WHAT: The third annual Grains & Grits festival is returning with an elevated culinary aspect. The weekend kicks off with the VIP Whiskey Event that allows attendees to meet master distillers and enjoy cocktails.


WHEN: The Grains & Grits festival takes place Saturday, November 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The VIP Whiskey Event will take place tonight, November 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


WHERE:  Grains & Grits will be held at the Townsend Visitors Center, 7906 East Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend, TN 37882. The VIP Whiskey Event will be held at Dancing Bear Lodge Appalachian Bistro located at 7140 East Lamar Alexander Parkway.


WHO: The Grains & Grits festival is arranged and hosted by the Tennessee Distillers Guild and the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority. Interview opportunities with SMTDA’s director of tourism, Kim Mitchell, or any mast distillers participating in the event are available. The VIP Whiskey Event is hosted by Dancing Bear Lodge and will feature food by Dancing Bear Lodge Executive Chef Shelley Cooper. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Helen Ross McNabb Center Veteran Programs.

HOW: Event tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite, and for more information visit grainsandgritsfest.com. Tickets for Grains & Grits are $65 online or $75 the day of the event and include live entertainment, whiskey and food tastings. Tickets for dinner-sized meals are $10. Tickets for the VIP Whiskey dinner are $100 but can be purchased in a bundle with a general admission ticket to the festival for $150.