As the kids head back into the classroom and football season kicks off for the remainder of the year, Middle Tennessee ramps up its offerings with music, food and fall festivals galore (and plenty of farm animals to boot). Here are a few to put on your calendar in the coming months:
When: Aug. 24- Sept. 3
What: For 11 days at the end of every summer, Bedford County attracts the hotshots of the walking horse industry from all corners of the globe. Now in its 77th year, the annual celebration is the biggest walking horse show in the world with grounds spanning more than 100 acres, including a 30,000-seat outdoor stadium and a 4,500-seat indoor arena.
(Credit: Horseshoe Riverbend Festival)
When: Sept. 8-10
What: Now in its 35th year, this live music event along Clifton's Main Street has become one of Wayne County's signature events. The three-day, family-friendly event that brings 15,000 spectators to town comprises a children's night, carnival, food vendors, and artisan wares and concludes with a concert and fireworks spectacular.
When: Sept. 10
What: The Historic Centerville Town Square comes alive as food vendors, artists, antique dealers and music acts all congregate for one day of artsy fun.
(Credit: Wine on the River)
When: Sept. 10
What: Music City may be a whiskey town but for one day each fall, the oenophiles come out of hiding for an afternoon of live jazz, food vendors and tasting wines from around the world, all set on the iconic Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. And though it's technically a wine festival, there will be plenty of beer and spirits available to try as well.
(Credit: Lincoln County Fair)
When: Sept. 10-17
What: There's no limit to the type of fun to be had at this annual county fair, which include barbecue cook-offs, 4-H competitions, goat shows, carnival rides, miniature horse races, beauty pageants, monster truck shows and tractor pulls. Country artists Jamey Johnson and Craig Morgan will headline the opening and closing concerts, respectively.
(Credit: Fall Heritage Festival)
When: Sept. 17-18
What: Travel back in time for the weekend via this Civil War era fest, which includes a classic and antique car show, art marketplace, educational displays, musical entertainment and more.
(Credit: Camels & Chocolate)
When: Sept. 17-18
What: The brainchild of the Kings of Leon's Caleb and Nathan Followill and world-renowned chef Jonathan Waxman (owner of Adele's and Bajo Sexto), this food festival in its fourth year brings even more culinary pizzazz to Bicentennial Park for a two-day tasting event unlike any other.
(Credit: Americana Music Festival)
When: Sept. 20-25
What: Over the course of a week, more than 200 Americana acts from John Prine to Wynonna Judd take the stage at venues all over Nashville, with the Sept. 21 Americana Honors & Awards Show at the Ryman honoring the best of them all.
(Credit: 41A Music & Arts Festival)
When: Sept. 23-24
What: For the seventh year, the Highland Rim Kiwanis Club will raise money for its children's charities by bringing in some top music acts like Bo Bice and Glen Templeton to take the outdoor stage alongside the railroad.
(Credit: Pilgrimage Music & Arts Festival)
When: Sept. 24-25
What: In its sophomore year, this Americana and folksy festival fuses local favorites like Jason Isbell and Kacey Musgraves with celebrated out-of-towners such as Grace Potter and Violent Femmes for one of the best new music events around.
(Credit: Goats, Music & More Festival)
When: Oct. 7-8
What: Have you ever seen such a thing as a fainting goat? If not, you'll see that plus a whole lot more at this quirky Marshall County festival that includes face-painting, rock-climbing, an arts and crafts exhibition, three-legged goat triathlon, Goat Gallop 5K, and live music from Diamond Rio and other country and Americana acts.