Fairs and Festivals
No matter the season, crafts and the festivals that celebrate them abound in Tennessee. The Volunteer State spans a rich history of producing exquisite work by local artisans.
In East Tennessee, eclectic is the word for crafts: from pine needle basketry and candle dipping to fused glass jewelry, copper metalworking and everything in between. At the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, the Tennessee Fall Homecoming hosts old-time crafters who entertain and sell their wares, with southern food and 400 musicians as the authentic backdrop at this Smithsonian affiliate. Knoxville's Dogwood Arts Festival, annual harbinger of East Tennessee spring, features doll-makers, potters, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, quilters, basket weavers and goose pluckers, along with driving trails abloom with dogwoods. Find fabulous furniture, vegetable dyed fabric, sculpture and jewelry. Ramsey House Plantation in East Knoxville hosts Country Market Days to welcome fall; it's abuzz with folk art and traditional crafts, fine regional antiques, demonstrations, homemade gourmet foods, live music, clogging, storytelling, and carriage rides. Set in nature's alluring beauty, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, with both summer and fall events, showcases 200 booths highlighting artisans and craftspeople on hand to demonstrate their skills, answer questions, and offer unique crafts for sale, with musical shows as backdrop.
Traveling south from Knoxville to Etowah, catch October views of the Tennessee Overhill region. Enjoy some of the region's best crafters, art, and food, with entertainment enough to fill a weekend during the Annual FallFest in Etowah's historic L & N Depot. In Chattanooga, the 4 Bridges Arts Festival welcomes anyone who enjoys a wide array of original fine art and crafts, food, children's art activities, and live music. In early June, Crossville's annual Craft Fair on the Plateau offers original work of 50 crafters.
A signature event in Centennial Park in Nashville during the first weekend in May, the TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists) Craft Fair offers a chance to shop for a wide variety of unique handcrafted work, meet the artists, enjoy a diverse food court, take in special exhibits and demonstrations, and create new works of art. The June American Artisan Festival, an annual gathering of textures, tastes, shapes, and sounds brings 160 craftsmen to Centennial Park from 39 states. Unusual crafts, molasses making, and a huge October weekend of farm celebration can be had at the Music and Molasses Arts and Crafts Festival in Nashville at the Ellington Agricultural Center. Also in Middle Tennessee, the Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival features booths of completely handcrafted fare as well as music, buck dancing and old-time folk singing. A nonstop jam session, the Smithville festival treats the audience to music of dulcimers, old-time fiddle bands, and mandolins, and more.
In West Tennessee, the early fall Peavine Arts & Crafts Festival in Parsons features quilters, an art show, and a street dance. Get your authentic African crafts and your soul food while listening to a musical mix at the African American Street Festival in Jackson, Labor Day weekend. Bluegrass and gospel groups provide the background music for 120 folk artists at the Annual Fall Folklore Jamboree in Milan. An appealing mix of art, music, and crafts presented by over 370 artisans from around the country can be found at the Cooper-Young Festival, a true outdoor celebration of arts, culture, and Memphis heritage. Whether your taste runs to the sophisticated or traditional, more than 200 artisans at the Audubon Park Pink Palace Crafts Fair in Memphis offer products bearing their personal stamp.
Date: May 17, 2013 - May 18, 2013
Bloomin' Barbecue & Bluegrass Festival
Location: Sevierville, TN
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