Many will hit the road for Labor Day weekend to soak up the last days of summer before the crisp fall air moves in. Here’s how you can celebrate with unique events, festivals and free fun across Tennessee this week. For a complete list of events, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.
Jackson – Bring an instrument to come and pick or just soak in the sounds at the Open Jam at Casey Jones Village.
Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Nashville – The free outdoor concert series Live on the Green wraps up its last weekend for the season at Public Square Park downtown with two stages showcasing 25 artists. The event includes live music, food & drink vendors and a beer garden.
Columbia – Visit the fair for 4-H blue ribbon competitions, beef and dairy cattle shows, live music, tasty foods, motocross, the Fairest of the Fair contest, amusement rides and more at the Maury County Fair.
Shelbyville – Division champions compete at the world championship show of Tennessee’s native breed of show horse, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse will be named.
Trenton – Carnival rides, livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, drawings, heart-pounding entertainment and delicious food are in store at the 163rd annual Gibson County Fair at the fairgrounds.
Aug. 30-Sept. 2
Hurricane Mills – Southern gospel and country music meet at Gospel Fest at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Bring your instruments and play along with the house band for a sing-a-long at the fest kick-off 8 p.m. Thursday.
Jackson – Learn about African culture with live music, entertainment, workshops, educational seminars and more at the African Street Festival at the Oman Arena Field.
Cookeville – Named a top festival by Rolling Stone, experience three days of music, camping, vintage cars, vendors and pinups during the Muddy Roots Music Festival. Guests can enjoy music ranging from punk to traditional country.
Knoxville – Full of comedy and thrills, one of American’s most enduring stories, Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” comes to Knoxville Children’s Theatre.
Aug. 30-Sept. 3
Sevierville – Come and enjoy summer with fun, games, rides, cotton candy, funnel cakes, special activities and livestock shows at the Sevier County Fair.
Aug. 30-Sept. 9
Nashville – The Centennial Park Bandshell sets the stage for A Midsummer Night’s Dream 7:30 p.m. for the 30th Anniversary of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. A $10 donation is suggested.
Jackson – Take an adventure under the stars for Reels at the Amp with a showing of the classic “The Goonies” 7:30 p.m. at the West Tennessee Farmers Market amphitheater.
Nashville – Boogie on down and groove with a night of disco in the New Era Ballroom. Local Sparkle City DJs will spin vinyl disco all night long starting at 9 p.m. at Woolworth on 5th.
Nashville – Join us for a fun family night under the stars for Zoovie Night 6-10 p.m. at the Nashville Zoo with games, inflatables, music, carousel and zip line. When the sun goes down, the movie “Zootopia” will play on the big screen.
Linden –Relax at the Commodore Hotel & Café with the beautiful voice of Laura Lane for dinner and a concert 6-9 p.m.
Knoxville – The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture opens the new exhibit For All the World to See, which traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the Civil Rights Movement.
Maryville – WDVX and Clayton Center for the Arts present The Smoky Mountain Jamboree, a live variety radio show debuting at 7 p.m. at the Clayton Center for the Arts, featuring the multi-talented Darrell Scott, author and actor Eugene Wolf with new tales and music from his one-man play “The Book of Mamaw,” and Blount County’s own songbird Robinella.
Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Benton Co. – Thousands of treasure hunters come to Benton County Bargain Highway to search 30 miles worth of yard sales following Highway 69 from Big Sandy to Holladay.
Aug. 31-Sept. 9
Memphis – Experience live music, festival food, carnival rides, vendors, craft & culinary exhibits, livestock judging, demolition derby’s and more at the Delta Fair & Music Festival.
Franklin – Pushing the limits of science and morality, Victor Frankenstein unleashes a creation he can’t control in the stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic, Frankenstein at the Jamison Theater in the Factory at Franklin.
Aug. 31-Sept. 16
Knoxville – Laughter and a mystery to solve are on tap as Theatre Knoxville Downtown presents Four Old Broads about a sassy seniors’ cruise and the hilarious characters trying to get on board.
Nashville – Celebrate the holiday weekend with the Labor Day Parade 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cumberland Park. There will be a celebration after the parade with food and special appearances, as well as a splash pad and play area for kids.
Nashville – Get creative as you work with image blocks and ink to create a design you can hand-print onto paper, a tote bag or t-shirt 6-8 p.m. at Universal Music Group Hatch Show Print Space for Design next to the letterpress shop. Tickets are $40.
Nashville – Step inside Music City’s art world with the First Saturday Art Crawl 6-9 p.m. at 5th Avenue of the Arts. More than 20 art galleries offer free admission to view their latest exhibits.
Nashville – Get your brain thinking and hands creating with designing, problem solving and construction activities during Super Science Saturday: Make It 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Adventure Science Center.
Knoxville – Tap your toes and clap your hands at A Gathering of Ancient Sounds: Celtic and Appalachian Musical Roots 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Historic Ramsey House. There will be live music, dancing and a sheep herding demo. Tickets are $15.
Knoxville – Down a dark desert highway with cool wind in your hair, check into Hotel California. The Eagles’ tribute band performs during the Music Feeds concert series 7:30 p.m. at World’s Fair Park. Tickets start at $20.
Andersonville – Kick back, relax and enjoy live music during Sundown Saturdays 6-10 p.m. on the patio of Stardust Marina, voted one of the top five marinas in East Tennessee.
Nashville – Sleep under the stars just a short distance away from snoozing animals. Zzzoofari Slumber is a unique overnight camp for families and children with activities and a full breakfast at the Nashville Zoo.
Nashville – Competitors get their chance to shine during the Grand Master Fiddler Championship at the Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The event is included with museum admission.
Springfield – Gear up for a good time with the Lucas Oil PPL Southern Nationals Tractor and Truck Pull. Events kick off at 7 p.m. at the Robertson County Fairgrounds with brand new grand stands, great food and fun for the whole family.
Spring City – Tennessee Valley Theatre presents The Last Romance, a heart-warming comedy about the power of love. Tickets are $10.
Vonore – The Monroe Life Balloon Fiesta at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum will feature balloon rides, balloon glow, live music, food, vendors, face painting, arts and crafts, games and a Kid’s Zone.
Martin – Celebrate Tennessee agriculture and one of the state’s top crops with more than 50 events including pageants, a farmers market, fireworks, Sesame Street Live and more in the historic downtown for the Soybean Festival.
Nashville – Bring a lawn chair, an appetite and dancing shoes for the Old School BBQ Festival at Riverfront Park with live performances by After 7, Avant, Keke Wyatt and more. Gates open at 2 p.m. and show time is 4 p.m.
Nashville – Watch the Fireworks at Nashville Shores with the beautiful reflections of color on Percy Priest Lake. Fireworks are included with a season pass or waterpark admission. The show starts at dusk at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Union City – Spend Labor Day at Discovery Park of America. Admission is only $10 to explore Discovery Center, the grounds and fun activities on the great lawn. Labor Day is also the last chance to see the Science of Rock ‘N’ Roll exhibit.
Monterey – Savor the holiday weekend with a flea market, live music, food and fun during the all-day Monterey Labor Day Celebration at Whittaker Park.
Lebanon – Take a journey with Atreyu, Bastian, and Falcor as they battle against “The Nothing” destroying Fantasia as the cult classic “The Neverending Story” comes back to the big screen 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $5.
Knoxville – Learn about the founding of Knoxville and the state of Tennessee through a tour of the governor’s house, office, kitchen and Hopkins Parker Garden. The Blount Mansion Association Tours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Memphis – The sequel to the Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies takes audiences on a thrilling rollercoaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance at the Orpheum Theatre.
Memphis – As part of Memphis Reads, the special edition of Small but Mighty Storytime connects young readers to the theme of the Underground Railroad 10:30 a.m. in the National Civil Rights Museum’s Legacy Building lobby.
Nashville – Explore the flavor, culture and rich diversity of Latin American communities at the 4th Annual Empanada Tasting Event 5:30 p.m. at War Memorial Auditorium. Tickets start at $25.
Clarksville – Thursday is the new Friday at DJ on the Dock. Join Beachaven Vineyards & Winery at 6 p.m. for happy hour fun with Blush wine spritzers, listening to tunes from DJ Benton Lewis and playing cornhole games.
Clarksville – Riverfest brings three days of music and arts in McGregor Park. The free event features delicious food, activities for kids of all ages, live entertainment, the Riverfest Regatta, Rally on the Cumberland and more.
Memphis – Disney on Ice presents Frozen, the complete adventure of the Academy Award-winning tale of sisters Anna and Elsa at the FedExForum.
Brownsville – Tennessee music has many facets and “FACE’s,” as seen through the sketches of Paris, Tennessee artist Sheila Fitzhugh. A show featuring her art opens with an opening reception and chance to meet the artist 6-8 p.m. at West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center.
Jackson – The Jimmy Church Band takes the stage at Music at the AMP 7:30 p.m. at the West Tennessee Farmers Market. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and a picnic or check out local food vendors.
Memphis – Celebrate the start to the weekend with Art on the Rocks 6-9 p.m. at Dixon Gallery and Gardens. The event includes a beer tasting, botanical cocktails and mixed drinks. Tickets are $50.
Lexington – Stroll the streets of downtown Lexington for First Friday on the Square 6-9 p.m. at Lexington Court Square for live music, gallery openings, shopping and fun.
Murfreesboro – Bring your lawn chair and blanket to downtown Murfreesboro for a wonderful evening of music and dancing for Friday Night Live 6:30-9:30 p.m. in downtown Murfreesboro Public Square. The concert is free.
Knoxville – Painter George Rothery and woodturner Gordon Fowler showcase their works at the Art Market Gallery through September. An opening reception at 5:30 p.m. includes refreshments and music by The Accidentals during downtown Knoxville’s First Friday Art Walk.
Townsend – Music of the Mountains kicks off at 7 p.m. at Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. Tickets are $10.
Jackson – A two-day vintage and antiquing extravaganza, the City Farmhouse Pop-up Fair at White Oak Farms features hand-selected vendors, live music and food trucks. Southern Living and Garden & Gun named it a top October event.
Millington – The International Goat Days Festival at USA Stadium includes a goat show, barbecue competition, antique tractor show, tractor pull, catch-and-release fishing rodeo, pancake breakfast, Battle of the Bands, hot air balloon rides and more.
Cookeville – The CityScape’s Fall FunFest will get you in the mood for autumn as two days of free fall fun descends on Cookeville’s historic downtown square for food, live music, arts & crafts and lots of fun activities for the kids.
Pigeon Forge – Rev up your engines for vintage rides as Dollywood’s Splash Country hosts the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup. Admission is only $10 per day and kids under 12 get in free. More than 200 hot rods will compete for grand prizes.
Townsend – More than 2,000 runners will race through the peaceful and serene Smoky Mountains at the Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon and 5K. Visitors will also be able to hike, walk trails and participate in outdoor activities.
Spencer – The Mountaineer Folk Festival is jam-packed with family fun. Guests can enjoy handmade crafts, traditional mountain music, demonstrations of pioneer skills, country cooking and much more at Fall Creek Falls State Park.
Clarksville – The 1950s are out and the 1960s are in as lovable teen Tracy Turnblad tries to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show” during Hairspray at Roxy Regional Theatre. Tickets are $25.
Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28
Memphis – From the sweet sounds of soul to chilled-out beats and local bands, the National Civil Rights Museum hosts its free outdoor concert series 6-8 p.m. at Museum Founders Park. Concerts also feature spoken world artists, stand-up comedians, MLK speeches and DJs, Sip & Shop and food trucks.
Savannah – Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the evening of classical music while overlooking the Tennessee River for the 30th Annual Sunset Symphony 5:30 p.m. at Cherry Mansion.
Jackson – Prepare to embark on a dazzling, technicolor journey based on the classic folk tale Arabian Nights 7:30 p.m. at Carl Perkins Civic Center.
Memphis – The Southern Heritage Classic football matchup pits Tennessee State University against Jackson State University. Bring your tailgating gear and stick around for the live music. Celebrations kick off Thursday night.
Somerville – Handcrafted items and delicious delights excite at the Fayette County Cotton Festival on Court Square. The fest includes a cooking contest, car & truck show, 5K and pageant.
Nashville – Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer race in 46-foot long traditional Chinese dragon boats compete in an adrenaline-pumping ride down the Cumberland River downtown. The Dragon Boat Festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nashville – The Frist Art Museum will hold a symposium to coincide with the exhibit Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century. Artists will discuss their works and there will be a box lunch. Tickets are $40. The exhibit closes Sept. 16.
Nashville – Travel through different regions spanning the globe and sample wine, beer and spirits during the 16th Annual Wine on the River 3-7 p.m. at Riverfront Park. There will be live music and themed food available for purchase.
Nashville – The OUTDLOUD Music Festival includes Betty Who, Big Freedia, Shelly Fairchild and Zoe Cummins, a play dance bar and other fun activities 3-11 p.m. on Church Street downtown.
Hendersonville – Experience the sweet taste of beekeeping. Bring family and friends for an educational, fun-filled Tennessee Honey Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hendersonville Memorial Park with music, beehive painting, food and art stations.
Goodlettsville – The Salty Dog Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside Goodlettsville City Hall will include antiques, local art, crafts, food, 5K, a petting zoo, kids’ zone, art shows, car show and local business booths.
LaVergne – The Old Timers Festival at Veterans Memorial Park includes a parade, booths, crafts and local vendors, great food and fun through the heart of the city.
Charleston – Season 7 winner of The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd, will headline the Cowpea Festival in Charleston Park. The fest kicks off at 10 a.m. with cowpea recipes, a cook-off, live music, food and craft vendors, storytelling and family fun.
Townsend – Come out to Cades Cove Cellars for the Fall Taste of Art and Wine and enjoy an open market with local arts and crafts, along with candies for your sweetheart.
Sevierville – Awesome planes, fast cars and great food. See the Great Smoky Mountains in a 1927 WACO open cockpit that seats two during Planes and Porches Fly/Drive-In 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge Airport. Admission is free.
Jackson – U.S. and foreign coins, ancient coins, gold and silver, paper money and collectibles from several states will be showcased during the West Tennessee Collectors Club Coin Show at UT Extension Service Auditorium.
Chattanooga – The Moon River Festival at Coolidge Park highlights the music and culture of Tennessee with performances by The Avett Brothers, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors and Judah & the Lion.
Woodbury – The White Oak Craft Fair at the Arts Center and throughout Woodbury showcases handmade fine arts and crafts, food demonstrations, music & tastings at Short Mountain Distillery (Saturday only) and specials at shops & antique stores.
Vonore – Sequoyah Birthplace Museum will take visitors back in time to experience Native American food, Cherokee arts and crafts demonstrations, music and dance and blacksmith shop demonstrations during the Cherokee Fall Festival.
Nashville – It’s a night of masterpieces under the stars as the Nashville Symphony plays beautiful pieces along with a spectacular fireworks display 7:30 p.m. at the Ascend Amphitheater.
McMinnville – Son Volt performs live in the world-famous Volcano Room 3 p.m. at Cumberland Caverns.
Tennessee State Parks – Do yoga in a cave, take a pontoon boat ride, hike, enjoy a free concert, learn how to fire a musket or cook around a campfire. Here are some of the activities going on at Tennessee State Parks.
Memphis – Memphis entertainer Eric Hughes hosts “The Happening” every Tuesday night at Midtown Crossing Grill, where local songwriters enjoy inspiration and fellowship before an intimate, tuned-in audience. All songwriters are welcome.
Nashville – Lightning 100 brings the critically-acclaimed weekly concert series featuring national, regional and local artists, broadcasted live from 3rd & Lindsley 8-10 p.m. for Nashville Sunday Night.
Arrington – Head out to the vineyard with family and friends to listen to jazz or bluegrass music and enjoy award-winning wines. Arrington Vineyards hosts Music in the Vines every year April through October every Saturday and Sunday.
Hampshire – Pack a picnic and enjoy wine tastings and live music during Music on the Ridge 12:30-6 p.m. on Sundays at Amber Falls Winery.
Jonesborough – Bring a chair, relax and listen to old-time Appalachian music, folk, bluegrass and more for the free Music on the Square series 7 p.m. every Friday through September on the courthouse steps.
Jonesborough – Hosted on Sundays throughout the summer, check out Brews and Tunes 4-7 p.m. on the plaza at the International Storytelling Center for craft beer, local music and a food truck.
Bristol – The exhibit Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion through Your Eyes highlights images of bands and musicians, buskers on the street and the festival through the eyes of attendees. The exhibit is on display at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.
Knoxville – The WDVX 6 O’clock Swerve is a weekly musical trip with talented regional artists featuring live performances and insightful interviews live from Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria 6-7 p.m. on Thursdays. The event is free.
Pulaski – Schedule a fudge tour at Milky Way Farm. See the 1930s home of candy legend Frank Mars for a hot cup of coffee, a fudge brownie and ice cream to enjoy at the historic table.