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.
17 Southern Events & Happenings: April 2018
April 5-8, 2018: 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 5 at 6:30 p.m., kick-off cocktail party on Friday, April 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and general admission April 6 through 8. Purchase tickets online at artsmemphis.org.
April 9-15, 2018: 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 9 through April 15 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 15, with the 23rd 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 12-15, 2018: 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 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. Passes start at $100 for member and $150 for non-members. For more information and to see the full schedule of events, visit indiegrits.com.
April 13-15, 2018: 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 & 14, 2018: 20th 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 for more details.
April 13-18, 2018: Headlines: A GCA Major Flower Show — 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. There will also be a lecture series, and each talk requires a $50 ticket. Information and talk tickets are available online at memphisgardenclub.org.
April 14, 2018: 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 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. This event takes place from 10 a.m. to noon. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
April 14, 2018: Nashville Wine and Food Festival Presented by Corkdorks Wine Spirits Beer — Nashville, TN
Held in Bicentennial Mall, Nashville Wine and Food Festival is the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon. In its fifth year, the festival will feature more than 100 wineries from across the country, local Nashville cuisine and artisanal products, plus live music and chef demonstrations. Tickets are $85 ($125 for VIP). Visit thenashwineandfoodfestival.com.
April 14, 2018: Maker’s Mark Handcraft Festival — Louisville, KY
Maker’s Mark hosts the fourth annual Handcraft Festival at their Maker’s Mark distillery on Saturday, April 14, 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 19-22, 2018: 26th 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 $14 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12 and free for those under 6 if you purchase your tickers in advance. Visit mscoastcoliseum.com.
April 19 through May 13, 2018: 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 19 through May 13 in Atlanta. Tours will be offered Thursdays through Sundays and other inspired events will occur throughout the run of the show, from book signings to speakers. Street parking is available with shuttle pick-up service provided. This year’s showhouse will benefit the Atlanta History Center. Visit Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25. Visit southeasternshowhouse.com for more info.
April 21, 2018: 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 21. Visit thunderoverlouisville.org.
April 21 & 22, 2018: 4 Bridges Arts Festival™ – Chattanooga, TN
Now in its 18th year, 4 Bridges Art Festival™ will return on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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 unique 50,000 square-foot 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; and to bring the ideas, materials, methods, and work of artists to downtown Chattanooga. Tickets are $7 for one day and $10 for a two-day pass. Visit 4bridgesartsfestival.org.
April 21 & 22, 2018: The High Water Festival – North Charleston, SC
The High Water Festival is a celebration of music, food and libations curated by Shovels and 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 25-29, 2018: Fifth Annual Nashville Cocktail Festival — Nashville, TN
Craft cocktails are gracing bar menus across the Music 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. Times vary each day and tickets start at $35. Visit nashvillecocktailfestival.com.
April 28, 2018: Twilight Criterium – Athens, GA
For 38 years, cyclists from across the country, and even international cyclists, 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, 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 29, 2018: 31st Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival – Mount Pleasant, SC
The 31st 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 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.
Check out more Southern events on our Happenings page. Enjoy your month!