Craving a weekend getaway? We’ve rounded up some of the best events going on in May all over the South. So whether it’s music, horse racing or authentic Southern barbeque you’re looking for, here are your best bets for May events.
May 1: Kentucky Oaks 141 in Louisville, KY
Let’s hear it for the girls! Watch the fillies race for the lilies in the Kentucky Oaks. This great day of racing is the day before the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY, in case you didn’t know. Don’t forget to try the signature drink, the Grey Goose Oaks Lily. Most importantly, don’t forget to wear pink in support of the cancer survivors in the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade, presented by Kroger and in support of Churchill Downs’ partnership with Bright Pink and Horses and Hope. Click here for tickets: www.kentuckyderby.com.
May 1: Music in the Vines in Arrington, TN
This month, Music in the Vines returned on Saturdays and starting May 1, it will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. Music in the Vines, which features local jazz groups, is hosted by Arrington Vineyards. Stop by on Friday or Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., to enjoy this live, outdoor jazz event. Great music, tasty wines and stunning views of the Arrington, TN, vineyard are ingredients for a perfect spring day in wine country. arringtonvineyards.com/
May 1-3: Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, TN
This may be Memphis’ best BSMF lineup ever, with Ed Sheeran, Lenny Kravitz, The Avett Brothers, Bella Fleck, Star & Micey and dozens of others performing on three stages and in the blues tent. Tickets ($45 single day, $95 three-day) are available online at Ticketmaster or available at the gate.
May 2: Garden & Gun’s Derby Breakfast at Farmington in Louisville, KY
Derby day breakfast is a must, and Derby day breakfast at Farmington is the place to enjoy this first meal of the day. Garden & Gun presents the Historic Homes Foundation Derby Breakfast at Farmington each year, where guests enjoy a Southern brunch, open bar and live entertainment for $150 per person. New this year is the Bourbon & Biscuits tent located behind the cabin. Here, there will be a Kentucky bourbon bar, mimosas and Bloody Marys, plus a selection of Southern biscuits for sustenance. These tickets are $60 and do not include admission to the Derby breakfast. Farmington Historic Plantation is located at 3033 Bardstown Road in Louisville, KY. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For tickets and information, click here: www.historichomes.org.
May 2: Bruce Munro: Light at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
British artist Bruce Munro’s “Light” installation in this Atlanta, GA, venue is as beautiful as it is fascinating. From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. every Wednesday to Sunday through October 3, guests can enjoy the magical setting at what is the largest installation in the Southeast. Learn more at the ABG’s website.
May 2: Kentucky Derby 141 in Louisville, KY
The first Saturday in May is sacred in Kentucky. The Derby is an experience like no other. So don’t miss a chance to go on Saturday, May 2, and be sure to wear your best frock and hat. For tickets, click here: www.churchilldowns.com.
May 7-9: Birmingham Fashion Week in Birmingham, AL
This year, fans of Birmingham Fashion Week enjoy three nights of runway shows sure to intrigue and inspire. Fashions from “Bride by Design’s” Heidi Elnora and “Project Runway” stars will be featured on the runways at Pepper Place, as well as creations from students across Alabama. Seating is limited, so visit bhamfashionweek.com to get yours now!
May 7-10: The Fling: A City Farmhouse Monthly Pop-Up Store in Franklin, TN
On the second weekend of each month, City Farmhouse offers Pop-Up Fairs at the Factory at Franklin, TN. In May, this pop-up store, The Fling, will involve a curated selection of antiques and vintage goods, as well as fun events. The weekend kicks off on Thursday with a preview (featuring wine and hors d’oeuvres) and continues through the weekend. cityfarmhousefranklin.blogspot.com/p/the-fling
May 8: Wilco at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, KY
Wilco performs live at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, KY, on Friday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a great band at a great venue. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased here: www.iroquoisamphitheater.com.
May 8-10: Urban Barn Market in Memphis, TN
Promoters call the Urban Barn Market Memphis’ introduction to the vintage lifestyle. Big white tents with glimmering lights will be filled with merchants that will wow you and delight your senses. The backdrop is the beautiful and historic Woodruff-Fontaine House, located in the Victorian Village. Handpicked vendors from all over the region will offer quality antiques, special vintage items and irresistible handmade goods. There will be delicious local food and talented musicians, workshops and more.
May 9: Memphis Wine + Food Series Grand Auction in Memphis, TN
Be treated to a tasting hour with featured winemakers and a bountiful buffet followed by 50+ highly sought-after live auction lots, including rare wines, tastings, trips, experiences, art and more, all under the big top! Featured wineries include Tallulah, Krutz Family Cellars and Bernardus Winery. The cost for the Memphis, TN, event is $150 per seat or $1,500 for a reserved table for 12.
May 9-10: Birmingham Rose Show in Birmingham, AL
Smell the roses! Visit the Birmingham Rose Show for a great way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. Held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, AL, there will be hundreds of roses on display in one of the South’s largest rose exhibitions. A free seminar on how to grow roses is scheduled May 9. All roses on display have been grown by the exhibitors and serve as examples of what can be grown locally. Admission is free. Visit birminghamrose.org for more information.
May 9: Musician’s Corner Spring 2015 Season Kick Off Celebration in Nashville, TN
Each Saturday in May, June, September and October, Musician’s Corner is held in Centennial Park in Nashville, TN. These events include free, family-friendly music, local food trucks and vendors, local artisans, activities and more. Relax in the grass with your friends, family and dogs during the Spring 2015 Season Kick Off Celebration. Kyle Cox, Mel Washington and Painte will take the stage from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. musicianscornernashville.com
May 9: Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville, TN
Each year, on the second Saturday in May, locals and visitors flock to Percy Warner Park in Nashville, TN, for the Iroquois Steeplechase. This spring racing event is a favorite among locals. Gather a group and purchase tickets to the tailgating area. Tailgating is as popular as watching the horse races! Dust off your hats and pray for sunshine this year! iroquoissteeplechase.org
May 13-17: Regions Tradition in Birmingham, AL
Enjoy the beauty of Shoal Creek while watching celebrity golfers compete in the Regions Tradition, a PGA Champions golf tournament in Birmingham, AL. Watch the incredible talent of Freddie Couples, Tom Lehman, Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara and many more! Get your tickets here.
May 14 & 16: Trisha Brown Dance Company: A Retrospective in Three Parts in Nashville, TN
This three-part program in Nashville, TN, will encompass contemporary dance, iconic works and a live performance installation. With more than 40 years in contemporary dance, choreographer Trisha Brown’s influence in the field is significant. Brown is known for her avant-garde and postmodernist work. ozartsnashville.org/programs/trisha-brown
May 14-16: BarbecueFest in Memphis, TN
Officially, it’s called the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Locals call it the Superbowl of Swine or barbecuefest (all one word). Whatever you call it, it’s three days of cooking, judging and eating, more than $100,000 in prizes and the can’t-miss Ms. Piggy Idol contest. All of it takes place along the Mississippi River in Tom Lee Park in Memphis, TN. If you’re not lucky enough to score an invite to a private tent, you can still be a part of the fun–just grab your tickets online.
May 16: Do Dah Day in Birmingham, AL
This is one of our favorite events of the year! Dogs, parades, food and live music make this a fun and festive time for all at the Birmingham, AL, gathering. Visit www.dodahday.org for all the details.
May 16: Nashville Wine & Food Festival in Nashville, TN
As part of this one-day festival in Nashville’s Riverfront Park, attendees celebrate wine with dish pairings from local chefs. In addition to tastings and pairings, there will be live music and educational opportunities. We are excited to try creations by chefs from Rumours East, 1808 Grille, Saffire, The Southern Steak & Oyster, Acme Feed & Seed, 312 Pizza Company and other local favorites. thenashvillewineandfoodfestival.com
May 16: Highlands Beer Festival in Louisville, KY
The Highlands Beer Festival in Louisville, KY, is legendary, and this year it will be May 16 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the ValuMarket parking lot, across from the Back Door. Proceeds go directly to the Bluegrass Center for Autism. For more information and an updated list of beers, click here: www.facebook.com.
May 17: Buy Local Fair in Louisville, KY
The seventh annual Buy Local Fair will be at the Louisville Water Tower Park on May 17, from noon to 6 p.m. Local businesses, farmers, artists and musicians will be on hand, along with food, drink and entertainment. Admission is free and it is $5 per car to park. For more information, click here: www.facebook.com
May 30: Sixth Annual Bob Sykes BBQ + Blues Festival in Birmingham, AL
Located in historic downtown Bessemer at DeBardeleben Park, this annual barbeque and blues festival is a great family event. Award-winning local and national blues musicians entertain, while Bob Sykes BarB-Q will feed your soul! Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased at www.bobsykesblues.com or at Bob Sykes BarB-Q Restaurant. The cost is $20 at the gate.
Have a great May, and safe travels to you!