The South comes alive in spring, and that means there’s no shortage of events to check out. Enjoy the best of everything Southern at any of these fantastic happenings.
Through May 1, 2016: Body Worlds and The Cycle of Life — Charlotte, NC
This is the last month to catch the fascinating and somewhat unnerving Body Worlds and Cycle of Life exhibit at Discovery Place. The 11,000-square-foot exhibition features real human bodies (gathered from an established body donation program) at all stages of development and levels of health. Witness how age and disease physically affects us and leave with a greater understanding of the human body. For tickets, visit discoveryplace.org.
April 1, 2016: Books from Birth 10th Birthday Carnival Bash — Memphis, TN
Party like you’re a kid again, at the Books from Birth 10th birthday party celebration. In this twist on a child’s 10th carnival birthday, adults will play classic carnival games, enjoy carnival fare with a twist – hello, boozy milkshakes, nacho bar, and crazy corn dogs! – and dance to the sounds of The Dantones. All this frivolity will happen in a never-before-experienced “carnival chic” atmosphere at Propcellar. In just 10 years, Books from Birth has provided four million books to 100,000 children in Shelby County – at no cost to the families in the program. Tickets online at booksfrombirth.org.
April 7 – 9, 2016: Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival — Charlottesville, VA
Wine lovers, listen up! Pay a visit to the ” birthplace of American wine” at the Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival, taking place in Charlottesville, VA. The three-day event includes a variety of activities, including the Monticello Cup Awards, live music, winemaker dinners, tastings and so much more. More than 20 vineyards will be represented in what has become a springtime tradition. Learn more about the event schedule and ticket pricing at monticellowinetrailfestival.com.
April 8 – 10, 2016: Atlanta Dogwood Festival — Atlanta, GA
It’s time for the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival, and this one promises to be bigger and better than ever with plenty of activities for people of all ages. In addition to the talented artists showing their wares, festival goers can participate in the 5K, buy tickets for the Kids Village rides and taste some fabulous food. To commemorate the 80th year of the festival, the Dogwood Festival will have ’80s tribute bands playing on Saturday, April 9, for the perfect blast of nostalgia. Don’t miss out on this spring celebration! Visit dogwood.org.
April 8 – 9, 2016: 18th Annual Lebanese Food & Cultural Festival — Birmingham, AL
Held at St. Elias Maronite Church, this festival has been around for eighteen years and these festival planners know how to satisfy and entertain their 8,500+ visitors! Enjoy a taste of Lebanon through authentic food, live music, dancing and more. The New York-based Lebanese band, Amin Sultan, will perform each night, and during the day you can join a guided tour of the beautiful church. You can also participate in silent auctions, a 5K run and a fun run on Saturday morning. Admission to this family-friendly event is free. Visit stelias.org/festival for more details.
April 9, 2016: Garth Brooks World Tour — Louisville, KY
Louisville, get ready for the Garth Experience. The No. 1 best selling recording artist in U.S. history is making his return to Louisville for the first time in 18 years. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will perform at the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here: ticketmaster.com.
April 14, 2016: The Big Fake Wedding — Charlotte, NC
Planning a wedding but tired of blase bridal shows? The Big Fake Wedding is a can’t-miss event that showcases what local vendors have to offer in the form of a real-life renewal ceremony and fun-filled reception. It’s a creative environment that makes it easy for guests to envision their own big day while connecting with those who can make it happen. This month’s theme is “Oil is the New Watercolor” so look forward to a rich color palette, lots of texture and artistic details. Learn more and get tickets at thebigfakewedding.com.
April 14 – 23, 2016: Nashville Film Festival — Nashville, TN
Over a 10-day period, screenings and events bring filmmakers, celebrities, musicians, screenwriters and film fans together for the Nashville Film Festival. This annual celebration of the art of motion pictures includes 58 films, including feature films, narratives, documentaries and short films. Festival passes and individual tickets are available for purchase. Visit nashvillefilmfestival.org for details.
April 15, 2016: Who’s Bad Michael Jackson Tribute at Iron City — Birmingham, AL
This tribute band has traveled across many continents to celebrate the King of Pop and relive his music. Get your tickets to Iron City to see the longest-running Michael Jackson tribute band, which sold out almost 50 venues in the United Kingdom. Along with the awesome band and pitch-perfect vocals, you’ll enjoy dancers executing his signature moves. Michael Jackson fans will delight in this critically acclaimed tribute show! Visit ironcitybham.com for details.
April 15 – 17, 2016: Charleston Outdoor Festival — Charleston, SC
Outdoor enthusiasts, point your compass east to Charleston, SC, mid-month for the Charleston Outdoor Festival. Participants of all ages can enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities including archery, disc golf, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and much more. The fun takes place at James Island County Park. Visit CharlestonCountyParks.com or call (843) 795-4386 for the full schedule and pricing information.
April 16, 2016: Maker’s Mark Handcraft Festival — Louisville, KY
Maker’s Mark hosts the fourth annual Handcraft Festival at their Loretto distillery on Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists and craftspeople, food trucks, cocktail classes, live music and, most importantly, BOURBON, will be on hand. The event will take place at Maker’s Mark Distillery, 3350 Burks Spring Road. This event is open to the public and draws quite a crowd, with about 5,000 people expected to attend.
April 16 – 17, 2016: The MGC Garden Show at Dixon Gallery and Gardens — Memphis, TN
Nothing says spring like the amazing Garden Show hosted by the Memphis Garden Club. This free event offers award-winning floral displays, themed needle art, botanical arts, photography, food trucks, and a marketplace. Special talks featuring style icon Carolyne Roehm and Jeff Leatham, Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, take place in a tent on the Dixon grounds; each talk requires a ticket: $50 for Roehm’s 10 a.m. talk, and $75 for Leatham’s 2 p.m. talk, which includes a demonstration. Information and talk tickets online at memphisgardenclub.org.
April 16 – 24, 2016: Buckhead Restaurant Week — Atlanta, GA
Each year, Buckhead Restaurant Week brings us the best of Buckhead dining in a jam-packed week of special menus and offerings. You may not be able to make it to all of the participating restaurants, but with a full week to taste and explore, this is a perfect way to check a few of those “I’ve-been-meaning-to-try-that” places off your restaurant list. Visit brwatlanta.com for details.
April 23, 2016: Thunder Over Louisville — Louisville, KY
Thunder Over Louisville is the official kickoff of Derby, even though it is two weeks before the event. The air show and fireworks are something to look forward to all year. Whether you watch from Waterfront Park, a downtown venue, on television or from your own secret viewing spot (as many do), everyone watches. This year Thunder is Saturday, April 23. For more information, visit the website here: thunderoverlouisville.org.
April 28 – 30, 2016: Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival — Nashville, TN
Craft cocktails are gracing bar menus across the city, and this festival celebrates this cocktail culture. Throughout the week, enjoy a variety of tasting events, including Bourbon & Bluegrass, Shandy Social: A Tour of Southern Beer Cocktails, and The Bloody Mary Experience. Proceeds benefit Songs for Sound and Tennessee Distillers Guild. musiccityspiritsandcocktail.com
April 30 – May 1, 2016: Southern Makers — Montgomery, AL
Come celebrate the art of creativity in a way that only the South can offer at Southern Makers festival in Montgomery, AL. The weekend event offers opportunities to shop from some of the South’s best as well as learn new skills in workshops and demonstrations, hear stories and more. Enjoy live music, great food and, of course, fabulous items available for purchase. Learn more at southernmakers.com.
Check out more Southern events on our Happenings page. Enjoy your month!