Summer is flying by, but we are not quite ready for fall. Thankfully, this listing of Southern events for August will keep us busy this month, allowing us to enjoy the final weeks of summer. Check your calendar and make time for one, two or all of these great events this month.
August 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, 2017: Flowers After 5 — Richmond, Virginia
Throughout the month, spend Thursday evenings at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden enjoying the gorgeous flowers and plants, as well as live music, libations, food and shopping. Tickets are $13 for adults; $11 for seniors; $8 for children under 12 (free for those three and under). Learn more at lewisginter.org.
August 4 & 5, 2017: Secret Stages — Birmingham, Alabama
Secret Stages is one of the coolest music discovery festivals the Magic City has to offer! For two nights, attendees are treated to around 60 bands performing on the stages of Birmingham’s most beloved establishments. The performances include national, regional and up-and-coming acts from Birmingham’s own backyard. Conveniently, all Secret Stages events are within walking distance from each other, meaning festival-goers have access to all of the amazing shops, restaurants and parks in the heart of downtown Birmingham. Currently, the “Rumor Tier” ticket level is available with day passes for $25, weekend passes for $40 and VIP Passes for $80. Final pricing, including day-of-show tickets, will become available when the “Rumor” tickets sell out. Learn more at secretstages.net.
August 4-6, 2017: Satchmo SummerFest — New Orleans, Louisiana
Legendary jazz musician Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1901 and, 100 years later in 2001, New Orleans had the first Satchmo SummerFest. It was so successful that the event became an annual festival and 16 years later, it’s better than ever. Expect to hear fantastic contemporary and traditional jazz and brass bands at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint. Tickets come in the form of a wrist band, which allows you daily access to the festival for just $5 a day. Learn more at fqfi.org.
August 11 & 12, 2017: Tomato Art Fest — Nashville, Tennessee
This fun and wacky festival is back with a concert on Friday night and more music and festival activities on Saturday, including a tomato toss, food trucks, contests, a 5K, exhibits, performances and much more. The fun will take place in Historic East Nashville’s Five Points and the events are free. Learn more at tomatoartfest.com.
August 11-13, 2017: Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival — Clarksdale, Mississippi
Experience the Mississippi Delta and the music that defines this region: blues. The festival features some of the most beloved blues artists from the Delta and across the region. This festival is free, so embrace the heat and music that will feed your soul. For more information, visit sunflowerfest.org.
August 11-19, 2017: Elvis Tribute Week at Graceland — Memphis, Tennessee
Plan a Memphis stay-cation for Elvis Week 2017 as thousands of fans make their way to Graceland to celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest will feature the best competitors from around the world and Elvis-themed events will last all weekend. Full event information is available online at graceland.com.
August 12, 2017: Dirty Linen Night — New Orleans, Louisiana
Enjoy an event that only New Orleans could pull off. A follow-up to White Linen Night, which takes place on August 5, Dirty Linen Night invites folks back for a weekend to peruse more than 50 shops and art galleries in the city’s famed French Quarter. Learn more: neworleansonline.com
August 18 & 19, 2017: Asheville Food & Wine Festival — Asheville, North Carolina
The Asheville Food & Wine Festival showcases the region’s love of food, adeptly. Indulge in desserts, wines and cocktails, as well as more than 100 farm-to-table restaurants and other local food professionals who will be serving their food, wine, beer and spirits to attendees. Tickets for both nights are $140 per person. For more details, see ashevillewineandfood.com.
August 18 & 19, 2017: Discover Nashville with Garden & Gun – Nashville, Tennessee
Garden & Gun is offering a chance to experience Nashville’s rich music culture and culinary events with behind-the-scenes access. Weekend packages are being offered through the Omni Nashville Hotel, with room rates starting at $273 a night, plus tax. Buy tickets to individual events, which start at $85. Events include a Welcome to Nashville party at Peter Nappi Studio on Friday night, followed by late-night snacks and craft cocktails at the Omni Nashville Hotel; Distillery tours at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery followed by Chef Maneet Chauhan’s twist on the traditional Southern Brunch, followed by a finale dinner by Chef Julia Sullivan at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts on Saturday. All guests must be 21 years or older to enter. For more information, visit ggfieldreport.com.
August 18-21, 2017: Nashville’s Italian Lights Festival – Nashville, Tennessee
Italian Lights is the Italian Festival of Nashville – 4 days of music, arts, food and wine celebrating the best of Italy! It is an elegant and family-friendly festival with free and fun activities for everyone. Festival favorites include the Wine Tasting Events & Seminars, the Annual Bocce Ball Tournament, the Meatball Eating Contest and the Grape Stomping Competitions. Additionally, specialty food vendors will be highlighted in food tents featuring all your favorite Italian foods as well as in the Tuscan Wine and Beer Gardens. It is held at Bicentennial Capitol Mall and admission is free. Learn more at italianlights.org.
August 19 & 20, 26 & 27: The 3rd Annual Mid-South Renaissance Faire – Memphis, Tennessee
Head out to the USA Baseball Stadium & Park in Millington for a day of whimsy! The 3rd Annual Mid-South Renaissance Faire is a public family-friendly outdoor gathering that emulates the Renaissance historical period for the amusement of its guests. This year’s theme is the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, so travel back in time to the Elizabethan era to learn dances, be knighted by the Queen herself, eat a giant turkey leg, browse the merchant rows, enjoy the performers, sail the seas with the Mid-South Buccaneers and of course, cheer on your favorite jouster on horseback. Entrance for children ages 5 and under is free, with $5 admission for children ages 6 to 12, $10 for adults, and $2 off for seniors, students, and military. Learn more at midsouthrenfaire.com.
August 25 & 26, 2017: Songwriters Under the Stars — Nashville, Tennessee
Cheekwood will open the Swan Lawn and invite guests to hear hit songs written by Jessi Alexander, Marcus Hummon, Kyle Jacobs, Chris DeStefano, Hillary Lindsey and Rivers Rutherford. In few other places than Nashville can you hear from these chart-topping songwriters in such a lovely setting! Drinks and food from Edley’s BBQ will be available for purchase. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $50. Learn more at cheekwood.org.
August 26, 2017: Sophisticated Living Polo Series World Cup — Louisville, Kentucky
This is a great ending to the summer every year and is always a great party. Oh, and there are horses too! The Sophisticated Living Polo Series World Cup is Saturday, August 26, starting at 4 p.m. at Oxmoor Farm. There will be a barbecue buffet, bourbon, wine, spirits and entertainment under the tents. General admission is $75 for adults (children under 14 are free), reserved field-side tables for eight under the tent are $575 and tailgating spots are $250. Food and drinks are included in the ticket price. Gates open at 4 p.m., with the first match scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Learn more at slpolo.com.
August 26 & 27, 2017: Grant Park Summer Shade Festival – Atlanta, Georgia
Raising approximately $87,000 for the Grant Park Conservancy at the 2016 event, the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival will once again welcome music and art lovers to Atlanta’s oldest park for two days of nonstop fun on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27. The festival will once again feature an impressive lineup of live music throughout the weekend on two stages, in addition to an expansive artist market, kids zone, 5K run and a dedicated VIP area. Open to all ages and free to attend, the 15th annual Summer Shade Festival will also have a diverse selection of local food trucks with offerings for all tastes, Monday Night Brewing craft beer, Bold Rock Cider, Frida Khalo Tequila, Status Vodka cocktails and more. Find out more by visiting summershadefestival.org.
August 27, 2017: Sunday Afternoon in the Park — Charlotte, North Carolina
Enjoy an afternoon of art, music and food at this fantastic event at Mint Hill Park. Pack a picnic or just kick back and relax on a blanket under the oak trees. The festival hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more: minthill.com.