NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This week marks the commemoration of the 50th anniversary remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Other events include art shows, wildflower hikes, unique exhibits and Easter celebrations across the state. Here’s what’s going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list of events, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.
Nashville – The Rolling Stones Exhibit at the Musicians Hall of Fame tells the story of the most influential rock band in history through more than 500 artifacts and memorabilia, including a recreation of a Stones’ recording studio complete with their original instruments, plus a backstage-to-onstage 3D concert experience and Mick Jagger’s lyric book.
Pigeon Forge – Experience some of the most captivating entertainment as more than 200 performers from around the world celebrate their cultures through music, art and dance for Dollywood’s Festival of Nations.
Pigeon Forge – See the world’s largest Titanic ship built with LEGO bricks at the Titanic Museum and learn about what inspired a 10-year-old boy from Iceland to use the 56,000 LEGO bricks to construct it.
Chattanooga – April kicks off Artburst, a month-long celebration of art, artists and the blooming of color in spring, featuring outdoor art exhibitions, artful yoga, art walks and more. Find a full list of events here.
Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain – Adventure awaits you at Rock City’s Fairytale Nights 6-8 p.m. Fly to Neverland with Peter Pan; waltz with Beauty and the Beast; enjoy radiant gardens with Cinderella and learn to sword fight like a knight!
Murfreesboro – Learn the surprising ways science and music connect at the Science of Music exhibit at Discovery Center. Feel the rhythm through the drums, find the pitch with the pipe organ and take the stage in this interactive exploration of sound.
Nashville – Walk through more than 150,000 blooms spilling from Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, like snowdrops, hyacinths, daffodils, magnolias, redbuds and dogwoods 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for Cheekwood in Bloom.
Memphis – “The Chaos and the Cosmos: Inside Memphis Music’s Lost Decade, 1977-1986” exhibit continues at The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, featuring Patricia Rainer’s photographs of icons such as Al Green, Willie Mitchell, Wayne Jackson, Sam Phillips and more.
Knoxville – Looking for something unusual? The Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions exhibit at the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture explores how mind-altering drugs were used throughout American history.
Memphis – Enjoy an evening with Grammy-nominated gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp, live in concert at Oman Arena. Doors open at 6 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door, with first-come seating.
Nashville – An exciting celebration of the songs that made Music City, Opry Country Classics features Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers and more 7 p.m. at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Byrdstown – Enjoy an evening of traditional Irish music by Open the Door for Three 7-9 p.m. at Pickett Community Center. Money raised will protect the Cordell Hull Museum and support programs at Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park.
Vonore – View life of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries through the eyes of a corn husk doll. Learn the story behind them as you make your own to take home. Meet Ranger Baghetti 10 a.m. at the Picnic Shelter of Fort Loudoun State Historic Park.
Nashville – Be dazzled as Megan Hilty and the Nashville Symphony deliver blockbuster renditions of Broadway showstoppers and classics from the Great American Songbook, including songs from Wicked and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Gatlinburg – Find unique handcrafted gifts and products at the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Easter Show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
Memphis – The Mountaintop, a fictional play about Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel, transfixes audiences with its powerful message at the Orpheum Theatre.
March 29-April 22
Nashville – What happened in the Land of Oz before Dorothy and Toto arrived? Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz, soars into the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
Memphis –Join the opening reception for the MLK50 Opening Exhibition, Beyond the Balcony, which features art by local, national and international artists 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Art Village Gallery in South Main. Refreshments & hors d’oeuvres provided.
Memphis – Join an evening of conversation with Tony-and Grammy-winning artist Leslie Odom, Jr. 7 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre. He will discuss personal stories that inspired his new book, Failing Up. A short performance with a live band will follow.
Union City – Bring your baskets, enjoy some snacks and win fun prizes at the Community Easter Egg Hunt 2:30 p.m. at The Waters of Union City.
Knoxville – Open the Door for Three performs traditional Irish music and centuries-old tunes 8 p.m. at the Laurel Theatre.
Nashville – Learn about Nashville’s important role in the Civil Rights movement as the exhibit We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and the Nashville Press, 1957-1968 opens at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Limestone – Get out in nature for a Good Friday Hike 3 p.m. leaving from the Crockett Homestead at David Crockett Birthplace State Park. Bring water and comfortable shoes for the 2.5 mile hike.
Rocky Top – Spend Good Friday exercising with a Hike up High Point Trail 2 p.m., leaving from the Tearoom on the east side of the Norris Dam at Norris Dam State Park. Wear sturdy boots for the strenuous hike. There is a $2 fee.
Flag Pond – Share stories around a campfire while roasting marshmallows for S’mores under the Stars 7-9 p.m. at Rocky Fork State Park. The park will provide the s’mores; just bring your own drink. Meet in the main parking lot entrance.
Eagleville – Come see Peter Cottontail at the Easter Festival at Lucky Ladd Farms, Tennessee’s largest petting farm. The festival features fun games, crafts, baby farm animals and non-stop egg hunts with prize packs for kids.
Chattanooga – Have a hopping good time at Hug-a-Bunny Days at the Chattanooga Zoo. Guests can get their photo made with the Easter Bunny, enjoy springtime games and crafts, hunt for Easter eggs and watch the zoo animals search for eggs.
Crossville – Bring a basket, hunt for Easter eggs, get prizes, bounce sky high on the mega jumping pillow, sail the open seas on the Pirate Ship or race down 40-foot slides 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Easter Egg Hunt Hoopla at Autumn Acres.
Jackson – Join Donnell Century Farm for the Scavenger Egg Hunt Easter Festival with zip lines, barnyard animal buddies, a tractor pulled hayride, corn hole, jellybean storybook wooded trail and more.
March 30-April 15
Jonesborough – Jonesborough Repertory Theatre presents I Love a Piano. The music of Irving Berlin captures the spirit of America from the 1920s through the 1950s.
March 30-May 26
Crossville – Take a cotton candy-colored music trip down memory lane as Cumberland County Playhouse presents the delightful Off-Broadway smash hit, The Marvelous Wondrettes!
Chattanooga – The newest exhibit, Surfin’: Riding the Wave of Fender Sparkle Guitars, opens at the Songbirds Guitar Museum.
Memphis –The new music series Music on Main kicks off at 11 a.m. at 361 South Main with local music, drinks and giveaways. The event is free and family-friendly.
Maynardsville – Bring kids age 10 and under to the fun, annual Big Ridge State Park Easter Egg Hunt, featuring 12,000 treat-filled eggs and prizes.
Livingston – Kids of all ages are invited to hunt for 10,000 candy-filled Easter eggs at the Easter Egg Hunt and $300 in cash prizes at Standing Stone State Park.
Memphis – Join the Family Egg Hunt at the 96-acre Memphis Botanical Garden with the Easter Bunny, kids’ crafts, lawn games and outdoor activities throughout the day.
Union City – Scoop up thousands of eggs at Discovery Park of America’s Dino Hunt. Other activities include face painting, a balloon artist, sno cones, bounce houses, bubbles and hula-hooping.
Hurricane Mills – Hop over to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch for the Spring Fling featuring an Easter egg hunt, live music, concessions, games and fun family activities 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Silver Point – Join a park ranger for the Birds, Blooms and Butterflies Hike 2 p.m. at Edgar Evins State Park. Meet at the Millennium Trail Parking area. Remember to bring sturdy shoes, water and a camera for the moderate 2-mile hike.
Nashville – The 26th Annual Spring Art Hop at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens features 25 egg hunts, performances by Mr. Steve, the Music Man and Bright Star Theatre, art’ivities, new garden games, food trucks and more.
Nashville – Hop into spring at Nashville Zoo’s Eggstravaganzoo featuring a zoo-wide hunt for golden eggs, spring-themed games, bounce houses and face painting 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nashville – Join The Hermitage Annual Easter Egg Hunt on the beautiful lawn of Tulip Grove Mansion. Families can hunt for eggs filled with special prizes, make springtime crafts, decorate cookies, play historic lawn games and enjoy story time.
Knoxville – Bring a basket for the Easter Egg Roll at Marble Springs State Historic Site with craft activities, storytelling and games on the historic 35-acre property. Admission is a suggested $3 donation.
Eagleville – Perfect for date night or a night out, the Bunny & Brew Adult Easter Egg Hunt 6-9 p.m. at Lucky Ladd Farms features entertainment, games, live music, light bites and unlimited refills.
Nashville – Inebriated Shakespeare presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at City Winery. Anything can happen when actors take the stage at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of show.
Nashville – Special guest Emily Arrow sings original songs inspired by children’s books 10 a.m. at Her Bookshop.
Nashville – Spend the day at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park for the 9th Annual Kids & Kites Day Festival 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help raise awareness of childhood obesity. There will be a 1-mile walk/fun run and activities.
Franklin – The Everly Brothers Experience featuring the Zmed Brothers’ five-piece band wows crowds at the Franklin Theatre.
Franklin – If you’re feeling cooped up, journey outside with a Wildflower Hike 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary. Hikes will also be held on Saturdays in April.
Granville – Starkey & Clark will have you stomping your feet at Sutton Ole Time Music Hour 6-8 p.m. at the T.B. Sutton General Store. Tickets are $20 for dinner and admission.
Gray – Rev up your engines. The opening round of the BRIDGESTONE Tires Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series kicks off at the Appalachian Fairgrounds. Sign-up starts at 3 p.m. Practice starts at 5 p.m., followed by racing at 6 p.m.
Savannah – The Generals Breakfast at Cherry Mansion brings the past to life. $15 tickets include a continental breakfast, storytelling program and a tour of the historic home. The event is part of the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh.
Knoxville – Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Esprit Creole performs French Creole music from the Illinois country 8 p.m. at the Laurel Theatre.
Chattanooga – Celebrate the music legacy of the King of Pop as Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience takes the South Stage 9 p.m. at the Songbirds Guitar Museum.
Gatlinburg – Experience Easter Sunday by watching the sunrise from the top of Mt. Harrison at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area.
Pigeon Forge – Savor delicious home cooking for Easter Sunday at The Old Mill. Both restaurants will be serving off the regular menu, but will not accept reservations.
Dover – Hop down the bunny trail to the Homeplace for Dippin’ in Nature’s Rainbow. The hens at the 1850s working farm will supply the eggs and nature will create the colorful dyes.
Arrington – Experience Easter Sunday with live music at Arrington Vineyards. The free Music in the Vines series kicks off from 4 to 8 p.m. with a performance by Art Four Sale.
Nashville – Enjoy the holiday with your family and friends listening to live music in one of the largest log homes in the world with Easter Brunch at Fontanel. A Southern-style buffet will be served 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Spring Hill – Soak in the history and delicious ham, fried chicken, deviled eggs, green bean casserole and all the fixings at the Annual Easter Luncheon at Rippavilla Plantation at either 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. Tickets are $35.
Buchanan – Come on an Easter Scavenger Hunt Hike at Paris Landing State Park. Find clues and solve riddles to win an Easter treat. Bring water, bug spray and clothing appropriate for the easy to moderate 3-mile hike, 3:30-5 p.m.
Millington – Take a guided Easter Afternoon Pontoon Boat Ride at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park. Meet at 1 p.m. at the Nature Center. The trip is $5 per person, age 7 and under are free. Reserve your spot by calling 901-876-5215.
Gatlinburg – To celebrate Smoky Mountain Spring Fest, Gatlinburg has special events and activities for the whole family. For more information, click here or call 800-588-1817.
Knoxville –See who can lay the smack down in the ring as WWE Live! Road to WrestleMania takes over Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, 7:30 p.m.
Memphis – The two-day MLK50 Symposium includes presentations by scholars, historians and thought leaders about civil and human rights issues. Day one at the University of Memphis School of Law features a ticketed luncheon with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Day two at the National Civil Rights Museum includes three panel discussions and a ticketed luncheon with Taylor Branch, award-winning author and leading historian on Dr. King.
Columbia – Join in the fun at one of the world’s biggest mule celebrations. Mule Day includes a mule sale, mule pulling, mule shows, pancake breakfast, flea market and a parade.
Memphis – Art Village Gallery pays tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a four-course dinner and discussion 6:30-9 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the new exhibit titled “Beyond the Balcony.”
Nashville – Tin Pan South is the world’s largest songwriter festival, with hundreds of songwriters performing in venues across Music City. Fans can get a unique, up-close-and-personal experience with the music they love.
Nashville – Nashville Fashion Week celebrates local, national and international designs and the fashion community. Each night offers a must-attend event with industry panels, parties, workshops and more at venues across the city.
April 3-April 29
Knoxville – To celebrate spring and the coming Dogwood Arts Festival, the Art Market Gallery will hold a silent auction on artwork, paintings, jewelry, pottery and fiber art.
Memphis – The National Civil Rights Museum holds day-long programming commemorating the 50th anniversary remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. There will be tributes from the MLK50 Main Stage in the National Civil Rights Museum courtyard, a 50th Anniversary Ceremony from the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, and a nationwide bell tolling at 6:01 p.m.
Memphis – “Where Do We Go From Here?” is the theme for An Evening of Storytelling. Civil Rights icons and social justice leaders will honor Dr. King’s legacy 7 p.m. at Crosstown Concourse. The gala reception begins at 6 p.m. For a complete list of events for the MLK50 Commemoration in Memphis, click here.
Nashville – Joe Nichols, Shenandoah, JT Hodges and Gary Hannan take the stage at 7 p.m. at War Memorial Auditorium for Nashville House Concerts, Nashville’s new music and variety show. Tickets start at $25.
Nashville —The Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Nashville Zoo co-host a free program highlighting the history of the zoo’s Grassmere Historic Home through a new digital collection 7 p.m. at the zoo’s Croft Center.
Columbia – Come sip, sample & see Columbia’s premier event and wedding space at 5 -8 p.m. The $5 entry fee gets you seasonal bites, some bubbly and social hour.
Columbia – Square West Arts Loft hosts “The First Thursday Artist & Artisans Party” 5:30-8:30 p.m. The monthly open house event for visual, performance, literary, culinary, craftspeople and other artists can get together, network and socialize.
Chattanooga – Explore the way technology changes our lives at Hunter Museum of American Art. The hour-long program, New Media New Millennium: Digital Art from the Thoma Foundation, is free.
Franklin – Irlene Mandrell of the Mandrell Sisters takes the stage at Franklin Theatre in the fourth annual Concert for Local Combat Injured Heroes. Tickets start at $40 and money raised supports heroes and their families in Middle Tennessee.
Chattanooga – The Chattanooga Film Festival is jam packed with great cinema, special events, parties, workshops and panels. You can find the full list of events here.
Savannah – Head to Hardin County, home of Shiloh National Military Park, for hikes, a large-scale living history event, cannon-firing, demonstrations and interactive programs to honor Shiloh’s 156th Anniversary.
Murfreesboro – Ready to solve a mystery? Grab your most righteous ‘80s concert gear and head to Oaklands Mansion for the Totally 80s Murder Mystery Dinner. Your $75 ticket includes dinner from Peter D’s, drinks from Julie’s Bar Tending and the show.
Columbia – As part of the Mule Day celebrations, The Muletowner Sundowner is a party you don’t want to miss with food trucks, live music, a bouncy castle and other fun activities 4-8 p.m. on Main Street off the square behind Regions Bank.
Franklin – Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton performs soulful songs from his ninth studio album Mixtape of the Open Road at Franklin Theatre.
Bristol – Join the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s “Strong Mountain Women: How Ballads Power People-Songs and Stories from the Appalachian Collections of Cecil Sharp, Maud Karpeles, and Olive Dame Campbell” at 7 p.m. in the performance theater. Cecil Sharp’s special photo exhibit is on display until May 31.
Greeneville – Leave logic at the door as Masters of the Mind Live takes over the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Four mentalists will demonstrate the phenomenal power of the mind.
Crossville – East Tennessee songwriter Travis Humphrey brings all heart to his soulful sound and powerful lyrics 6-8 p.m. at Grinder House Coffee Shop.
Tellico – Hike through the woods, observe beautiful wildflowers and dogwood trees. Covenant Health fitness expert Missy Kane leads a guided 5-6 mile Hikes & Blooms hike on the East Lakeshore Trail. Meet at Mizell Bluff off Jackson Bend at 9:30 a.m.
Nashville – The CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum hosts an acoustic evening with Mary Chapin Carpenter, featuring Matt Rollings and Glenn Worf at 6 p.m.
Nashville – International tennis comes to Belmont University, hosting the Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinal of USA vs. Belgium.
Memphis – Clayborn Temple presents Union: A Musical and a community conversation about activism and democracy in the city and the nation. The show features new music and performances from award-winning hip-hop artist Sho Baraka.
Memphis – Performers defy gravity, flying around stage as Ballet Memphis performs Peter Pan at the Orpheum Theatre.
Chattanooga – More than 25 professional mural artists from around the country will paint a mural at Alton Park during the Burnin’ Bridges Mural Jam. This will be the largest street art project and event of its kind in Chattanooga.
Morristown – One of the largest “low-rider” car shows in East Tennessee returns to Cherokee Park. Lay’d out at the Park features thousands of custom cars & trucks, vendors, food and music.
Knoxville – Motown the Musical at Tennessee Theatre captures the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from boxer to music mogul, who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Smokey Robinson.
Knoxville – The Rhythm & Blooms Music Festival highlights Knoxville’s musical soundtrack and celebrates the crossroads of this city’s varied music history by showcasing popular national acts alongside the finest musicians in East Tennessee.
About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Tennessee is the birthplace of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll-delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Tennessee’s tourism industry generates $19.3 billion in economic impact, more than $1.7 billion in state and local tax revenue and more than 176,500 tourism-related jobs.
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