Summer is flying by, but we are not quite ready for fall. Thankfully, this collection of Southern events will keep us busy this August, allowing us to enjoy the final weeks of summer. Check your calendar and make time for these great events happening across the South this month!

15 Southern Events & Happenings: August 2021

Through August 15, 2021: Shakespeare Festival in Central Park — Louisville, KY

Through Sunday, August 15, shake up your summer with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. Enjoy food trucks, a great play under the stars, and nightly pre-show performances. All performances are held in Old Louisville’s Central Park at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre. Food trucks start at 6 p.m., and the free performances begin at 8 p.m. This is the ideal low-cost date night or family outing. kyshakespeare.com

August 6 – 8, 2021: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix — Nashville, TN

The Music City Racing Trifecta concludes with the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on August 6-8. The grand finale is a three-day event featuring all types of racecourses, including superspeedways, short ovals, and road courses. The event has also partnered with the Grand Ole Opry to host a performance in downtown Nashville on Sunday, August 8, which features country superstar Alan Jackson. Single-day tickets begin at $35, and three-day general admission tickets start at $131. musiccitygp.com

August 6 – 8, 2021: Atlanta Dogwood Festival — Atlanta, GA

For more than 80 years, Atlanta has hosted its annual Dogwood Festival. This year’s event takes place August 6-8 and includes events like an artist market, the Mimosa 5K, a sip and paint class, and more. The free event takes place at Piedmont Park, but donations are encouraged when you purchase tickets. dogwood.org

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August 7, 2021: Dog Days of Summer 5K — Tampa, FL

Lace up your running shoes and head to Al Lopez Park on Saturday, August 7, for the Dog Days of Summer 5K. All participants receive a “dog tag” medal, and registration is $35. Virtual and one-mile race options are also available. The event begins at 8 a.m. runsignup.com

August 7, 2021: White Linen Night — New Orleans, LA

Presented by the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, White Linen Night returns on Saturday, August 7. The free outdoor event includes public art displays, food vendors, and the White Linen After Dark after-party. This year’s event also features a special opening of the Gulf South Open Call exhibition, which showcases art from artists across the Gulf South states. The fun begins at 6 p.m., and registration is required. cacno.org

August 9, 2021: NCRLA Chef Showdown — Durham, NC

Hosted by Got To Be NC Agriculture, head to the Angus Barn at Bay 7 to experience some of the best food and drinks from North Carolina chefs. Throughout the evening, 20 professionals compete for the coveted titles “NCRLA Chef of the Year” and “NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year.”  Plus, chefs also compete for a chance to win the “People’s Choice” award. Taste and see for yourself on Monday, August 9, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $125. ncrla.org

August 12 – 15, 2021: 24th Annual Key West Lobsterfest — Key West, FL

The 24th Annual Key West Lobsterfest takes place August 12-15. Events include a lobster boil at Waterfront Brewery, a lobster pool party at Havana Cabana Resort, a Duval Street pub crawl and street fair, and a lobster brunch at First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery. The street fair is free to attend, and tickets for paid events begin at $20. keywestlobsterfest.com

August 13 – 14, 2021: Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival — Clarksdale, MS

Experience the Mississippi Delta and the music that defines the region — blues. The festival in downtown Clarksdale features some of the most beloved blues artists from the Delta and across the region on Friday, August 13, and Saturday, August 14. The festival is free to attend. sunflowerfest.org

August 14, 2021: 3rd Annual Memphis Chicken & Beer Festival — Memphis, TN

Chicken and beer, what else could you ask for? Head to the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday, August 14, for the 3rd Annual Memphis Chicken & Beer Festival. The event includes live music, beverage and food samples, yard games, and inflatables. Tickets are $40 and include a souvenir glass, beverage samples, and a donation to the Dorothy Day House. memphischickenandbeer.com

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August 19 – 22, 2021: Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival — Gatlinburg, TN

Witness some of the best songwriters in the music industry at this three-day music festival in Gatlinburg. Performances take place at the Gatlinburg Inn, the Listening Room Café, The Park Vista, Ole Red, and more. Tickets begin at $10. gatlinburgsongwriters.com

August 20, 2021: Beer from Here — Charleston, SC

Head to the South Carolina Aquarium after hours for this one-of-a-kind experience. Beer from Here is a 21+ event that offers samples from local breweries as you stroll through the aquarium. Early bird tickets are on sale for $45 until Friday, July 30, and tickets include appetizers, entertainment, and animal encounters. The fun begins at 7 p.m. scaquarium.org

August 21, 2021: 34th Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition — Galveston, TX

Benefitting AIA Houston and the ArCH Foundation, the 34th Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition showcases the most extraordinary sand creations! Teams begin preparing for this competition months in advance, and on Saturday, August 21, they spread out across East Beach and make their creations come to life. The event is free and begins at 9 a.m. aiahouston.org

August 21, 2021: Mississippi Book Festival — Jackson, MS

Bookworms rejoice! The 7th Annual Mississippi Book Festival takes place on Saturday, August 21, at the Mississippi State Capitol. The event includes panel discussions, book signings, and on-site booksellers. Featured authors include Angie Thomas, Kiese Laymon, Jericho Brown, and more. The festival is free to attend, and donations are encouraged. msbookfestival.com

August 28, 2021: Magic City Wine Fest — Birmingham, AL

Head to the Birmingham Zoo on Saturday, August 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for the 4th Annual Magic City Wine Fest. Attendees can sample wine and beer from regions across the globe, and bites from local restaurants and live music complete the event. Tickets start at $49 and include a complimentary wine glass, a tasting passport, and a donation to the zoo. (Note: Attendees must be 21+.) magiccitywinefest.com

August 28 & 29, 2021: Railbird Festival — Lexington, KY

Railbird Festival returns to Keeneland on Saturday, August 28, and Sunday, August 29. The event includes performances by My Morning Jacket, Leon Bridges, Dave Matthews Band, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and more. Plus, enjoy hand-selected barrels of Kentucky bourbon and participate in off-track horse betting. Tickets begin at $110. railbirdfest.com

Happy August!

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To see more great Southern events, visit our Happenings page!