The smell of biscuits; the refreshing taste of an RC Cola and a Moon Pie; the beat of African drums; cheers from the crowd as thousands of athletes compete; and beautiful Tennessee natural backdrops can all be part of the beginning of your summer. Make your plans, pack a bag, and get ready for the start of Tennessee's sizzlin' summer events:
All your Southern food dreams will come true along the Biscuit Boulevard each May in Knoxville. More than 20 restaurants will set up shop and have ample amounts of samples for you to try. The price is $10 for five different Signature Biscuit creations. Other events include the biscuit baking contest, live music and a songwriting competition. The Southern Food Writing Conference will welcome nationally and internationally-acclaimed editors, chefs, and authors to meet fans and talk about the state of the culinary world today.
Tennessee is home to gorgeous amounts of Mountain Laurels and visitors come to enjoy their peak blooms in May in Wartburg, Rugby and Morgan County. Approx. 24 trails in Morgan County are designated for guided walks and talks. Stroll through The Big South Fork River and Recreation Area, Obed Scenic River, Frozen Head State Park, Pickett State Park, Cumberland Trail Scenic Walking Trail, and Lone Mountain State Park to enjoy these beautiful flowers. The Mountain Laurel Walks Festival takes place at the Morgan County Visitor Center and includes food, local artisans, music, and a plethora of other activities.
Chattanooga, or Scenic City, welcomes athletes from around the globe to compete in Chattanooga. The Sunbelt Bakery Ironman 70.3 in Chattanooga starts with a down-river swim in the Tennessee River. From there, competitors bike a 34-mile loop with expansive Lookout Mountain views and then endure a two-loop run along the Tennessee Riverwalk and Riverfront Parkway. The best place to see these athletes compete would be at Ross's Landing where the swim start and the finish line are located.
The garlic, breads, pastas, and cheeses will lead your cravings for good food to the Memphis Italian Festival in May. Toasted ravioli, funnel cakes, and cannoli call to Italian food lovers everywhere to come to Memphis as a full course dinner is served up in Marquette Park thanks to Luigi's Café and Luigi's Market. Cooking demonstrations and an intense spaghetti gravy contest plus a bunch of other activities will also take place. The perfect soundtrack is created with music by bands like 3 Degrees, Idle & Wild, Snapdragon, Under the Radar, and Gin Blossoms. Rides, inflatables, bocci, cornhole games and team cooking challenges are also part of the fun event.
It's no secret this festival in Oak Ridge is one not to be missed. With headline entertainment by The Marshall Tucker Band and Three Dog Night, a cruise-in, Bruce Sarafian the world-record juggler, bands, and orchestras, there's plenty to see and do in June in Oak Ridge, Tennessee's Secret City. Find out why the city has that nickname as you browse special exhibits. Craft demonstrations like pottery firing will take place; kids can let loose with the variety of games and entertainment scheduled. Don't miss The Battle of Normandy WWII Reenactment at Bissell Park where the only fully live firing German Flak 88 in the United States will be fired. Authentic jeeps, armored vehicles, paratroopers and infantry will also make appearances.
Run 10 miles along beautiful roads of Bell Buckle with more than 1,000 runners and then enjoy one of the South's best pairings: RC Cola and Moon Pies each June in Bell Buckle. Even if you don't run, you can still enjoy this delicious combination. The pairing was started in the 1950s and has continued to refresh and satisfy everyone's sweet tooth. They're celebrated in all kinds of ways from a parade, the coronation of the King and Queen, games, appearances by Moon Pie herself and RC Cola, bluegrass music, dancing and so much more. Classic Americana comes together for the concluding cutting of the World's Largest Moon Pie. The event is free and open to the public.
The largest African American Cultural Arts Festival in East Tennessee takes place in Knoxville. The annual Kuumba Festival hosts hundreds of entertainers, a world-class African marketplace, food vendors, cultural shopping opportunities, and crafters. The event is free every day. African dance and drum and live music takes place at Morningside Park. Celebrate African American culture and societal contributions as the theme this year is "Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear…" by Maya Angelou.