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 1-4, 2017: 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. Visit the AFWF website for more details about the schedule and how to attend. atlfoodandwinefestival.com
June 1-3, 2017: Steel City Jazz Festival – Birmingham, AL
Calling all jazz lovers! Enjoy a weekend filled with live jazz music, celebration and more at Linn Park. Headliners include The O’Jays, Rachelle Ferrell, Najee and more. This is the ideal way to explore the Magic City and enjoy amazing music. For more information, visit steelcityjazzfestbham.com.
June 3, 2017: 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 as they will be offering a variety of ranger-led hikes. For events near you, visit their website: nationaltrailsday.org.
June 8-11, 2017: Festival of the Bluegrass – Lexington, KY
Can you believe the Festival of the Bluegrass is now in its 44th year?! This year’s traditional Bluegrass Music Festival will take place in the heart of the Bluegrass at Kentucky Horse Park Campground in Lexington, KY. The family-run festival, established in 1974, has been described as a ‘family reunion on steroids.’ There is a little something for everyone– camping, food and craft vendors, climbing, clogging and of course bluegrass music. This year’s lineup consists of Lonesome River Band, Cumberland Gap, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, and Dry Branch Fire Squad. Four day tickets start at $100. festivalofthebluegrass.com
June 8-11, 2017: 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 (including the likes of Kelsea Ballerini, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Chas Rice, Chris Stapleton, Jana Kramer and Maren Morris) to smaller names, 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 in downtown Nashville. 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
June 9, 2017: Atlanta Moon Ride – Atlanta, GA
The first night-cycling event of its kind to be introduced to the city will include a fun 6-mile bike ride through some of Atlanta’s coolest neighborhoods. All proceeds from the Atlanta Moon Ride will support the work of local charity Bert’s Big Adventure. Bert’s Big Adventure is a nonprofit organization that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families. atlantamoonride.com
June 9-11, 2017: Norfolk HarborFest – Norfolk, VA
Norfolk Harborfest®, America’s largest, longest-running, free maritime festival, is now in its 41st year. The historic waterfront festival will offer a weekend packed with thrilling activities on land and sea June 9 through 11. Attendees will see tall ships, the Parade of Sail, artisan foods and beverages, work boat races, unique and unusual performances, one of the largest fireworks shows on the East Coast, family games and regional entertainment. Tickets start at $50. festevents.org
June 9-17, 2017: Riverbend Festival — Chattanooga, TN
Spend the week on the banks of the Tennessee River listening to nearly 100 different artists on five different stages. (Click here to see the full lineup.) Tickets start at $42, with various ticket packages available, and if you want to bring the fam, kids ages 10 and younger get in free! Learn more here.
June 10 & 11, 2017: French Market Creole Tomato Festival — New Orleans, LA
Enjoy this free two-day event now in its 31st 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 17 & 18, 2017: Thunder on the Cumberland – Nashville, TN
Thunder on the Cumberland is a free weekend-long festival hosted by Acme Radio featuring the fastest boats in the world racing on the Cumberland River. On June 17 and 18 head down to Riverfront Park on Lower Broadway to enjoy boat racing, food trucks, family-friendly fun, cold beer and more. visitmusiccity.com
June 21-25, 2017: Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic – Sandestin, FL
The Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin®, which takes place every June off the Florida panhandle in one of the most productive fisheries in the US, has set the precedent for world-class, million dollar sportfishing tournaments. The tournament is timed to coincide with the peak of the Gulf Coast’s blue marlin season. In addition to the main event, there are other events taking place during the tournament including a golf scramble and Taste of Wind Creek. More details can be found on their website. fishecbc.com
June 23-25, 2017: Bayou Boogaloo – Norfolk, VA
The Bayou Boogaloo Music & Cajun Food Festival is Norfolk’s annual love-fest with New Orleans’ vibrant spirit and captures the melting pot of Bayou culture. This popular three-day festival delivers the heart and soul of Louisiana to visitors of Town Point Park in true Cajun and Creole style. There will be two stages featuring national recording artists providing diverse cultural musical entertainment. The Arts Council of New Orleans and Norfolk Festevents handpick one-of-a-kind artists from Louisiana to share their crafts. This year, various mediums will be represented, including art, jewelry and sculpture. Festival goers are in for a real treat as they will have the opportunity to feast on fresh crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffe, alligator and beignets. Daily admission starts at $15 and three-day passes start at $30. festevents.org
June 23-25, 2017: 21st 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 24, 2017: 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. Tickets are $25. So do your part, and Keep Austin Weird at this one-day event. Learn more at keepaustinweirdfest.com.
June 25, 2017: Cochon555 – Atlanta, GA
Five chefs, five pigs and five winemakers make for an unimaginably tasty event. Cochon555 is an epic culinary experience centered on 1500 pounds of heritage breed pork. Attendees will feast on dozens of chef-crafted tastings and sip on more than 40 types of boutique wines, craft cocktails and artisanal brews. A portion of all sales will benefit the Piggy Bank Charity. Tickets start at $125. cochon555.com
June 30 through July 2, 2017: Sandstock: A Tribute to Rock and Roll – Virginia Beach, VA
This tribute to rock and roll is a beach-inspired variation of “Woodstock.” National and regional tribute artists will cover songs from some of the greatest rockers in history. All performances, which are free to the public, are held on two “Dueling stages.” For more information and full lineup, visit beachstreetusa.com.
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