Celebrate Summer In July's Tennessee Tourism Round Up

Monday, July 1, 2019 - by Jill Kilgore

Summer is here and families can enjoy fun in the sun at events like the Savannah Bluegrass Festival; Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4thCelebration; Red, White & BOOM; Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree; Uncle Dave Macon Days ;Lauderdale Co. Tomato Festival; Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt in Knoxville; Independence Day Celebration and Anvil Shoot at the Museum of Appalachia; Jonesborough Days; Kingsport Fun Fest; Grainger County Tomato Festival; Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales; and Dollywood’s Summer Celebration.For a complete list of events across Tennessee, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.

 July 1-31

Knoxville – Explore downtown and discover the beloved, bespectacled character hiding in boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, farmers market and trolley during the free Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt.

Pick up details at Union Avenue Books.

 

July 3

Jackson – Head out to the ball game to celebrate Independence Day as the Jackson Generals take on the Montgomery Biscuits, followed by a fireworks show, 6-10 p.m. at Jackson Generals Ballpark.

 

Collierville – Enjoy one of the largest fireworks displays in the Mid-South at Collierville’s Independence Day Celebration at H.W. Cox Park. There will be live music, food trucks and more beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the grand finale fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

 

Hendersonville – Come celebrate Independence Day a day early with a huge fireworks show, live music performances, food trucks, vendors and more duringFreedom Festival 5-10 p.m. at Drakes Creek Park. The festival is free.

 

Clarksville – Celebrate the nation’s independence with food, live music, family-friendly activities and fireworks during the Independence Day Celebration6:30-10 p.m. at Liberty Park.

 

July 3-4

Nashville – Celebrate the long 4th of July weekend in Nashville with the Start & End with a Bang celebration, Alejandro Aranda at Ascend Amphitheater,Concacaf Gold Cup Soccer Semifinal at Nissan Stadium and the Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th Celebration opens with the family fun zone and live music featuring Brett Eldredge, Jessy Wilson, Dylan Scott and a fireworks spectacular.

 

July 4

Gatlinburg – Known as the First Independence Day in the nation, Gatlinburg’s Fourth of July Midnight Parade is a spectacular celebration with marching bands, floats and patriotic fun. Current Tennessee Lady Volunteers coach Kelly Jolly Harper is Grand Marshal.

 

Memphis – Boom! Pop! See the fireworks on the river for a special Independence Day edition of A Vibe on the Island 6-10 p.m. at Mud Island Park. Ping Rose, Black Cream and Marcella Simon will perform. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

 

Union City – Celebrate the Fourth of July with Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Betsy Ross, James Madison and John Stow 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Discovery Park of America. Experience Colonia;-Era history with audience-engaging programs, stop by the Liberty Bell and chat with one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. End the day with fireworks at Graham Park.

 

Pickwick Landing State Park – Hardin County will celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks beginning at 9 p.m. from Sandy Beach near the dam. There will be food and craft vendors, ranger led activities and a special tribute to the county’s bicentennial.

 

Selmer – Celebrate 4th of July with a parade, a car show, live music, and top it all off with fireworks at 9 p.m. during Freedom Fest at Selmer City Park.

 

Lexington – The 2019 Festival of the Lakes at Beech Lake is packed with family fun like a water slide, zip line, boat races, barbecue cook off, pageant, giveaways, food, vendors, fireworks and all-day entertainment.

 

Jackson – The Firefighters Festival at McKellar-Sipes Airport features children’s activities and entertainment. Festivities start at 3 p.m.; fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Food and drink vendors will be on site.

 

Nashville – The free Music City Hot Chicken Festival 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at East Park has live music, hot chicken from some of Nashville’s best restaurants, cold beer from Yazoo, delicious food from local vendors and amateur cooking contest.

 

Franklin – Live music, craft and food vendors, classic cars and a kids' parade leading up to a fireworks display to cap the night are on tap for Franklin on the Fourth 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Franklin.

 

Murfreesboro – Join the Discovery Center 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Pop, Fizz, Boom! with special art projects, hands-on experiments that pop, fizz and explode during the 4th of July. The event is included with admission.

 

Monterey – The all-day Fourth of July Celebration at Whittaker Park includes a flea market, food, live music and more.

 

Knoxville – The Festival on the Fourth 4-10 p.m. at World’s Fair Park delivers family fun, entertainment, live music, activities, treats and fireworks. The festival lawn will have fun activities, miniature golf and Lego ® Classic building with Bricks for Kids.

 

Norris – Enjoy the Fourth of July in an unusual and dramatic fashion at the Museum of Appalachia with historic anvil shoots. Guests can also enjoy arts and crafts, food, bluegrass music and fun activities.

 

Kingston – Smokin’ the Water has a fireworks show, live music, barbecue contest for prize money, kids’ activities, craft vendors, car show, raft race, and watermelon cutting held along the banks of the Clinch River along Kingston’s waterfront on Hwy 70.

 

Unicoi – Unicoi Freedom Fest will feature a fireworks spectacular, food and live music 5-10 p.m. at Unicoi Elementary School. Downtown Country, Zach McNabb and the Tennessee Esquires will take the stage.

 

July 4-6

Jonesborough – Tennessee’s oldest town will celebrate Jonesborough Days with family activities, an exciting music line-up, handmade local crafts, a patriotic parade, fireworks and storytelling. The festival is free.

 

July 4-7

Cookeville – A fun and festive option for families, girlfriend getaways, bro trips and couples, celebrate America at Red, White & BOOM. There’s a 1,000-ft. waterslide, patriotic parades, cruise-ins, flea markets, concerts and a fireworks show.

 

Memphis – Elvis, rock ‘n’ roll, fireworks, barbecue, movies and NASCAR all come together to celebrate the nation’s independence at the All American July 4thGetaway at Elvis Presley’s Graceland.

 

July 5

Dyersburg – Head to the Dyer County Fairgrounds 8-9 p.m. for the annual Dyersburg Fireworks Show.

 

Medina – Bring the family and celebrate in a family-friendly environment for Medina’s Independence Day Celebration 8 p.m. at Medina Community Park.

 

Crossville – The winner of the 2018 Smoky Mountain Songwriter Festival, Adam Hamby, performs during the singer-songwriter show, “In the House,” 6-8 p.m. at Grinder House Coffee Shop.

 

Knoxville – The Arts & Culture Alliance presents five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center 5-9 p.m. as part of First Friday activities downtown. Guests can meet the artists and listen to music by acoustic folk musician Jared Hard.

 

July 5-6

Savannah – Don’t miss the free Savannah Bluegrass Festival on Main Street downtown featuring a buck dancing contest and hometown legend and national fiddling champion, Wayne Jerrolds.

 

Nashville – Marionettes and an ever-changing set tell the story of country music at String City: Nashville’s Tradition of Music and Puppetry 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Seating is limited at the free event.

 

Hendersonville – Enjoy a live production of Shakespeare’s Henry V on Old Hickory Lake at Historic Rock Castle. Tickets for Shakespeare on the Lake are $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 10 and younger. Showtime is 5:30 p.m. both days.

 

Smithville – Get your toes tapping at the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree & Crafts Festival with various state and national championships, jam sessions from talented musicians and juried craft exhibitors.

 

July 5, July19

Clarksville – Come early, bring family, friends, chairs and blankets to the Downtown at Sundown summer concert series 7 p.m. at Downtown Commons. Artisans, handmade items, Golly G’s Coffee, Ice Cream & Sweets and food vendors will be on site.

 

July 6

Hurricane Mills – Spend Independence Day weekend at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch with family fun, music and a fireworks show. This year’s concert is a specialSalute to Conway and Loretta, hosted and performed by Tre Twitty and Tayla Lynn.

 

Nashville – Work with image blocks and inks to create a design to hand-print onto paper, a tote bag or t-shirt at the Hatch Show Print Block Party 6-8 p.m. during the First Saturday Art Crawl downtown. Tickets are $50.

 

Granville – Stoney River Bluegrass Band of Tennessee take the stage at Sutton Ole Time Music Hour 6-8 p.m. at the T.B. Sutton General Store. Tickets are $20 for dinner and admission.

 

July 6, July 20

Clarksville – Enjoy summer with a free concert during Jazz on the Lawn 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Beachaven Winery. Free tastings start at 5 p.m., so get there early to get a good parking spot and view of the band.

 

July 10

Union City – Stand under the beautiful night sky for Stargazing Nights 9:30 p.m. at Discovery Park of America. Look through the super-powerful telescope built for stargazing and get a lesson on astronomy.

 

July 11

Jackson – The Summer Celebration Lawn & Garden Show 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. West TN Ag Research & Education Center includes more than 40 plant and craft vendors, 16 talks and tours by garden experts and a plant sale.

 

Bristol – Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys, plus Kelsey Rae take the stage for Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time live variety show 7 p.m. at theBirthplace of Country Music Museum.

 

July 11-13, 18-20, 25-27

Elizabethton – Head to Fort Watauga Amphitheater at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park to witness Tennessee’s official outdoor drama, Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals. See the Revolution as told by the Overmountain Men Colonists who defied British law and settled on Cherokee lands.

 

July 12

Crossville – Tristan Lockamy performs live “In the House” 6-8 p.m. during the singer-songwriter show at Grinder House Coffee Shop.

 

Somerville – Experience the magic of “Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns” during the Outdoor Movie Night at UT Martin Somerville. The free, outdoor movie begins at dark.

 

July 12-13

Ripley – The Lauderdale County Tomato Festival celebrates local farmers featuring a tomato tasting, Saturday salad, 5K run, baby crawling contest, beauty pageants, entertainment, carnival, arts and crafts vendors and fun at Ripley Parks and Recreation.

 

Murfreesboro – Uncle Dave Macon Days honors the memory of Uncle Dave Macon, one of the first Grand Ole Opry superstars, through music, arts and crafts, food, storytelling and exciting competitions in Cannonsburgh Village.

 

July 12-14

Knoxville – Don’t miss the Fanboy Expo’s Knoxville Comic Con at Knoxville Convention Center. Over 30,000 fans attend this pop culture event featuring celebrity guests, comic industry pros, cosplay, vendors, food and live entertainment.

 

July 12-14, 19-21

Red Boiling Springs – Get a taste of October spookiness this summer. Join paranormal investigators at the overnight Ghost Hunt at the Thomas House HotelFriday or Saturday night. The event includes lodging, a meal and guided tours of the property.

 

July 12-20

Kingsport – The entire family can join in the fun at the Kingsport Fun Fest featuring live concerts, children’s activities, hot-air balloons and more, all with the mission of promoting community.

 

July 12-21, 2019

Gatlinburg – Arts and crafts lovers can enjoy over 200 booths featuring handmade items at the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

 

July 13

Jackson – Enjoy live music, food trucks or bring your own picnic during Voices in the Vineyard 7 p.m. at Century Farm Winery. Scott Myatt & Steve Short will take the stage.

 

Shiloh – Bring a picnic basket and lawn chairs for the free Shiloh’s Summer Concert 5:30 p.m. on the lawn of the Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center. The headliner is the ultimate Tom Petty tribute band, “Southern Accents.”

 

Bristol – Grab your partner and do-si-do at the old-fashioned Square Dance with live music 7-9 p.m. at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The event is free, but please RSVP here.

 

July 13-Aug. 11

Hendersonville – Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center, in collaboration with CreatiVets, is proud to host for the second consecutive year the American Veterans Art Show, a free exhibit highlighting the artworks of American combat veterans.

 

July 13, July 27

Memphis – Get an intimate look at plants people find useful in ordinary life, whether culinary, beverage, medicine, fragrance or craft during the Herb Garden Tour 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden. The event is included with garden admission.

 

July 14

Nashville – Waterfest 1-4 p.m. at Cumberland Park is a free festival to connect youth and their families to water through interactive, educational activities with waterslides, music, dancing, educational exhibits and prizes.

 

July 16

Memphis – The Pink Palace Museum celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Mission with a new, interactive exhibit, Sun, Earth, Universe. Guests can engineer their own rocket stamp, learn how craters are made and walk through a scale model of the solar system.

 

July 18

Nashville – Enrich Thursday nights at the Frist Art Museum. Join the museum on the third Thursday of every month for Art after Dark with live music, thought-provoking conversations and lectures, and drop-in-drawing.

 

Gallatin – Enjoy a free street concert 6:30-9 p.m. at Gallatin’s Historic Downtown Square featuring Rockland Road, a unique family band that plays several genres of music.

 

Hendersonville – Dig music from the 60s and 70s? Come listen to the band Tyme as they play the classic hits in this free groovy Summer Concert 6:30 p.m. atStreets of Indian Lake Plaza.

 

Knoxville – Get inspired at the special screening of “360 Hollywood” 7-9 p.m. at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture. The documentary follows two filmmakers as they archive the belongings of their late grandmother. Tickets are $5.

 

July 19-20

Savannah – Saddle up for the Buckin’ on the River Rodeo at the Hardin County Fairgrounds with two days of PRCA sanctioned events and activities like the kids’ rodeo, music and more.

 

July 19-21

Knoxville – The five-time Tony nominated, Broadway musical, “Bright Star,” comes to the Bijou Theatre. Inspired by a real event, this original musical tells a sweeping tale of love and forgiveness set in the mountains of North Carolina in the 1920s and 40s.

 

July 19-28

Dayton – Experience the most famous court trial in Tennessee with an information play at the historic Rhea County Courthouse. The Scopes Trial Play & Festival features a car show, bluegrass music and more.

 

July 20

Brownsville – Enjoy live music from the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home 7 p.m. at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center.

 

Paris – Get lucky on Kentucky Lake during the Water Fun Run where participants can play poker for prizes after traveling to area resorts to earn special stamps.

 

Hendersonville – Enjoy an evening under the stars listening to original music by some of Nashville’s most talented rising stars during Songwriters Night 5-9 p.m. at Historic Rock Castle. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under 18 get in free.

 

Gallatin – Little ones experience the joy of fishing at the 30th Annual Kids Fishing Derby, presented by WSM 650AM as a signature CMA Week Tourist Destination event (rescheduled from June) 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lock 4 Park.

 

July 21

Castalian Springs – Learn about body snatching in the 18th and 19th centuries as presenters recreate the life of grave robbers 2 p.m. at If These Logs Could Talk at Historic Wynnewood. The site is open for tours 1-5 p.m. before and after the presentation.

 

July 24-27

Lawrenceburg – As the birthplace of Southern gospel music, Lawrenceburg hosts the James D. Vaughn Quartet Festival at the Historic Crockett Theater. Several music groups perform throughout the week, including the Guardians & Blackwood Brothers.

 

July 25

Gallatin – The Princess Bride” is playing in Tennessee’s oldest movie theatre, The Palace Theatre. Bring the family out for a memorable movie night 6 p.m. in downtown Gallatin. Tickets are $3. Concessions will be available for purchase.

 

Hendersonville – Enjoy a night of gospel and praise songs at a free concert performed by Wess Morgan 6:30 p.m. at The Streets of Indian Lake.

 

White House – Tommy Ross & TCB perform at the free Music under the Stars summer concert series 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Fran Hutson Amphitheater.

 

July 26-28

Rutledge – Honoring the world-famous Grainger County tomatoes, the Grainger County Tomato Festival features tomato wars, live music, pageants, line dancers and special events. Parade Magazine named it one of the top 10 festivals in the U.S.

 

July 27

Memphis – Explore the magic of dyeing during the Make it Blue! Dyeing with Indigo workshop 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden. Learn how indigo works and use different techniques. Tickets are $60.

 

Murfreesboro – Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Discovery Center. Take a trip into the inflatable planetarium to take a closer look at the moon, discover how craters form through hands-on experiences, design and test your own stomp rockets and more.

 

Eagleville – Kids can cool off on inflatable water slides, splash pads, in a bubble blast pool and enjoy a water balloon toss and outdoor games during “Splash Bash” at Lucky Ladd Farms. Be sure to grab a scoop of ice cream or a cold snow cone.

 

July 31

Jackson – Enjoy free and family-friendly music from local musicians, grab snacks from local food trucks during Porchfest in Midtown Jackson.

 

Ongoing

Memphis – The Live in Studio A Concert Series continues 2-4 p.m. Tuesdays in July at Stax Museum of American Soul Music with performances by Nick Black, Devin Crutcher, Liz Brasher, African Jazz Ensemble and Lucky 7 Brass Band.

 

Jackson – The free concert series, Live at the Amp, at West Tennessee Farmers Market continues. Music on the Main Stage begins at 7:30 p.m.  Will Davenport performs July 12 and Bryan Moffitt July 26.

 

Nashville – Bring the whole family to the Frist Art Museum for the price of one adult admission 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Family Mondays. There will be special programming, trilingual story time, family tours and activities in the Martin Art Quest Gallery.

 

Nashville – Sip signature cocktails. Stroll through summer gardens and the outdoor art exhibit, Storybook Houses, during the Summer Cocktail Crawl atCheekwood Botanic Garden every second and fourth Thursday through August.

 

Portland – Take a free tour of Historic Cold Springs School Sundays in July. The school has a storied life; it was once a Confederate military hospital during the Civil War, a church, a school and a farm building.

 

Murfreesboro – Explore Discovery Center for a bargain 4-7 p.m. Thursdays in June & July (except July 4) for $3 Thursdays.

 

Linden, Lobelville – Bring a lawn chair and dancing shoes for Music on Main Street. Shows are held at either Perry County Courthouse Square in Linden or the Lobelville Music Stage next to City Hall.

 

Gatlinburg – The walkable streets of Gatlinburg become a live stage during the city’s summer-long performance festival, Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales. Visitors can meet costumed storytellers, musical ensembles and cloggers portraying Appalachian characters 6-11 p.m. along the Parkway daily until Aug. 3.

 

Pigeon Forge – Families can enjoy the biggest season in Dollywood’s history during Dollywood’s Summer Celebration with extended park hours 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., daily with fireworks, new entertainment, performers and the new rides in Wildwood Grove. 



A Dapper Duo: Tennessee Aquarium Hatches A Pair Of Fluffy, Healthy Penguin Chicks

New Outdoor Waterpark To Be Built In Sevierville

Eagle's Nest On Lookout Was Planned As Hanging Gardens


There are few things more likely to coax a smile from a Tennessee Aquarium employee than the hatching of a penguin chick. Except, of course, when two chicks waddle onto the scene at the same ... (click for more)

Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks ownership group on Monday announced that they will be building a new attraction in the Smoky Mountain region called Soaky Mountain Waterpark. The new massive ... (click for more)

There are still reminders on the lower slopes of Lookout Mountain of the planned "Hanging Gardens" that were to have transformed an old quarry into a majestic park. Milton Ochs, younger brother ... (click for more)


Travel

A Dapper Duo: Tennessee Aquarium Hatches A Pair Of Fluffy, Healthy Penguin Chicks

There are few things more likely to coax a smile from a Tennessee Aquarium employee than the hatching of a penguin chick. Except, of course, when two chicks waddle onto the scene at the same time. Looking like nothing so much as adorably pudgy, grey-and-white balls of feathery fluff, the Aquarium recently welcomed a pair of chicks — one Gentoo Penguin , one Macaroni Penguin ... (click for more)

New Outdoor Waterpark To Be Built In Sevierville

Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks ownership group on Monday announced that they will be building a new attraction in the Smoky Mountain region called Soaky Mountain Waterpark. The new massive 50-acre outdoor waterpark will be located across the street and up the hill from the Sevierville Convention Center and Wilderness at the Smokies Resort. An official ground breaking for VIPS ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Small Plane Crashes Near Dunlap

A small plane crashed on Wednesday at Cagle Mountain near Dunlap. Authorities said the pilot was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital. He was described as in his mid-to-late 50s or 60s. There were no passengers, it was stated. Based on the plane's registration number, it was a Glasair amateur-built experimental plane. It was built in Canada in 2002. The pilot was described ... (click for more)

Smedley, Smith, Boyd, Bankston, Graham Among Candidates Mentioned For 2020 County Mayor Race With Coppinger Possibly Retiring

It may be three years away, but candidates are lining up for the 2022 county mayor race with Jim Coppinger possibly retiring. County Mayor Coppinger said his focus is on continued progress during the current four-year term. Political observers believe he tipped his hat on this being his final term by coming out for a school tax that is unpopular in some circles and lost out on ... (click for more)

Opinion

Opinion Correction: Erlanger Does Not Offer $20,000 Nurse Signing Bonuses

An opinion in Chattanoogan.com on Monday said Erlanger Health Systems had $20,000 nurse signing bonuses. Erlanger officials said that is another local hospital - not Erlanger. Columnist Roy Exum said, "In a story that I wrote on July 15, “A Nursing Shortage?” I mistakenly identified Erlanger Hospital as one hospital that offers prospective nurses a $20,000 signing bonus. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Use 'Tags' At Erlanger

When I was a senior in high school, the Vietnam catastrophe held the guys who were in my class spellbound. Back then, and has since been proven again and again, the conflict was a terrible error in our nation’s judgment and almost 60,000 young and promising Americans died in some stinking South Asian battle zone that didn’t mean squat to our freedom or our nation’s future. In ... (click for more)