Welcome to your best summer ever! It’s time to slow things down a bit and handpick a few Southern events to attend. Savor the season at one of these fabulous — and distinctly Southern — events.
June 2-5, 2016: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival — Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival (AFWF) isn’t just an Atlanta culinary event; it’s a statement on Southern culture, spanning a region making a name for itself with modern interpretations of time-tested flavor profiles. Ticket holders can attend classes designed by world-renowned chefs, visit tasting tents bursting with wonderful foods and attend dinners and parties all over the city. This year, there’s even a pop-up vineyard, the first of its kind in the United States! Visit the AFWF website for more details about the schedule and how to attend. atlfoodandwinefestival.com
June 4, 2016: National Trails Day — Nationwide
Outdoor enthusiasts come together for educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail projects for National Trails Day. While this takes place across the country, you can celebrate locally at state parks. They will offer a variety of ranger-led hikes. For events near you, visit their website: nationaltrailsday.org.
June 4, 2016: Bon Appétit Grub Crawl — Nashville, TN
Bon Appétit Grub Crawl offers three opportunities to mix and mingle with some of Nashville’s top chefs, residents and musicians: The Day Crawl ($149) hits 12 South spots, including Urban Grub, Epice, The Flipside and Josephine, while The Night Crawl (SOLD OUT) visits Rolf & Daughters, 5th & Taylor, Barista Parlor, Cochon Butcher in Germantown; The Closing Party ($40) will round out the day at The Bell Tower, 400 Fourth Ave. S, Nashville, TN 37201, with snacks from Biscuit Love, Butcher & Bee, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Little Octopus,Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint and The Southern Steak & Oyster, as well as cocktails and music from Gabe Dixon. bagrubcrawl.com
June 7, 2016: 5th Annual St. Jude Presents John Rich and Friends — Memphis, TN
Country music legend John Rich hosts a intimate concert featuring his celebrity friends at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Beyond the music, guests can bid on one-of-a-kind live auction items and mingle with PGA TOUR players. Purchase tickets online: stjude.org
June 9-12, 2016: CMA Music Festival — Nashville, TN
Brace yourself for four days of all-things-country when thousands of country fans from around the world flock to Nashville for CMA Music Festival. With guests ranging from well-known country acts to smaller names (including the likes of Ashley Campbell, Aubrie Sellers, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Holly Williams and Little Big Town), it’s the biggest country music event of the season. If you can’t score tickets to the big-name shows, check out free concerts and activities around town. Tickets for the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium, located at 1 Titans Way, Nashville, TN 37213, are sold out. However, tickets are still available for Fan Fair X, which begins each day at 9:30 a.m. at Music City Center, 201 Fifth Avenue S, Nashville, TN 37203. Fan Fair Admission is included in all CMA Music Festival four-day tickets or can be purchased separately for $10 per day or $25 for four days. cmaworld.com/cma-music-festival
June 10-18, 2016: Riverbend Festival — Chattanooga, TN
Spend the week on the banks of the Tennessee River listening to nearly 100 different artists on five different stages. The artists run the gamut, from 38 Special and REO Speedwagon to ZZ Ward, Contiuum and a TON more. (Click here to see the full lineup.) Various ticket packages are available, and if you want to bring the fam, kids ages 10 and younger get in free! Learn more here.
June 11-12, 2016: French Market Creole Tomato Festival — New Orleans, LA
Enjoy this free two-day event now in its 30th year. The French Market Creole Tomato Festival takes place at French Market, the nation’s oldest city marketplace, and features a cooking contest, live music, great food and drink booths and more. Learn more here.
June 11, 2016: Summer Craft Beer Fest — Jeffersontown, KY
Tap into the surging craft beer scene at The Chamber Jeffersontown’s Summer Craft Beer Fest. The Summer Craft Beer Fest takes place in the heart of downtown Jeffersontown at the Pavillion and features more than 50 craft beers, local wines, food trucks, and live music. Tickets are $35 in advanced and $45 at the gate. Tickets include a tasting card and commemorative glass. Designated Driver Tickets are $10. Tickets can be purchased online at jtownbeerfest.com.
June 24-26, 2016: 20th Annual Athfest Music and Arts Festival — Athens, GA
Head to the birthplace of R.E.M. and enjoy a three-day weekend filled with fabulous music and visual art by some of the most talented local and regional musicians and artists. Events take place through downtown Athens and celebrate AthFest Educates, a nonprofit dedicated to providing funding for music and arts education for youth. Venue events require tickets, while the outdoor stages are free for all. Learn more at athfest.com.
June 25: Keep Austin Weird Fest and 5K — Austin, TX
This event, which embraces the weirdness that defines Austin, features live music, food, a costume contest, a 5K and more. So do your part, and Keep Austin Weird at this one-day event. Learn more at keepaustinweirdfest.com.
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