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, one of these options isn’t too far away. Get in the car, enjoy an adventure and embrace this most magical time of year!
Through October 8, 2017: MOJA Arts Festival 2017 — Charleston, SC
This year marks Charleston’s 34th 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. The event runs through October 8 and is held in Charleston. mojafestival.com
Through October 31, 2017: Sloss Fright Furnace — Birmingham, AL
Are you ready to be scared this Halloween? Come 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 selected 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 4-7, 2017: 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 or a three-day festival pass. Learn more about this festival at kingbiscuitfestival.com.
October 5-8, 2017: 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 6-8, 2017: 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 61st year for the Old Louisville favorite and will run from Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8. You are sure to find something that strikes your fancy, as there are more than 750 artists from across the country gathered together displaying their crafts for this one weekend in Old Louisville. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at stjamescourtartshow.com.
October 7, 2017: Sculpture in the Sky — Chattanooga, TN
The skies will fill with colorful colossal kites during Chattanooga’s Sculpture in the Sky event. This family-friendly event features colossal, stunt, parachute and Rokkaku battle kites, fun eats, demos and activities. The fun will last from noon to 6 p.m. sculpturefields.org
October 7, 2017: HarvestFest – Danville, KY
Main Street will be closed down for HarvestFest in Danville. This downtown celebration, happening during Centre’s Family Weekend, brings Danville’s Main Street to life and celebrates what makes the town unique. Known as the “City of Firsts,” Danville is a cultural hub in Central Kentucky with everything from musical talent, libations and great food. And that’s what HarvestFest is all about – good music, good food and good drinks! facebook.com
October 7-22, 2017: Parade of Homes at Witherspoon — Brentwood, TN
Tour homes by some of the area’s top builders and designers during this annual event. This year, the event is held in Brentwood’s Witherspoon community and six houses will be showcased during the two-week run. Tickets are $15 per person and the homes are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. theparadeofhomes.org
October 12 through November 5, 2017: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular — Louisville, KY
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is always a crowd favorite, and this year’s event will be held at Iroquois Park. There are 5,000 uniquely carved pumpkins lighting up the walking trail, which spans one-quarter mile and will be illuminated from dusk to 11 p.m. during the week (Sunday-Thursday) and until 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Carvers work tirelessly throughout the month to constantly keep freshly carved pumpkins out. Learn more at jackolanternlouisville.com.
October 13, 2017: Eats & Beats — Atlanta, GA
Have a great night AND do good at the 2017 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 ($85 at the door) and VIP tickets run $175 ($185 at the door), which include all kinds of awesome bonuses. childrenofconservation.org
October 13-15, 2017: Richmond Folk Festival — Richmond, VA
Enjoy an entertaining and enriching weekend on Richmond’s riverfront during the three-day Richmond Folk Festival. The line-up is diverse and features performers from all over the world — Brazil, Italy, Bulgaria — 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 at richmondfolkfestival.org.
October 13-15, 2017: 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 in Nashville. Authors on the program take part in a session — either a solo reading or a panel discussion — followed by a book signing. The festival hosts popular book exhibitors and performances on three stages throughout the weekend. Special events for children, book sales and other literary performances are planned, providing something for everyone. With mystery writers, debut novelists, poets, biographers, chefs and children’s authors, the Nashville community will come together to celebrate a love for literature. The festival is free and open to the public. Learn more at humanitiestennessee.org.
October 14, 2017: Memphis Food & Wine Festival — Memphis, TN
Our favorite fall event is finally here! The inaugural Memphis Food & Wine Festival brings together top wineries and the top chefs from Memphis and the South — plus a few superstars from both coasts. Tickets are limited and are $200 each, and the event begins at 6 p.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden. Complete details and tickets are online at memphisfoodwinefestival.org.
October 19 through November 12, 2017: O’More Designer Show House — Nashville, TN
Make a trip to Nashville this month to tour one of the most beautifully designed show houses in the South! Visit the estate of country music icon Eddie Arnold and take a look at the inspiration behind the designers who decorated the O’More Designer Show House, a 4,000-square-foot space in Nashville. Open tour hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 per person. omoreshowhouse.com
October 20-22, 2017: Taste of Atlanta — Atlanta, GA
Hey foodies, it’s time to knock your forks off at the 15th year of Taste of Atlanta! This year, more than 90 delicious local spots will serve wonderful bites, as well as show off the talents of some the best chefs in the city on four (!) live demo stages. Tickets are $25 for either Saturday or Sunday and VIP passes are available at an additional cost for a few additional perks. Learn more at tasteofatlanta.com.
October 20-22, 2017: 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 26, 2017: 8th Annual Food Invasion — Montgomery, AL
Montgomery’s Hampstead community hosts its 8th Annual Food Invasion benefit dinner with Saw’s BBQ of Birmingham. The Birmingham-based restaurant will be serving delicious barbecue and proceeds from the benefit go to the Hampstead Institute, a nonprofit that serves and supports educational and healthy food initiatives in the community. Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased at hampsteadliving.com.
October 27-29, 2017: 11th Annual RiverArtsFest — Memphis, TN
The region’s largest juried fine arts festival is back for its 11th year in the South Main Arts District. Come to see the works of more than 180 artists from around the country, music on three stages, food and beverages and activities for all ages. Admission is $5 for adults and kids attend free. The festival gets underway at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 27. More information is online at riverartsmemphis.org.
October 28, 2017: Lexington Barbecue Festival — Lexington, NC
Plan to pig out at the 34th 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. This is one of the top events for October, so don’t miss out! Admission is free. For more information, visit barbecuefestival.com.
Keep up with best of life in the South. Follow us on Instagram — @StyleBlueprint.