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!
October 3 – 5, 2019: Birmingham Greek Food Festival — Birmingham, AL
Calling out Greek food lovers! Home cooks are the stars of the Birmingham Greek Food Festival, as they prepare platters of dolmathes, souvlakia and Greek chicken. Not to mention a pastiche for tasty Greek pastries to satisfy any sweet tooth. You can dine in or carry out! The festival starts on October 3 and ends on October 5. Admission is free with individually priced food. birminghamgreekfestival.net
October 3 – 6, 2019: 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, and 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 4 – 6, 2019: St. James Court Art Show — Louisville, KY
The St. James Court Art Show is back for its 62nd year of celebration this October 4 through 6! At this Old Louisville favorite, you are sure to find something that strikes your fancy. 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. Admission is free. Learn more at stjamescourtartshow.com.
October 5, 2019: Birmingham OktoberFest — Birmingham, AL
Celebrate German culture at Birmingham’s biggest German-themed party at Railroad Park. Dress the part in your Oktoberfest gear and taste various beers, munch on delicious German fare, show off your moves to live music and participate in Oktoberfest-themed games. Gather your friends and live your best Oktoberfest life from noon to 7 p.m. General admission tickets start at $21 online. The Bier Lover’s VIP tickets (includes a beer stein, t-shirt, and four beer tickets) start at $48 online. Tickets are expected to sell out prior to the event. For more information, visit birminghamoktoberfest.
October 5, 2019: Wine Over Water Wine & Food Festival — Chattanooga, TN
Wine Over Water is back for the 25th year, with a plethora of events taking place throughout Chattanooga in some of the city’s most beautiful historic buildings. 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. Tickets start at $80.25. wineoverwater.org
October 5, 2019: Wine on the River — Memphis, TN
Head to the Mud Island River Walk in Downtown Memphis for Wine on the River on October 5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be wine samples from National and International vineyards. The theme, “Around the World,” will focus on culture. Food and wine have been carefully selected for each area. There will also be live music and all proceeds benefit Best Buddies. Tickets start at $59. wineontherivermemphis.com
October 5, 2019: Rock Shrimp Festival — St. Marys, GA
Shrimp festival? Count us in! Eat your heart out this October 5 as the festival provides plentiful rock shrimp, boiled shrimp, fried fish, slaw, hush puppies and more. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are available at the St. Marys Welcome Center until Friday, October 4. visitstmarys.com
Through October 6, 2019: MOJA Arts Festival 2019 — Charleston, SC
Are you ready for Charleston’s 36th annual MOJA Arts Festiva: A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts? Moja means “one,” as the festival brings together people from all over while highlighting African-American and Caribbean contributions to western and world cultures. Enjoy 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.
October 8 through November 3, 2019: 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 8 and running through November 3. There are 5,000 uniquely carved pumpkins lighting up the walking trail, which spans one-quarter mile. 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. Ticket start at $10. jackolanternlouisville.com
October 9 through 12, 2019: 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 for $45 or a three-day festival pass for $85. Kingbiscuitfestival.com
October 10 through 13, 2019: Nashville Oktoberfest — Nashville, TN
It’s only fitting to celebrate the time-honored tradition of Oktoberfest in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood. This event features live music, authentic German food, fun activities for the whole family and, of course, beer. Raise your stein and toast to fall at this free celebration! thenashvilleoktoberfest.com
October 11 through 13, 2019: 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 festivities. Learn more and see the daily hours at richmondfolkfestival.org.
October 11 through 13, 2019: 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 11 through 13, 2019: 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 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 12, 2019: Memphis Food & Wine Festival — Memphis, TN
One of the biggest food and wine celebrations is happening on October 12 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Memphis Food & Wine Festival is a way of showcasing local chef talent along with national, regional and international chefs. This festival will return to the Live Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden and will continue to benefit the FedExFamilyHouse, which offers housing for out-of-town families with children receiving treatment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Thus far, the Memphis Food & Wine Festival has donated over $225,000, and you can help them continue to grow that number! Tickets are on sale now. Individual tickets start at $200, a reserved table of 8 is $2,000 and reserved table seats (only sold in pairs: 2,4,6) are $250 per ticket.memphisfoodwinefestival.org
October 12, 2019: Wine on the River — Louisville, KY
Calling all wine enthusiasts! From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, more than 25 vineyards, distributors and wineries will be on the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park. Attendees will receive a passport to keep track of their favorite red, white or bubbly during this fun and educational event. Tickets are $65 plus tax. They include admission to the event, a souvenir tasting glass, samples of all beverages, a passport brochure and a donation to Boys and Girls Haven. Non-drinking tickets are available for $20, and VIP tickets are $75. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend and present a valid ID. wineontheriverlouisville.com
Through October 13, 2019: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Serenbe Showhouse Tours — Atlanta, GA
Tour the 6th annual Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Serenbe Designer Showhouse on Thursdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Designed by Serenbe Planning & Design and built by South Haven, the designer showhouse is in the newest neighborhood, Mado, and has gorgeous views of the preserved woods. The showhouse features Atlanta’s best interior designers whose talents will transform almost 3,300 sq.ft. of indoor space! Proceeds from the showhouse will directly benefit the art farm at Serenbe. To grab your $20 ticket or find more info, visit serenbeshowhouse.com.
October 13, 2019: Garden Harvest for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — Memphis, TN
On October 13, join St. Jude supporters for the ninth annual St. Jude Garden Harvest. With chefs from around the Memphis area, delicious appetizers and cocktails, live entertainment and an auction, you’re guaranteed a good time. All proceeds go straight to the mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving Children. Individual tickets start at $200. stjude.org
October 18 through 20, 2019: 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 18 through 20, 2019: 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 19, 2019: 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 star of Food Network’s “Chopped,” Alex Guarnaschelli. It is in Kentucky, after all, so you can expect plenty of great booze, beer and wine as well. Presale tickets are $65. Learn more at wineandfood.courier-journal.com.
October 19, 2019: 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 while live bands get you to move your feet to the music. Both general admission and VIP packages are available. For more info, visit southendwinefest.org.
October 19, 2019: 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 $40 earlybird 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 19, 2019: 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. Don’t forget the live music too! A special VIP-level ticket provides funds to the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild and their advocacy efforts, and entitles patrons to have 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 19, 2019: Cooper-Young Beerfest — Memphis, TN
Celebrate the hardworking local brewers at this year’s 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 25, 2019: 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 benefiting Volunteer Memphis. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will wrap up at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at memphistequilafestival.com.
October 25 & 26, 2019: Jack Daniels’ World Championship Invitational BBQ — Lynchburg, TN
Ready to chow down on some BBQ? 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 26, 2019: Howls & Growls — Birmingham, AL
Don’t miss Howls & Growls at Haven in the Lakeview district of Birmingham, AL, this October 26. Howls & Growls will be a thrilling good time that features local food trucks, a spooktacular costume contest (where the winner takes home a cash prize totaling $1,500.00 for all three categories) and more. Plus, the event benefits the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Attendees will enjoy live music from the 17th Floor band, games and activities, live streaming of the Alabama and Auburn football games, and local food and craft beer from Avondale Brewing and Good People Brewing. For more information, visit gbhs.org.
October 26, 2019: Lexington Barbecue Festival — Lexington, NC
Plan to pig out at the 36th 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, it’s the place to be. 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 26, 2019: Pumpkinfest — Nashville, TN
Historic Downtown Franklin is back to host one of the community’s favorite street festivals for the 36th 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 26 & 27, 2019: RiverArtsFest on Riverside Drive — Memphis, TN
Ready to celebrate fine arts and local music? RiverArtsFest will have 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 26, admission after 5 p.m. will be free. Learn more at riverartsmemphis.org.
Through October 27, 2019: Cheekwood Harvest, Presented by FirstBank — Nashville, TN
October is finally here! Celebrate all things fall during Cheekwood Harvest, part of the year-round lineup of signature seasonal festivals. Enjoy activities and experiences designed to appeal to kids, adults and families alike, making this six-week celebration the perfect time for all of the fall festivities. cheekwood.org
October 31 through November 11, 2019: Foo Foo Festival — Pensacola, FL
Foo Foo Fest is a 12-day celebration each fall, with culturally creative happenings, events and moments under one banner, attracting visitors to beautiful Pensacola, Florida. Foo Foo Fest is big fun, with events of high artistic and cultural caliber, delivered with a hefty dose of Southern sophistication. This year’s festival takes place Oct. 31 ‑ Nov. 11. foofoofest.com
Through November 2, 2019: 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 and explosions (or who may have even been murdered) 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 November 2. Tickets cost $20 per person Sundays through Thursdays and $25 Friday, Saturday and Halloween night! Learn more at frightfurnace.com.
November 27 & 28: 30A 10K — Rosemary Beach, FL
Looking for a unique way to celebrate Thanksgiving? The 30A 10K has already been named one of the top five Thanksgiving race events in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have already been raised for local charities in the South Walton area, which spans the Florida panhandle. A popular destination at any time of the year, it is particularly popular for race participants during Thanksgiving week. In fact, the 30A 10K has evolved into an annual tradition for many families, who register in late summer and excitedly begin planning their trip South for the Thanksgiving holiday. Join them this year and start a new family tradition! The 10K and Fun Run take place in Rosemary Beach, and registration starts at $75. Packet pick up and the “Thanksgiving Extravaganza” take place on November 27, and November 28 is race day. 30a10k.com
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