The Knoxville Mercury Spring Festivals Guide 2017

In Cover Stories, Guides by Matthew Everettleave a COMMENT

APRIL
Dogwood Arts Festival

A Knoxville staple for over 50 years, the Dogwood Arts Festival is back in bloom. With a plethora of events all around Knoxville, all month long, there’s bound to be a little something for everyone.

Rhythm N’ Blooms

The Old City • April 7-9 • $45-$190
Since 2010, Rhythm N’ Blooms has celebrated East Tennessee’s music traditions with multiple stages of local and national (and international) artists, gaining a reputation as one of the best music fests in the Southeast. 

Pellissippi State Festival of Cultures

Pellissippi State Community College • Friday, April 7 • 4-8:30 p.m. • Free
Pellissippi State’s annual international festival commemorates the school’s diverse community with music, food, and entertainment from around the world.

Marble City Comicon

Knoxville Expo Center • April 8-9 • $15-$99 

Farragut Book Fest for Children

Founder’s Park • Saturday, April 9 • 10 a.m.-2 p.m. • Free 

Townsend Founders Day

Townsend Visitors Center • Saturday, April 15 • 10 a.m.-5 p.m. • Free 

Earth Fest

Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum • Saturday, April 15 • 11 a.m.-5 p.m. • Free
Knoxville’s annual EarthFest boasts environmentally friendly fun for the whole family. The event is zero-waste, meaning composting and recycling bins replace the catch-all trash cans.

Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center and Townsend Visitors Center • April 21-23 

Rossini Festival International Street Fair

Downtown Knoxville • 10 a.m.-9 p.m. • Free
Knoxville Opera’s annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair brings a taste of Europe to downtown by celebrating the color, fun, and excitement of opera and international culture.

Fido Fest

Turkey Creek • Saturday, April 22 • 11 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free

Kite Festival

Pearson Springs Park (Maryville) • Sunday, April 23 • 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. • Free 

Mayapple Marketplace

Ijams Nature Center • Sunday, April 23 • 11 a.m.-4 p.m. • Free 

Southern Tequila and Taco Festival

Gander Mountain (Turkey Creek) • Friday, April 28 • 6-9 p.m. • $35-$40
The Southern Tequila and Taco Festival brings in some of the biggest names in tequila alongside the best tacos Knoxville has to offer. You’ll also be helping a cause: Proceeds from the festival go to Remote Area Medical.

Volapalooza

World’s Fair Park • Friday, April 28 • 5:30 p.m. • Free-$30
The University of Tennessee’s end-of-semester party  features X Ambassadors, COIN, Luke Pell, Mountains Like Wax, Electric Darling, and DJ A-Wall.

Brewhibition

Old City Courtyard • Saturday, April 29 • 1-6 p.m. • $45-$65
With over 75 craft beers from Tennessee and surrounding areas, Brewhibition is a celebration not only of the end of Prohibition, but of the regional brewers born out of it.

MAY
Farragut Food and Wine Festival

Renaissance Farragut • Friday, May 5 • 6:30-9:30 p.m. • $30-$75 

WDVX CamperFest

Dumplin Valley Farm (Kodak) • May 5-6 • $22.50-$50 

Marble Springs Storytelling Festival

Marble Springs State Historic Site • Saturday, May 6 • 10 a.m.-5 p.m. • Free 

Tennessee Medieval Faire

Harriman • May 13-29 

Vestival

Candoro Arts and Heritage Center • Saturday, May 13 • 11 a.m.-7 p.m. • Free
Vestival brings the South Knoxville community together on Mother’s Day weekend for a day of live music, local craft and food vendors, dancing, and more at the historic Candoro Marble Building.

International Biscuit Festival

Downtown Knoxville • May 19-20
The International Biscuit Festival shares Knoxville’s biscuit heritage with the world.

Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games

Maryville College • May 20-21
You don’t have to be Scottish in order to enjoy this festival, originally founded in 1981 and now one of the oldest Scottish festivals in the country.

Children’s Festival of Reading

World’s Fair Park • Saturday, May 20 • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free
Help the kids start the summer off right with a full day of music, storytelling, arts, crafts, science exploration, food, and fun.

Beer, BBQ and Bourbon Festival

World’s Fair Park • Saturday, May 20 • 2-6 p.m. • $35
It’s an afternoon of “beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’, and barbeque eatin’” (on a different lawn than the kids book festival). 

Sunset Fest

Sunset Farms (Dandridge) • 6-11 p.m. • $20-$35

Open Streets Knoxville

Magnolia Avenue • Sunday, May 21 • 2-6 p.m. • Free 

JUNE
Secret City Festival

Oak Ridge • June 2-17
Originally known as the Azalea Festival, the Secret City Festival showcases Oak Ridge’s history and culture.

Bike, Boat, Brew, and Bark

Volunteer Landing • June 3-4 • Free 

Bike, Boat, Brew, and Bark offers the best of Knoxville to locals, tourists, dog lovers, outdoor adventurers, craft-beer enthusiasts, and any combination thereof.

Lavender Festival

Historic Jackson Square (Oak Ridge) • Saturday, June 17 • 8 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free-$10 

Knox Pride Parade and Festival

Downtown Knoxville and World’s Fair Park • Saturday, June 17 • 11 a.m.-8 p.m. • Free 

Knoxville’s PrideFest is an open celebration of music, entertainment and speakers focused on promoting equality and inclusion of all people.

Big Kahuna Wing Festival

World’s Fair Park • Saturday, June 17 • Noon-8 p.m. • $15-$20 

If you love wings, then this is the festival for you.

Knoxville Brewfest

Gay Street • Saturday, June 17 • 4-8 p.m. • $45-$50
BrewFest hosts a bundle of breweries from all over the region. Come enjoy a lovely summer afternoon with beers of all colors, styles, and flavors. All net proceeds benefit CureDuchenne, a charity dedicated to helping cure the devastating and lethal muscle disease affecting more than 24,000 children in the U.S.

Kuumba Festival

Downtown Knoxville • June 22-25 • Free
Kuumba Fest brings African culture to the heart of Knoxville with a variety of activities: the Junkanu Parade, African markets, and live music.

Hops in the Hills

Downtown Maryville • June 23-24 • $15-$60
Maryville’s celebration of fermentation brings together more than 20 local breweries and live music in the scenic gateway to the Smoky Mountains.

White Lightning Trail Festival

Cumberland Gap • June 23-24 • Free 

Fanboy Expo Knoxville Comic Con

Knoxville Convention Center • June 23-25 • $17-$475 

JULY
Independence Day Celebration and Anvil Shoot

Museum of Appalachia • 2 p.m.

Festival on the 4th

World’s Fair Park • Free 

OUT OF TOWN
SweetWater 420 Fest

Atlanta • April 21-23 

4 Bridges Art Festival

Chattanooga • April 22-23 

High Water Fest

Charleston, S.C. • April 22-23 

MerleFest

Wilkesboro, N.C. • April 27-30 

Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance

Pittsboro, N.C. • May 4-7 

French Broad River Festival

Hot Springs, N.C. • May 5-7 

Shaky Beats Music Festival

Atlanta • May 5-7 

Lake Eden Arts Fest

Black Mountain, N.C. • May 12-14 

Shaky Knees Music Festival

Atlanta • May 12-14 

Hangout Music Festival

Gulf Shores, Ala. • May 19-21 

Atlanta Jazz Festival

Atlanta • May 26-28 

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Manchester, Tenn. • June 8-11 

Riverbend Festival

Chattanooga • June 9-17 

Forecastle

Louisville, Ky. • July 14-16 

Sloss Music and Arts Festival

Birmingham, Ala. • July 15-16 

FloydFest

Floyd, Va. • July 26-30 

Muddy Roots Music Festival

Cookeville • Sept. 1-4 

Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival

Franklin, Tenn. • Sept. 23-24 

Featured Photo: Open Streets Festival, N. Central Street, by Clay Duda.

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