It’s warming up in Nashville which means that it’s officially festival season! From music to arts and crafts, there’s bound to be an event (or two) for you and your family to enjoy. Many local favorites are returning at full capacity after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Below is a list of some of the events returning to Middle Tennessee:
Spring Tennessee Craft Fair (May 6-8)– A celebration of American handmade crafts. Located at Centennial Park. No ticket required.
Attendees can enjoy and purchase unique handmade crafts from American artists. Artists will be in attendance to explain and present their work. There will be food from local vendors as well as activities for kids.
Boro BBQ Festival (May 7)– An event celebrating everything BBQ. Located at Oaklands Mansion in Murfreesboro. No ticket required.
Guests will be able to enjoy food vendors, a craft fair, and music from live bands. Additionally, there will be activities for kids as well as a whiskey tasting session.
Tennessee Renaissance Festival (May 7-30)– An annual event commemorating different aspects of the renaissance era. Located in Arrington. Tickets can be purchased at TNRenFest.com.
Attendees can enjoy food, handcrafted items, and live music. Children and adults can participate in a fairy house/hobbit habitat competition. Additionally, children 14 and under can enter a pirate costume contest on May 21-22. Renaissance costumes are welcomed and encouraged for all attendees.
Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival (May 13-14)- Annual celebration of the history and legacy of strawberries in Portland. Located in downtown Portland. No ticket required.
Entering its 81st year, this festival commemorates the importance of strawberries to the Portland community and economy. Participants can enjoy a strawberry jam concert with fireworks and live music, a mechanical bull, a magic show, and various other events during this fun-filled weekend. 200 vendors will also be available selling special strawberry-themed items.
Boro Art and Craft Festival (May 14)– Located at the Inner Square of the Historic Murfreesboro Courthouse.
Attendees can enjoy a range of unique handmade crafts from artists across the nation. Food vendors will also be present.
Iroquois Steeplechase (May 14)– Annual horse-racing event benefitting the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and other organizations. Located at Percy Warner Park. Tickets can be purchased at IroquoisSteeplechase.org/tickets
This event has taken place in Nashville for 81 years. Attendees will be able to enjoy an array of events including races, private parties, tailgating activities, auctions, and free-to-play contests. The event will also include food trucks and other vendors for participants to enjoy. If you cannot make the event in person, the races can be watched online at NationalSteeplechase.com.
Nashville Rosé Festival (May 14)– A celebration of rosé wines and other liquors. Located at East Park. Tickets can be purchased upon entry or at Eventbrite.com
100% of the proceeds acquired from this event will go toward the Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition. Guests will be able to enjoy samples of over 100 various wines, spirits, and beers from local breweries. Additionally, food trucks, lawn games, a live DJ will be in attendance for enjoyment.
Pickin’ in the Park (May 14)– Outdoor concert series featuring various artists. Located at Sarah Benson Park (Thompson’s Station) and Harvey Park (Spring Hill). No ticket required.
Beginning May 14, Pickin’ in the Park returns to Williamson County for its 10th year. The concert series will take place twice a month until September 10. Attendees will be able to enjoy live music and food trucks. All concerts begin at 5:30pm, and the location varies between Sarah Benson Park and Harvey Park. Additional information can be found at Facebook.com/SpringHillPickinInThePark or on Instagram at @PickinInThePark_TN.
Nashville Vegfest (May 15)– Event promoting healthy plant-based lifestyles. Located at the Nashville Fairgrounds (Shed 1). Tickets can be purchased at NashilleVegfest.com.
Anyone curious about starting a healthier plant-based diet is encouraged to attend. Participants will be able to try new and fresh vegan foods, shop from vendors, and enjoy live music. Family fun zones and face painting will also be available for kids.
Franklin Rodeo (May 14; 18-21)– 3 day rodeo-themed charity event. Located at the Williamson County Ag Expo. Tickets can be purchased at FranklinRodeo.com.
This fun-filled weekend starts off with a parade on May 14. On May 18, attendees can enjoy a variety of food trucks, pony rides, mechanical bull rides, and vendors. Kids will be able to enjoy roping, stick horses, and other activities. The rodeo begins on the 19th, and it will include an array of events including bareback riding, barrel racing, and more.
Nashville Mac & Cheese Festival (June 4)– A celebration of macaroni. Located at First Horizon Park. Tickets can be purchased upon entry or at Eventbrite.com.
In addition to various versions of mac and cheese, guests will also be able to indulge in a variety of craft beers, wines, and ciders. There will be a live band and other entertainment. Attendees will be able to vote for Nashville’s Best Mac and Cheese.
Sip TN Nashville Wine Fest (June 4)– Event highlights various Tennessee-based wineries. Located at the Amqui Station. Tickets can be purchased at SipTN.com/nashville.
Guests will be able to sample wines from Tennessee wineries. Crafts and food will also be available for purchase.
Franklin Pride (June 4)– An event to celebrate the LGBTQIA community in Franklin. Located at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm. No ticket required.
This event will include live music, a drag show, food trucks, a youth activity area, and more.
Ashland City Summerfest (June 7-11)– A 4-day celebration of the Ashland City community. Located at Riverbluff Park. No ticket required.
A great event for families of all ages, Summerfest includes live music performances, carnival games, food vendors, fireworks, and more.
CMA Fest (June 9-12)– A weekend celebrating and recognizing the accomplishments in country music. Various locations. Tickets available at CMAFest.com.
As the longest-running country music festival in the world, the CMA Fest gives fans the opportunity to indulge in a multitude of events highlighting and commemorating the legacy of country music. Fans can partake in artist meet-and-greets, concerts, tailgating, games, and more. A portion of all proceeds goes toward the CMA foundation and their mission to provide high quality music education to the next generation.
American Artisan Festival (June 17-19)– 3-day fine arts festival featuring handmade crafts from all over America. Located in Centennial Park Bandshell. No ticket required.
Attendees will be able to enjoy handmade art, food trucks, handcrafted drinks, and live music. The event will also include a Nashville-style musical program. Kids will be able to enjoy a free creative space.
Moonpie Festival (June 18)– Event celebrating the significance of moonpies. Located in Bell Buckle, TN. No ticket required.
Participants can partake in a variety of moonpie-themed events. Activities include a parade, a 5K and 10 mile race, live music, and contests.
Music City Freedom Festival (June 18-19)– A 2-day event celebrating Juneteenth. Located at Hadley Park. No ticket required.
This annual event will include food trucks, inflatables, local vendors, live music, and games.
Hendersonville Main Street Porch Fest (June 18)– A live music festival for all ages. Located at Hazel Path Business Park. No ticket required.
In addition to music, visitors can enjoy food and shopping vendors.
Tennessee Tiny House Festival (June 18-19)– This 2-day event showcases different types of tiny houses. Located in Nashville. Tickets available upon entry or at UnitedTinyHouse.com/tickets.
This event includes music, workshops and presentations from pioneers in the tiny house industry, children’s activities, and more.
Nashville Pride (June 25-26)– A 2-day event celebrating the Nashville LGBTQIA community. Located at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Tickets available at NashvillePride.org.
Nashville Pride Festival:Tanya Tucker, Walk The Moon to headline
The largest LGBTQIA in Tennessee, Nashville Pride gives members of this community and its allies the opportunity to come together for a jam-packed weekend. Guests can attend the parade, which begins at 10am at Broadway & 8th Avenue. Additional events include a vendor market, food trucks, installation art, and entertainment from a range of artists. There will also be a kid & family zone that includes face painting, carnival games, and other activities.
Music City Hot Chicken Festival (July 4)– An event combining local musicians and hot chicken. Located at East Park. No ticket required.
Attendees can enjoy hot chicken from an array of local establishments. There will also be a fire truck parade, local vendors, and an amateur cooking competition. All proceeds will go toward Friends of Shelby Park & Bottoms.
Watertown Jazzfest (July 16)– An event highlighting jazz music. Located at the Historic Watertown Square. No ticket required.
Attendees can enjoy food and shopping vendors whilst enjoying the jazz music.
Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival (July 23)– An event commemorating the life and legacy of Jefferson Street as it relates to jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues music. Located at Fisk University. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
This event recognizes and celebrates the musical history of Jefferson Street. In addition to music attendees can enjoy music and retail vendors from North Nashville. Ticket proceeds will go towards Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (J.U.M.P.), an organization dedicated to the economic development and revitalization of North Nashville.
Williamson County Fair (August 5-13)- Annual county fair in Franklin. Located at Williamson County Ag Expo Park. Tickets available upon entry or at WilliamsonCountyFair.org.
Aside from the rides and attractions at the fair, guests can enjoy fireworks, a pig birthing exhibit, a cultural arts exhibit, and more.
Tomato Art Fest (August 12-13)– An art festival celebrating the tomato. Located at Five Points, East Nashville. No ticket required.
Attendees can enjoy a tomato art show, a parade, a home-decorating contest, and more. There will also be tomato-themed food and live music for people of all ages to enjoy.
Wilson County Fair (August 18-27)– Largest county fair in TN. Located at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. Tickets can be purchased upon entry or at WilsonCountyFair.net.
In addition to fair attractions, guests can participate in egg contests, pageants, a cornhole tournament, and much more.