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.
April 3-9, 2017: 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, Georgia April 3 through April 7 for Athens Beer Week. Attendees will enjoy exciting tours of local breweries, beer dinners, craft beer celebrations, special tappings and more. The week culminates on Sunday, April 9 with the 22nd annual Classic City Brewfest, held at the Graduate Athens Hotel Complex 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 8, 2017: National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade – Washington, DC
The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade has become one of DC’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 are $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. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
April 8, 2017: Sculpture Fields at Montague Park First Anniversary Party – Chattanooga, TN
It’s a day of family fun on the Southside when Sculpture Fields celebrates its first anniversary. You’ll see the installation of a monumental 60-foot steel sculpture by internationally known sculptor John Henry, enjoy melodies of CSO’s wind ensemble, picnic from fun food trucks, experience artists creating their paintings and drawings outdoors, and finish off the day by witnessing the awe-inspiring sculpture burn of a 15-foot wooden structure by artist Andrew Nigh when he sets his creation ablaze. Visit sculpturefields.org.
April 7-9, 2017: 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. Don’t miss out on this spring celebration! Visit dogwood.org.
April 13-15, 2017: 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 15, 2017: Maker’s Mark Handcraft Festival — Louisville, KY
Maker’s Mark hosts the fourth annual Handcraft Festival at their Loretto distillery on Saturday, April 15, 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. Find out more at makersmark.com.
April 15-17, 2017: 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 20-23, 2017: Indie Grits Festival – Columbia, SC
The Indie Grits Festival started as a film festival in 2007, but has evolved to incorporate other elements such as music, puppets, craft, food and more. The 11th annual festival, in response to the explosive growth of the Latino community in South Carolina, will focus on Latino film, culture and arts through the theme Visiones. Visitors will be able to see how Latino culture and identities have influenced Southern culture and empower Latino artists to re-define their evolving identity through film and art. The festival kicks off with a free opening night block party. For more information and to see the full schedule of events and ticket costs, visit indiegrits.com.
April 20-29, 2017: 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 20 through May 14, 2017: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens – Atlanta, GA
The second annual Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, which showcases the region’s leading design-industry talents, will be held April 20 through May 14. Tours will be offered Thursdays through Sundays and other inspired events will occur throughout the run of the show, from book signings to speakers. The showhouse will be open Thursdays through Saturdays 1o a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Street parking is available with shuttle pick up service provided. This year’s showhouse will benefit the Atlanta History Center. Tickets are $25. southeasternshowhouse.com
April 21 & 22, 2017: 19th Annual Lebanese Food & Cultural Festival — Birmingham, AL
Held at St. Elias Maronite Church, this festival has been around for nineteen 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 22, 2017: 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 22. Visit thunderoverlouisville.org.
April 22 & 23, 2017: 4 Bridges Arts Festival™ – Chattanooga, TN
Now in its 17th year, 4 Bridges Art Festival™ will return on April 22 and 23 to continue bringing world-class fine art to the Southern region. 4 Bridges is a fully juried show with artists awards totaling $15,000. Diversity in mediums and styles in a truly unique 50,000 sq. ft. covered pavilion mix with serious art buyers from across the region, and beyond, to create an atmosphere unlike any other. The 4 Bridges Arts Festival™, presented each year by the Association for Visual Arts (AVA), exists to support the advancement of original visual art and the artists who create it; to bring the ideas, materials, methods, and work of artists to downtown Chattanooga. Tickets are $7 for one day and $10 for a 2-day pass. Visit 4bridgesartsfestival.org.
April 22 & 23, 2017: Pass the Peas at The High Water Festival – Charleston, SC
High Water Festival announces Pass the Peas, a curated culinary experience to take place before the music festival each day, Saturday the 22 and Sunday the 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pass the Peas celebrates the intersection of music, food, and culture as local chefs cook up their favorite Southern dishes. At Pass the Peas, fans will enjoy locally crafted libations, artfully prepared and hand-selected food, as well as wines paired from around the world. The event will take place on the scenic lawn of historic Quarters H, providing a breathtaking setting for this unforgettable meal. Visit highwaterfest.com.
April 27-29, 2017: Art by Design – Memphis, TN
Memphis’ top interior designers offer a glimpse of their talent in a unique designer showcase benefitting the arts. Thirteen teams of designers create vignettes featuring an exciting variety of style and art, with proceeds going to ArtsMemphis to support over 60 arts organizations around town. The multi-day event includes a VIP Dinner on Thursday, April 27 at 6 p.m., Kick off Cocktail Party on Friday, April 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and General Admission Day on April 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an impressive lineup of demonstrations and presentations around art and design. Purchase tickets online at artsmemphis.org.
April 20-23 & 27-30, 2017: 25th 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 out on this Southern event. Attendees have the opportunity to enjoy regional favorites such as fried crawfish, crawfish etouffee, crawfish pies, smoked crawfish burgers and more, so be sure to bring your appetite. General admission is $12 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12 and free for those under 6 if you purchase your tickers in advance. If you choose to purchase your tickets the day of, the price increases by $2. Visit mscoastcoliseum.com.
April 27-30, 2017: 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 Nashville Clean Water Project. Visit musiccityspiritsandcocktail.com.
April 28 & 29, 2017: Twilight Criterium – Athens, GA
For 37 years, cyclists from across the country, and even international cyclists, flock to the “Classic City” to spin their wheels in the Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium. The AOC’s Twilight Criterium has been dubbed the most insance 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 will begin at 7:15 p.m., and the Men’s ProAm AOC Twilight, which measures 80K will begin at 8:30 p.m. Both heats race around historic downtown Athens and begin, as well as end, on Clayton Street at College Avenue. This is just as much a spectator event, as it draws many of the college students out to cheer the cyclists on. Visit athenstwilight.com.
April 30, 2017: 30th Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival – Mount Pleasant, SC
The 30th Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival is one of the South’s most anticipated events. The festival pays tribute to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina’s local shrimping and fishing industry by offering guests a boat parade, live music, a craft show and free activities. With Ravenel Brisge and Charleston Harbor serving as a backdrop, the view alone is reason to make the trip! Visit experiencemountpleasant.com.
Check out more Southern events on our Happenings page. Enjoy your month!