The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the events are happening in the South this spring! With so many iconic events, our calendars are packed. Enjoy the best of everything Southern at any of these fantastic happenings.
27 Southern Events & Happenings: April 2019
Through April 7, 2019: Cheekwood in Bloom — Nashville, TN
There’s no better way to celebrate springtime than at Cheekwood in Bloom! Now through April 7, Cheekwood invites you to explore more than 150,000 colorful blooming bulbs in the sprawling gardens. The gardens are open seven days a week with special activities on the weekends including crafts, live music and tours, in addition to a beer garden that is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not-yet-members can purchase general admission adult tickets for $20, youth tickets for $13, college students for $16, seniors for $18 and those under the age of 2 can enter for free. Make sure you bring your whole family to experience the green and wondrous display of Cheekwood in Bloom! cheekwood.org
April 1-7, 2019: Athens Beer Week – Athens, GA
Are you a craft beer lover? Then you need to make your way to the beautiful college town of Athens, GA, April 1 through April 7 for Athens Beer Week. Attendees will enjoy exciting tours of local breweries, beer dinners, live music, special and rare beer tappings and more. The week culminates on Sunday, April 7, with the 24th annual Classic City Brewfest held at the Athens Cotton Press from 2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. Tickets to the Brewfest are $43.50 and include all the events. Visit classiccitybrew.com.
April 2-6, 2019: Nashville Fashion Week — Nashville, TN
We’re also looking forward to April and Nashville Fashion Week! In partnership with OZ Arts Nashville, this city-wide event celebrates its ninth year of showcasing our incredible fashion and retail community. Throughout four nights of runway shows, 20 local and regional designers will showcase their featured collections. The week culminates at the Fashion Forward Gala, an elegant evening of cocktails, dinner and an art auction. Seven impact award recipients will be honored at the event, too. Tickets for NFW range from free to $500 for All-Access VIP Front Row + Gala admission. Reserve yours before they run out and get ready to celebrate all the creative talent in Nashville! nashvillefashionwee
April 6, 2019: Paint for a Cure — Charlotte, NC
Stretch those artistic muscles while raising money for The American Cancer Society! Enjoy an evening of painting, live poetry and R&B music, and a pop-up shop by Proverbs Clothing. Did we mention the bottomless mimosas? For more info visit eventbrite.com.
April 6, 2019: Pour and Explore — Memphis, TN
Enjoy wine tastings and bites at 15 Saddle Creek shops, live music, live art, dog adoptions and so much more! 100% of your ticket purchase benefits Streetdog Foundation. This event will sell out, so don’t wait to buy your tickets! Pour & Explore is sponsored by Doc’s Wine, Spirits & More. This event will be on April 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the cost is $30 advance and $35 at the door. Visit shopsofsaddlecreek.com.
April 9, 2019: Taste of Derby Festival — Louisville, KY
Now in its 32nd year, this popular event brings together 40 restaurants and 20 local distilleries and beverage companies, all serving up generous samples. There is also a silent auction, and all the fun benefits Dare to Care Food Bank. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on April 9 in the Louisville Slugger Hall of Fame Pavilion at Louisville Slugger Field and finishes up at 8 p.m. Tickets are sold only in advance for $85. Visit tasteofderbyfestival.org.
April 12-14, 2019: Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale — Birmingham, AL
The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale—the nonprofit’s largest plant sale fundraiser of the year—will celebrate its 50th anniversary this April 12 through the 14 at Brookwood Village. More than 100,000 plants—many of which have been nurtured at The Gardens by dedicated volunteer gardeners—will be available for purchase. The public Spring Plant Sale will be held 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 under the big tent in the upper Macy’s parking lot. Members of the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens will have a chance to shop early by attending the Members-Only Sale, which will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. Memberships can be purchased online at bbgardens.org prior to the sale, or at the door. For more information, visit bbgardens.org/
April 12-14, 2019: Atlanta Dogwood Festival — Atlanta, GA
This year’s Atlanta Dogwood Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever with plenty of activities for 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. Don’t miss out on this spring celebration! Visit dogwood.org.
April 13, 2019: Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival — Nashville, TN
When the cherry blossoms bloom, we know spring is really here! Join the fun of the 11th annual Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival on April 13 to celebrate the beauty of the season and Japanese culture. This family-friendly day kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with the Cherry Blossom Walk in the Nashville Public Square and continues with a beautiful day of music and dance performances, festive arts and crafts, a marketplace, delicious Japanese fair and multiple opportunities to experience Japanese culture until 5 p.m. This event is free, but donations to help fund the festival and continued international education are welcome. Visit nashvillecherryblossomfestival
April 13, 2019: 2019 Queen City Easter Festival — Charlotte, NC
Ready to hop into some Easter activities? The 2019 Queen City Easter Festival is full of festivities like face painting, games, dance performances, crafts, vendors, food and more! There will also be an Easter egg hunt and free Easter Bunny pictures accompanied by 100 free toy gift bags for children. 100 free swag bags will also be given to the first 100 attendees. This event takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Carole Hoefener Center and general admission is free. Visit eventbrite.com for more info.
April 13, 2019: 17th Annual Southern Hot Wing Festival for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis — Memphis, TN
Hot wings and the South go hand-in-hand, and this annual festival celebrates just that. More than 70 teams will bring the chicken wing to the spotlight with their own unique recipes and fiery sauces. Music, entertainment and the sweet smell of hot wings will draw Memphis’ food lovers to Tiger Lane to celebrate the almighty wing from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis. Visit southernhotwingfestiv
April 13, 2019: Kaleidoscope Food Festival — Memphis, TN
Nothing tickles our fancy quite like a day full of Memphis sunshine and unforgettable brews and bites. The Binghampton Development Corporation is back at WISEACRE Brewery with the 2nd Annual Kaleidoscope Food Festival. Explore many different cultures throughout this day of food, storytelling and performances. Vendors will feature chefs from the Binghampton neighborhood, including Indra’s Dumplings (South Asian), Ibti’s Soup (Sudanese), Aroma Kitchen by Flora & CC (East African) and more. Plus, WISEACRE beer will be specially paired with various dishes. The festival runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and admission is free. Head to facebook.com for more info.
April 13, 2019: National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade – Washington, D.C.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade has become one of D.C.’s largest spectator events. The parade runs giant colorful balloons, elaborate floats and marching bands from across the country for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue. Tickets start at $20 for grandstand seating, but if you’d prefer to stand, it’s free and open to the public. Arrive early for the best views. This event takes place from 10 a.m. to noon. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
April 13, 2019: Maker’s Mark Handcraft Festival — Louisville, KY
Maker’s Mark will host the fourth annual Handcraft Festival on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy artists and craftspeople, food trucks, cocktail classes, live music and, most importantly, bourbon! This free event at Maker’s Mark Distillery is open to the public and draws an expected crowd of about 5,000. Find out more at makersmark.com.
April 13, 2019: Thunder Over Louisville — Louisville, KY
Thunder Over Louisville is the official kickoff of Derby, even though it’s 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), don’t miss this year’s Thunder on Saturday, April 13. Visit thunderoverlouisville.org.
April 13 & 14, 2019: The High Water Festival – North Charleston, SC
The High Water Festival is a celebration of music, food and libations curated by beloved rock duo Shovels & Rope at Riverfront Park. Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to get yours soon! To see the artist lineup and for more info visit highwaterfest.com.
April 20, 2019: Corkdorks Nashville Wine & Food Festival — Nashville, TN
Join local chefs and winemakers from around the country for the Corkdorks Nashville Wine & Food Festival on April 20! For an entire afternoon, sample 150+ top-notch wines from 30 of the country’s premier wineries paired with delicious bites from your favorite Nashville restaurants. Attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with chefs, wine makers and food artisans during demonstrations and seminars. You don’t want to miss this intimate and tasty food and wine affair! VIP access is $135, General Admission is $95 and Designated Driver admission is $40. The festival takes place at the Omni Hotel from noon to 4 p.m. Reserve your spot now! Visit thenashwineandfoodfestiva
April 20, 2019: KMAC Couture “Art Walks the Runway” — Louisville, KY
Stunning visual art rules the runway in the fifth annual KMAC Couture fashion show on Saturday, April 20, where designers use unusual items to create one-of-a-kind couture clothing. This is an amazing display of talent each year, and designers get more and more creative with every outfit and every show. The event goes from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and tickets start at $160. Find out more at kmacmuseum.org.
April 24-28, 2019: 27th Annual Crawfish Music Festival – Biloxi, MS
For more than two decades, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum has hosted the Crawfish Music Festival to provide quality entertainment and family fun to the Southeast. Each night of the festival promises fun, excitement and a little something new. Whether it’s the headline entertainment, hot boiled crawfish or exciting mid-way rides, you won’t want to miss this. Attendees can enjoy regional favorites such as fried crawfish, crawfish etouffee, crawfish pies, smoked crawfish burgers and more, so be sure to bring your appetite. Tickets start at $10. Visit mscoastcoliseum.com.
April 26 & 27, 2019: Twilight Criterium – Athens, GA
For 40 years, cyclists from across the country and beyond flock to the “Classic City” to spin their wheels in the Athens Orthopedic Clinic (AOC) Twilight Criterium. The AOC’s Twilight Criterium has been dubbed the most insane criterium in the world and this year’s event will serve as the penultimate event of the USA CRITS Speed Week Series. The Women’s ProAm AOC Twilight, which measures 40K, begins at 7 p.m., and the Men’s ProAm AOC Twilight, which measures 80K, begins at 8:30 p.m. Both heats race around historic downtown Athens. This is just as much a spectator event, as it draws many college students out to cheer on the cyclists. Visit athenstwilight.com.
April 27, 2019: Opening Night at Churchill Downs — Louisville, KY
It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Louisville. Kick off Derby Week by attending Opening Night at Churchill Downs on Saturday, April 27, at 5 p.m. The first race starts at 6 p.m., and the evening attire is “Dress to Impress.” Ladies are encouraged to wear party and cocktail dresses, and men are encouraged to wear sharp pants and a dress shirt (a tie is optional). Tickets are $17 for general admission. Head to kentuckyderby.com for more info.
April 27 & 28, 2019: St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon — Nashville, TN
Join more than 30,000 runners around Nashville to celebrate the 20th year of the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon on April 27 and 28! Live bands line the route as crowds of onlookers cheer for runners in both the full and half marathons. The races will conclude at Nissan Stadium and finishers will be greeted with a medal, t-shirt, cold beer and continued live music. Whether you’re running or watching, this fun Nashville weekend is one for the April calendar! runrocknroll.com
April 27 & 28, 2019: Corks & Chefs — Birmingham, AL
The 22nd annual Corks & Chefs is back this April 27 and 28 at the beloved Magic City Art Connection! This fantastic event is an explosion of flavors from Birmingham restaurants paired with wine, craft beer, spirits, cocktails and special tasting seminars and demos, all inside a downtown contemporary art festival. Join the party from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit magiccityart.com.
April 28, 2019: Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival — Memphis, TN
Known as the unofficial start to spring, the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is back in downtown Memphis! More than 30,000 festival-goers will enjoy live Cajun, rock and funk music from local artists, all benefiting the programs and services given at no cost to more than 50,000 local children and their families through Porter-Leath. Crawfish bobbing, racing, arts & crafts, a kids’ zone and VIP extras will make this festival unforgettable. Admission is free and the event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. So, grab the whole family and show up hungry at this year’s highly anticipated Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival. Visit porterleath.org.
April 28, 2019: 32nd Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival – Mount Pleasant, SC
The 32nd Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival is one of the South’s most anticipated events. The festival celebrates Mount Pleasant’s local shrimping and fishing industry with a boat parade, live music, a craft show and free activities. With Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterpark serving as a backdrop, the view alone is reason to make the trip! Enjoy this event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and a list of activities, visit experiencemountpleasant.com.
April 30, 2019: Magic City Chocolate Challenge — Birmingham, AL
Calling all chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike – you’re invited to join Disability Rights & Resources for the 5th annual Magic City Chocolate Challenge on Tuesday, April 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Regions Field. The event will feature delicious chocolate creations from some of Birmingham’s best bakers and chocolatiers, as well as drinks (including beer, wine and milk for the traditionalists in attendance), live music and a silent auction. For more information, visit drradvocates.org.
April 30 & May 1, 2019: WineFest — Louisville, KY
The Belvedere at Waterfront Park turns into a regional wine tour both nights of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s WineFest. Some of the area’s more-than-90 wineries will have varietals available to sample. Entry includes a wine glass used for tastings throughout the evening, an event pin and a chance to learn about the many reds and whites from the Bluegrass State and surrounding areas. The event is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $45, and designated driver tickets are also available at the door for $10. Go to kdf.org for more info.
Check out more Southern events on our Happenings page. Enjoy your month!