At last, October has arrived and cooler temps are on the horizon. One thing we’re sure of is that there is no shortage of fantastic Southern events taking place this month. No matter where you are in the South, many of these options aren’t too far away. Get in the car, enjoy an adventure and embrace this magical time of year!
Through October 7, 2018: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Serenbe Showhouse Tours — Atlanta, GA
Tour the 5th annual Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Serenbe Designer Showhouse on Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Designed by L. Mitchell Ginn and built by McKinney Builders, the Selborne Estate Home is a modern take on the classic farmhouse cottage. The showhouse features 13 of Atlanta’s best interior designers including Meredith McBrearty as the lead designer, Anna Wooten, Melissa Galt, Janie Hirsch, Anna-Louise Wolfe, Gretchen Edwards, Buffy Ferguson, Julie Holloway, Kate Light, Rebecca Cartwright, Robin Lamonte, Stefan Alexander and more — whose talents will transform almost 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space! To grab your $20 ticket or find more info, visit 2018serenbeshowhousetours.eventbrite.com.
Through October 7, 2018: MOJA Arts Festival 2018 — Charleston, SC
This year marks Charleston’s 35th annual MOJA Arts Festival: A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts. The MOJA Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary festival produced and directed by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the MOJA Planning Committee and the MOJA Advisory Board. Moja means “one,” as the festival brings together people from all over while highlighting African-American and Caribbean contributions to western and world cultures. There will be visual arts, music, dancing, poetry, jazz, storytelling, children’s activities and more. Nearly half of MOJA’s events are admission-free, and the remainder are offered at modest ticket prices. For more info, visit mojafestival.com.
Through October 21, 2018: Cheekwood Harvest, Presented by FirstBank — Nashville, TN
Throughout the month of October, Cheekwood is alive with Harvest cheer! Stop by one of your favorite festivals of the year to see the renowned pumpkin house, nearly 5,000 chrysanthemums and community-made scarecrows throughout the gorgeous grounds. Adults can enjoy the beer garden with live bluegrass music each weekend, while the whole family will love the themed activities and entertainment each Saturday. Check the calendar to see the breakdown of specific events you won’t want to miss! For more information, visit cheekwood.org.
Through October 31, 2018: Sloss Fright Furnace — Birmingham, AL
Are you ready to be scared this Halloween? Head out to Historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, to experience one of Ghost Hunters’ favorite haunts and one of the Fox Paranormal Team’s Scariest Places on Earth. Sloss Furnaces is known to be haunted by the thousands of workers who lost their lives due to accidents, explosions and perhaps even murder throughout the storied history of this Iron City landmark. Fright Furnace creates a terrifying experience that takes you into the deepest, darkest parts of the furnace. This event is not for the faint of heart, so ready yourself for a bone-chilling Halloween experience! Sloss Fright Furnace runs on select nights through October 31. Tickets cost $20 per person Sundays through Thursdays and $25 Friday, Saturday and Halloween night! Learn more at frightfurnace.com.
October 3, 2018: Taste of the World 2018 — Charlotte, NC
Taste of the World is part culinary tour, part treasure hunt. Guests will be taken to three different restaurants to sample fantastic food from around the world. Afterward, they will meet again for entertainment, dessert and coffee where everyone will share their diverse and delicious experiences. It’s an evening of exploration, fine food and new friends! This event takes place from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and tickets are $49. For more info visit eventbrite.com.
October 3, 2018: Eats & Beats — Atlanta, GA
Have a great night AND do good at the 2018 Eats & Beats event, benefiting Children of Conservation and The Giving Kitchen. The fun includes tasting over 35 of Atlanta’s best restaurants, jamming out to Georgia’s own Whiskey Gentry and trying delish cocktails and craft beers — all inside The Fairmont in West Midtown. General admission is $75 and VIP tickets run $150, which include all kinds of awesome bonuses. For more info, visit bigtickets.com.
October 3-6, 2018: The King Biscuit Blues Festival — Helena, AR
Founded in 1986, this is a festival worth traveling for. Make your way to the banks of the Mississippi River to celebrate Helena’s musical heritage. In addition to blues by dozens of artists, the festival will feature daily events, including The Biscuit Bash, BBQ & Blues on the Levee and Flour Power 5K Run. Purchase a single-day ticket $45 or a three-day festival pass for $85. Learn more about this festival at kingbiscuitfestival.com.
October 4-6, 2018: Birmingham Greek Food Festival — Birmingham, AL
Home cooks are the stars of Birmingham Greek Food Festival, as they prepare platters of dolmathes, souvlakia, Greek chicken and pasticho for dining in or carrying out along with tasty Greek pastries to satisfy any sweet tooth. Admission is free with individually priced food. For more info, visit birminghamgreekfestival.net.
Oct 4-7, 2018: Wine Over Water Wine & Food Festival — Chattanooga, TN
Wine Over Water, sponsored by Publix, is back for the 24th year with a plethora of events taking place throughout Chattanooga in some of the city’s most beautiful historic buildings! Chattanooga promises to treat you to a weekend of fun that will be well worth the trip. Events include a kick-off party, brewery tour, wine dinners, yoga brunch and of course, Wine of Water on Walnut Street Bridge, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Learn more and purchase various tickets at wineoverwater.com.
October 4-7, 2018: Antiques at the Gardens — Birmingham, AL
This weekend-long event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens features gorgeous wares from Southeastern vendors and designers, talented national tastemakers, events, parties, classes and seminars. Regionally and nationally known architects, interior designers and landscape designers will show off their creative talent through curated, themed vignettes and artists, jewelers and antiques vendors share their fabulous finds. The Antiques at the Gardens is the premier fundraiser for the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and raises money to benefit the inspiring educational programs and outreach initiatives of The Gardens. General admission and event-specific tickets are available. Learn more at bbgardens.org.
October 5-7, 2018: St. James Court Art Show — Louisville, KY
Get ready, Louisville, because it’s that time of year again. That’s right — it’s time for the St. James Court Art Show. This year marks the 62nd year of the old Louisville favorite, and it will run from Friday, October 5, through Sunday, October 7. You are sure to find something that strikes your fancy, as there are more than 750 artists from across the country gathered together to display their talents. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will happen rain or shine, and admission is free. Learn more at stjamescourtartshow.com.
October 6, 2018: Rock Shrimp Festival — St. Marys, GA
These hard-shelled crustaceans were considered a trash catch for years because they were so difficult to extract the meat from. However, once someone invented a machine to clean these tough little buggers, diners realized how delicious rock shrimp can be. This day of celebration kicks off with a road race and a parade and is highlighted by plate dinners featuring boiled shrimp, fried fish, slaw and hushpuppies for just $10 if you buy your plate in advance. Events take place in and around St. Marys Elementary school. For more info, visit visitstmarys.com.
October 6, 2018: Corkdorks 2018 Nashville Whiskey Festival — Nashville, TN
Join the Corkdorks 2018 Nashville Whiskey Festival in celebrating this beloved spirit through an exploration of whiskey from around the world. Held at the Omni Nashville Hotel Grand Ballroom from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the event will invite spirits enthusiasts to taste, learn and experience varieties of whiskeys from around the world in an evening of true, handcrafted whiskey appreciation. General admission tickets are $100, VIP tickets are $150 and designated driver tickets are $50. VIP ticket holders will be granted early entry, access to the special tastings and a VIP gift. Learn more at nashvillewhiskeyfestival.com.
October 9 through November 4, 2018: Louisville Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular — Louisville, KY
The Louisville Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is always a crowd favorite. This year’s event will be held at Iroquois Park, starting on October 9 and running through November 4. There are 5,000 uniquely carved pumpkins lighting up the walking trail, which spans one-quarter mile, and carvers work tirelessly throughout the month to constantly keep freshly carved pumpkins out. The pumpkin trail will be illuminated from dusk to 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Learn more at jackolanternlouisville.com.
October 11-14, 2018: Nashville Oktoberfest — Nashville, TN
It’s only fitting to celebrate the time-honored tradition of Oktoberfest in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood. This four-day event features live music, authentic German food, family-fun activities and, of course, beer. Over 250,000 people will fill the streets of Germantown to enjoy a lineup of brews as part of Nashville’s oldest running festival. Raise your stein and cheers to fall at this free celebration! Learn more at thenashvilleoktoberfest.com.
October 12-14, 2018: Richmond Folk Festival — Richmond, VA
Enjoy an entertaining and enriching weekend on Richmond’s riverfront during the free three-day Richmond Folk Festival. The line-up is diverse and features performers from all over the world as well as plenty from right here in the United States. Live the folklife, enjoy some amazing food and immerse yourself in three days of motley festivities. Learn more and see the daily hours at richmondfolkfestival.org.
October 12-14, 2018: Fall for Greenville — Greenville, SC
More than 40 restaurants will be serving up delightful fare from their menus at Fall for Greenville. This free event will showcase 250+ menu items for tasting as well as 75 musical acts, wine tastings, a kids’ area, competitions, cooking demos and a host of craft beers in the beer garden. Learn more and purchase “taste tickets” at fallforgreenville.net.
October 12-14, 2018: Southern Festival of Books — Nashville, TN
Join more than 200 of the nation’s and region’s most prominent authors at this year’s Southern Festival of Books, held at the War Memorial Plaza and Main Public Library. Authors of every genre take part in sessions that include either a solo reading or a panel discussion, followed by a book signing. Celebrate literature with the entire community in a weekend of discussions, readings, dramatic literary performances, children’s storytellers and more! The festival is free and open to the public. For more info visit humanitiestennessee.org.
October 19, 2018: Memphis Tequila Festival at Overton Square — Memphis, TN
Head to Overton Square for the Memphis Flyer’s second annual Memphis Tequila Festival. Savor 15 tequila tastings, food by Babalu Tacos & Tapas, party music by local DJs and lots of spooky surprises. This evening of merriment is guaranteed to get you in the spirit of the season, all while benefitting Volunteer Memphis. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will wrap up at 9 p.m. Tickets are $34. Learn more at memphistequilafestival.com.
October 19-21, 2018: Taste of Atlanta — Atlanta, GA
This festival highlights the diversity of Atlanta’s restaurant scene with chef demos, hands-on cooking classes and tastings from almost 100 neighborhood favorite eateries. The VIP Experience also includes samples of craft beers, wine and creative cocktails. With a kickoff party on Friday and full schedules of demos and events on Saturday and Sunday, it’s a weekend affair! Learn more and purchase tickets at tasteofatlanta.com.
October 20, 2018: Louisville Wine & Food Experience — Louisville, KY
This day-long tasting event features local Louisville chefs along with a cooking demonstration by chef, restaurateur, author and judge on Food Network’s “Chopped,” Scott Conant. It is in Kentucky, after all, so you can expect plenty of great booze, beer and wine as well. Presale tickets are $65 or $100 on the day of the event. Learn more at wineandfood.courier-journal.com.
October 20, 2018: South End Wine Fest — Charlotte, NC
Enjoy unlimited samples from 25 wineries at this intimate tasting event in the hip Charlotte neighborhood of South End. Food trucks will be on hand to serve provisions, and live bands will get you to move your feet to the music. General admission is $35 with additional VIP packages available. For more info, visit southendwinefest.org.
October 20, 2018: Tennessee Beer and Wine Festival — Nashville, TN
This Donelson community event brings folks together in celebration of beer and wine on the grounds of Two Rivers Mansion. Get your $35 ticket now to enjoy 4 oz. tastes from the best breweries around the world, special gravity beer and wine samples. Sip local, regional and imported beverages, enjoy live music and explore a variety of artisan goods from noon to 5 p.m. on this great fall day, hosted just 15 minutes from downtown Nashville! Learn more at tnbeerfestival.com.
October 20, 2018: Decatur Craft Beer Festival — Decatur, GA
Plan for a full day of drinking (and for a ride home) at this convivial beer festival which features tastings from more than 80 craft breweries as well as live music. A special VIP-level ticket provides funds to the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild and their advocacy efforts and entitles patrons access to beers brewed specifically for the Decatur Craft Beer Festival. You look like a VIP to us, so go for it! For more info visit decaturbeerfestival.com.
October 20, 2018: Cooper-Young Beerfest — Memphis, TN
Celebrate the hardworking local brewers who devote their time, talent and energy to making beers that are uniquely their own at Cooper-Young Beerfest. The festival is regional, meaning you can visit any of the brewers within a day’s drive from Cooper-Young. Sip and sample local brews to raise money for the Cooper-Young Community Association (CYCA), which keeps the neighborhood clean, friendly, safe and welcoming for everyone. The event is held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 795 Cooper Street. Tickets are $50. For more info cybeerfest.org.
October 19-21, 2018: Carolina Balloon Fest — Statesville, NC
If there’s a North Carolina event that is a must, it’s the Carolina Balloon Fest in Statesville. For three days, hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes color the sky. It’s likely a sight like you’ve never seen. Don’t be surprised to see Yoda, Darth Vader or even the Wicked Witch of the West floating by! Balloons launch twice a day, depending on the wind, but there’s plenty to do in-between, including wine and craft beer tastings, tethered balloon rides, a pilot meet-and-greet and so much more. Pack up chairs or a blanket and plan to spend the entire day having fun. Visit carolinaballoonfest.com for daily ticket prices and parking information.
October 24, 2018: Mummies & Mixers — Atlanta, GA
Enjoy frights, delights and enough fun to make your mummy proud! On Wednesday, October 24, head to Michael C. Carlos Museum for a wondrous evening featuring master storyteller Barry Stewart Mann, delicious food and drinks from the best Atlanta caterers and mixologists, face painting for adults, music, a raffle and perhaps spooky ghouls wandering the halls?! The fun goes from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m. for VIP). General admission tickets are $40; individual host committee tickets are $55; and host committee couples are $100. Get tickets and more information on the website. Learn more at carlos.emory.edu.
October 27, 2018: Lexington Barbecue Festival — Lexington, NC
Plan to pig out at the 35th annual Lexington Barbecue Festival. The popular event draws people from all over the South, and it’s no wonder with plenty of famous Lexington-style barbecue, carnival games, pig races, a wine garden and seven entertainment stages. The fun starts at 8:30 a.m. when exhibits open, the barbecue tents open at 10 a.m., and the day ends with a concert and fireworks at the Breeden Amphitheater. This is one of the top events for October, so don’t miss out! Admission is free. For more information visit barbecuefestival.com.
October 27, 2018: Pumpkinfest — Nashville, TN
Historic Downtown Franklin is back to host one of the community’s favorite street festivals for the 35th year of Pumpkinfest. Join in on family-friendly performances, children’s activities, all your favorite street festival foods, pumpkin carving, The Great Pumpkin, a costume contest and more than 75 arts and crafts booths featuring fall and holiday products! The day’s events are free and open to all! For more info visit historicfranklin.com.
October 27-28, 2018: Jack Daniels’ World Championship Invitational BBQ — Lynchburg, TN
This is one of the “big daddies” of the competitive barbecue circuit. All contestants must have already won some sort of state championship to qualify for consideration to participate at “The Jack,” so the competition is fierce. International teams and backyard barbecuers are also invited to compete in separate divisions. If you hang out next to the main pavilion during judging, you might even get lucky enough to have somebody sneak you a sample of championship-level meat! For more info visit jackdaniels.com.
October 27-28, 2018: RiverArtsFest on Riverside Drive — Memphis, TN
RiverArtsFest is a collaboration and celebration of fine arts and local music. There will be live artist demonstrations as well as hands-on art activities for any and all ages. Over 180 artists from around the country will be in the heart of downtown Memphis. So come enjoy food, fun and local art at this festival! It is $5 admission for Saturday and Sunday. Children 10 and under are free. On Saturday, October 27, admission after 5 p.m. will be free. Learn more at riverartsmemphis.org.
October 28, 2018: South End Wine Fest — Charlotte, NC
Head out for the Charlotte Area Halloween Fest presented by Funtasticks Charlotte! A unique and safe trick-or-treating experience with over 30 family-friendly local businesses handing out candy. Enjoy free admission, free parking and free activities. Children can trick-or-treat and enjoy bounce houses, a photo booth, balloon animals, glitter tattoos, laser tag and more. This event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more info visit eventbrite.com.
Looking Ahead …
November 9 & 10, 2018: Made in the South Weekend — Charleston, SC
This November, Garden and Gun is hosting a Made in the South Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. The 2-day experience celebrates the annual Made in the South Awards, now in their 9th year. The weekend will kick off on Friday, November 9, with a concert headlined by Amanda Shires at Charleston Music Hall, followed by a maker’s marketplace at Garden and Gun’s headquarters in the Cigar Factory on Saturday, November 10, and an awards dinner that night prepared by Atlanta chef Asha Gomez at the historic Aiken-Rhett house. Learn more at gardenandgun.com.
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