Fall Is Festival Season in Middle Tennessee
All Tennesseans share a little secret that is gradually leaking out. As the temperatures moderate and a hint of coolness tinges the air, you will catch on. Fall in Tennessee is about as perfect a season as you will find anywhere. We love to get out and enjoy our spectacular state.
September and October overflow with festivals that appeal to every taste, so reward yourself and head out every weekend for a little culture, wine, music, exercise, history or just plain fun. You’re bound to find some great bargains along the way. We’ll hit a few of the highlights to give you some suggestions.
At the 3rd Annual Arts & Antiques Festival in Goodlettsville on Sept. 14 you can follow the Tennessee Quilt Trail, meet the artists as you browse the 100 for $100 Art Show, bring along a treasure for an antique appraisal in the heart of the historic antique district, shop for craft bargains at dozens of vendor booths, take a free trolley ride, or laugh at your kids having fun face painting.
The Food Court will be filled with mouthwatering delights from local food vendors and a sprinkling of some of Nashville’s tastiest food trucks. While you’re enjoying non-stop live music, make sure you stop by the Goodlettsville Barber Shop on Main Street at 1 p.m. for the unveiling of Archie Campbell’s original barber’s chair from Hee Haw.
Made in Nashville at Centennial Park on Sept. 14 is a celebration of everything local – the music, food, craft beer and artists. As you sample the best and pick up fresh grown produce from the festival’s farmer’s market, you will be supporting the Tennessee Literacy Coalition and helping to transform the lives of adults needing help to master the written language. You will find that most of the festivals in Middle Tennessee offer a considerable portion of their profits to a multitude of charitable causes. It’s all about passing it on.
Wine on the River is an annual wine tasting celebration on the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, happening Saturday, Sept. 14, from 3-7 p.m. A $50 ticket will buy you the opportunity to sample from their selection of over 300 wines from 10 different regions spanning the globe while enjoying the relaxing strains of live jazz. A select group of restaurants will be offering culturally-themed food for sale as the perfect accompaniment to that glass of vino. Your designated driver can buy a $20 passport to all the fun and still ensure everyone returns home safely.
Imagine yourself back in the Italian vineyards as you join fellow grape stompers at DelMonaco Winery’s Annual Harvest Festival on Sept. 21, about 80 miles east of Nashville. The free festival includes hayrides, food vendors and local artists. Be sure to wear old clothes when crushing the grapes! You may like to plan a return trip on one of the Tennessee Central Railway excursions early in the new year, but you’ll need to make reservations well in advance.
Come and strut your stuff with your pet pooch on Sept. 21 at the Dog Day Festival. Every year over 7,500 people show up at Centennial Park with their canines to support the Nashville Humane Society and pamper their pets in a smorgasbord of fun activities such as Doggie Arts & Crafts, pet portraits, agility clinics and K9 contests. Every dog deserves a day out!
Step back into the world of the 18th century and see life through the eyes of Revolutionary War hero Daniel Smith. The Daniel Smith Days at historic Rock Castle in Hendersonville is a 2-day historic reenactment event held Sept. 21 & 22. Entry fee is $5 for adults, children 12 and under get in free. On the lakefront grounds of the historic home you can see craft demonstrators, music and dance, Indians, tented taverns, blanket traders, merchants, longhunters and militia in action.
Say “cheese” for the 3rd Annual Southern Artisan Cheese Festival, a gourmet gathering of cheesemakers and food artisans from the South. For $45 you can sip on wine or regional craft beers while sampling from hundreds of small batch cheeses, cured meats, jams, breads, crackers and pickles. The restored Neuhoff building, an historic garage once a part of the Neuhoff Meat Packing Plant, is the venue for this delectable festival that is sure to sharpen your taste buds.
America’s rich craft heritage shows out at the TACA Fall Craft Fair in Centennial Park, Sept. 27-29. You’ll discover many one-of-a-kind handcrafted treasures in the shadow of Nashville’s Parthenon while meeting the artists who excel in mediums of glass, wood, clay, leather and metal. Live music is performed in Musicians’ Corner on Saturday afternoon 2-5pm. Hands-on kids activities and live demonstrations may also inspire you to take up a long-forgotten hobby.
What’s your favorite fall festival? Next month we’ll get into the spirit of Oktoberfest!