East Tennessee Fall Festivals Just Around the Corner
The lazy days of summer end with a bang, er, a BOOM with Boomsday, the fireworks spectacle in Knoxville on September 1. Elsewhere in East Tennessee, harvest festivals celebrate the rural heritage so prevalent here. Crafts and musical entertainment — whether it be whittling or fiddling — make festivals good time events for people of all ages.
Pigeon Forge’s MountainFest, An Appalachian Celebration on Oct. 1-7 is all about bluegrass music and mountain arts and crafts. Dollywood always seems to have a festival going and the last three weeks of October it’s the acclaimed National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration with daily concerts and a wide array of crafts exhibitors.
There’s something new in historic Rugby. The inaugural Appalachian Heritage Day is taking place Sept. 21. Demonstrations of the old-time skills of mountain living should add an interesting touch to this celebration on the historic Uffington House lawn.
Homecomings are big in East Tennessee and the biggest might be the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton on Oct. 11-13. It’s the 34th year for the hoedown which has gained national notoriety for the pure authenticity of its Appalachia arts, crafts and music.
Also in its 34th year, the Mountaineer Folk Festival in Pikeville boosts more than 100 arts and crafts booths. It is set for Sept. 6-8.
Gatlinburg keeps alive the traditions of Appalachia at the Fast Cars N Mason Jars Moonshine Festival, Sept. 26-28. Tours of the moonshine distillery and music are on tap. The tourist destination also will host the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair Oct. 10-27.
And on the quiet side of the Smokies, the Townsend Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day is set for Sept. 27-28. Expect to hear plenty of bluegrass music, watch Appalachian craftsmen demonstrate their skills and eat a full plate of barbecue.
The town also hosts The Smoky Mountain Woodcarving Festival Oct. 5-6. Etowah’s Arts and Crafts Fall Festival will be Oct. 5-6.
Maryville will mark the changing of the seasons with the Foothills Fall Festival, Oct. 11-13, with concerts, juried arts and crafts booths and family-friendly activities.
Here are a few more festivals you will like:
- The Rogersville Heritage Days, Oct. 11-13.
- The 38th annual Mountain Makins Festival, Oct. 26-27, in Morristown with musicians, dancers and storytellers.
- The Apple Festival in Erwin, Oct. 5-6, and the Cleveland Apple Festival, Oct. 19-20.
- The Allardt Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 5, Dayton’s PumpkinFest, Oct. 25-26, and Athens’ Pumpkintown event on Oct. 12.
And don’t forget perhaps the biggest of them all: the 41st National Storytelling Festival is Oct. 4-6 in Jonesborough, with its international roster of storytellers and tens of thousands of fans.
Which festival are you most looking forward to attending?