By Amanda Stravinsky
Spring is a time for new beginnings, new memories and a bevy of experiences uniquely Made in Tennessee. Music, film and cornbread festivals, the world’s biggest fish fry, a celebration of mules and more can be found in the Volunteer State.
Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Festival is a month-long celebration of spring that includes Rhythm N’ Blooms music festival April 8-10 in various locations around the city. The lineup so far includes The Black Cadillacs, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Mavericks and The Lone Bellow among others. Thousands flock to the city for the month to experience craftspeople and their Made in Tennessee products and art, live entertainment and to get active on the hundreds of trails that are flanked by blooming dogwood trees. Other events throughout the month include the House & Garden Show, April Celebration that brings fine arts and entertainment together, and Art in Public Places Knoxville.
Mule Day is one of the world’s biggest mule celebrations March 28-April 3 in Columbia. It has been a local tradition since the 1840s and celebrates the animal’s contributions to the area. Columbia is the mule capital of the world and attracts more than 200,000 people for this four-day event. A mule sale (one of the largest livestock markets in the world), mule pulling, mule shows, a pancake breakfast, flea market and parade are all included in the festivities.
Memphis In May International Festival is a month-long event that includes world-renowned events like the Beale Street Music Festival April 29-May 1, which has hosted headliners like Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, The Avett Brothers and The Flaming Lips, among others. The line-up is announced in the preceding months. The International Salute to Canada includes cuisine, performances and movies, and presentations pertaining to the country. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest May 12-14 brings together the top barbecue teams in the world to compete for the grand prize. Festivities conclude with the inaugural Great American River Run May 28 which has half marathon and 5K races.
March 19–April 18
Pigeon Forge – Dollywood’s Festival Of Nations has more than 200 performers from around the world celebrate music, dance and art.
Nashville – Awesome April produces a musical tribute to the city. Enjoy a major event each weekend.
Bristol – Race fans cheer their hearts out at Bristol Food City 500, an annual 500-lap, 266.5 mile NASCAR Spring Cup race.
South Pittsburg – The National Cornbread Festival features the National Cornbread Cook-Off, art and shows.
Paris – The World’s Biggest Fish Fry has more than five tons of catfish that are served to thousands of visitors, plus a rodeo, parade and catfish races.
May 3–Oct. 29
Jonesborough – Storytelling Live! invites storytellers from across the United States to share stories and entertain guests Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Knoxville – International Biscuit Festival is one of the country’s top 10 food festivals and will rise again in downtown Knoxville at Market Square. Guests enjoy food, fun, music and more during the three-day festival.
Pigeon Forge – Wilderness Wildlife Week is the ultimate Smoky Mountain experience with a series of activities connecting Pigeon Forge visitors with the great outdoors. Experts share their knowledge at seminars, lectures and hands-on workshops.
Sevierville – Sevierville’s Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass features the Tennessee State Championship Barbeque Cook- Off, bluegrass concerts from rising stars and bluegrass legends, kids’ games, great food and mountain crafts.
Greeneville – The Iris Festival is a juried arts/crafts festival plus food, entertainment and more surrounded by the history of President Andrew Johnson. The annual Woodcarving Show is held each year in conjunction with the festival.
Chattanooga – The Native Sounds Festival welcomes Cherokee dancers, traditional dancers and storytelling, bringing native peoples and participants from across the southeastern United States to this former Cherokee Council Grounds site.