago

Between the Christmas parade massacre in Wisconsin and the unfathomable school shooting by a 15-year-old in Michigan, what might be America’s greater horror continues to gnaw on Chicago like a vicious cancer. With a month remaining in the year, Cook County, Ill., has recorded over 1,000 homicides in 2021. Not just that; a whopping 81 percent of the murdered have been black and another ... (click for more)