Call it fall, call it autumn. Whatever name you prefer, the season that runs Sept. 22 to nearly Christmas, on Dec. 20, is filled right up with Made in Tennessee festivals that celebrate the best of what this great region has to offer.
Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee
The Hamilton County Fair Sept. 24-25 is held on the last weekend of September each year as a sort of a kickoff for fall in Southeast Tennessee. It's a classic county fair held on an island in the Tennessee River, at Chester Frost Park.
(Credit: 3 Sisters Music Festival)
Downriver, at Ross' Landing in Chattanooga, is the 3 Sisters Music Festival Sept. 30-Oct. 1, a bluegrass festival featuring Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Greensky Bluegrass, the Gibson Brothers, Chatham County Line and many others.
Rock City's Rocktoberfest, high up on Lookout Mountain Oct. 1-30 is not the region's only German fall festival, but it is the first and longest of the season in Southeast Tennessee. If you are uncomfortable in lederhosen at high altitudes, you can also attend the Chattanooga Oktoberfest Oct. 15-16 at the bottom of the mountain.
(Credit: Wine Over Water)
Wine Over Water Oct. 1 is a wine tasting festival suspended over the Tennessee River on the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga. The very next day at the First Tennessee Pavilion, also in Chattanooga, is CultureFest Oct. 2, a kind of art and world culture festival.
Knoxville + Middle East Tennessee
A little further up the Tennessee Valley, we have the Tennessee Fall Homecoming Oct. 7-9 at the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, is another bluegrass festival to look forward to, featuring Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Flatt Lonesome, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and many more. Head back to the Museum of Appalachia this holiday season for Christmas in Old Appalachia Dec. 3-24 to see how early pioneers and mountain homesteaders celebrated the holidays.
Fall Jamboree at Windrock Park Oct. 13-15 in Oliver Springs is worth visiting to see what the ATV rodeo is all about.
The 41st Annual Mountain Makins Festival Oct. 22-23 held in Morristown, celebrates the folk traditions of Appalachia. Or you can prepare to laugh till your sides hurt at the Scruffy City Hall Comedy Festival Nov. 4-6 in Knoxville.
Down at the foot of the Smoky Mountains, fall is bursting with Made in Tennessee festivities, starting with Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg Sept. 23-Oct. 30. If you've already have your fill of German festivals this season, you should attend the National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration at Dollywood Sept. 20-Oct. 29 and the ever-popular Smoky Mountain Christmas Nov. 5-Jan. 1, 2017. Sevierville's Winterfest kicks off Nov. 7 and the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees runs Nov. 22-27.