Festivals highlight fall in Tennessee

By Amanda Stravinsky

Cooler temperatures bring a number of festivals in Tennessee that will pack any fall calendar. World renowned food festivals, concerts and a new museum honoring the Queen of Rock & Roll are just some of the events happening in the Volunteer State during the autumn months with the added treat of beautiful fall foliage scenic views.

Each year in September, Nutbush, TN’s celebrates the hometown Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner, by fans that make the pilgrimage to her small town to meet and celebrate her music. This year’s Tina Turner Heritage Days features the Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Turner, which will have its grand opening during the festivities Sept. 26-27 at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. The school has been designed as a museum filled with Tina Turner memorabilia.

Tennessee’s oldest city, Jonesborough, is the site of the National Storytelling Festival Oct. 3-5 where storytellers from around the world come to share their tales. Storytellers include internationally-known artist, actor, recording artist, TV host, and storyteller Bobby Norfolk. Kuniko Yamamoto will be there to perform Japanese storytelling with Donald Davis, whose stories tell of the rich history of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

The Reelfoot Arts & Crafts Festival, one of the top three arts & crafts shows in Tennessee will take place Oct. 3-5 in Tiptonville. More than 45,000 people come to the festival to see exhibitors from across the U.S.

Chattanooga is home to the RiverRocks Adventure Sports Games every weekend in October. Outdoor athletes compete in 10 events including open water, mountain biking and rock climbing. Events also include The 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival, the Fly Free Festival and the River Rocks Finale Oct. 25 at Coolidge Park.

One of the nation’s largest and most authentic music and folk festivals is at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris with its historic log buildings. The 35th annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming Oct. 10-12 welcomes musicians performing folk, bluegrass, old-time country tunes, gospel, and traditional mountain music.

The Jack Daniel Distillery, the oldest registered distillery in the U.S., is the site for world-renowned 26th annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue Oct. 25 in Lynchburg. Barbecue kings and queens from around the world battle for top honors and the $10,000 prize money. Bragging rights, fun contests, entertainment, and lots of barbecue and other foods are served up.

Fall is a wonderful time in Tennessee and nothing says fall better than a trip to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area to see the leaves change colors in the Smoky Mountain National Park as thousands of visitors do on an annual basis. Enjoy Tennessee this fall.

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