The South heats up with so many amazing events in May. Here are some of our top selections that are worth checking out. Whether you make a day trip or plan to spend a weekend, explore the South and its fantastic springtime events.
Through May 13, 2018: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens – Atlanta, GA
The third annual Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, which showcases the region’s leading design-industry talents, will be held April 19 through May 13 in Atlanta. Tours will be offered Thursdays through Sundays and other inspired events will occur throughout the run of the show, from book signings to speakers. Street parking is available with shuttle pick-up service provided. This year’s showhouse will benefit the Atlanta History Center. Visit Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25. Visit southeasternshowhouse.com for more info.
Through June 1, 2018: A Million Blooms — Richmond, VA
Richmond’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is alive with beauty and a million blooms through the month of May. The display, which began in March, has offered stunning displays of roses, daffodils, peonies and more. In May, specifically, visitors can expect to see peonies, iris, azaleas and pitcher plants. Learn more and plan your visit by visiting lewisginter.org.
May 2-6, 2018: North Charleston Arts Festival – Charleston, SC
The annual North Charleston Arts Fest highlights national, regional and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, theatre, music, film, media and visual and literary arts. Over the years the event has matured into one of the most comprehensive arts festivals across the South with a schedule that offers something for everyone, including: concerts, theatre presentations, children’s programs, workshop demonstrations, exhibitions, public art installations and more. For more information, schedule of events and tickets, visit northcharlestonartsfest.com.
May 3-5, 2018: The 43rd Annual Harding Art Show
Celebrate a few of the South’s brightest artists this May 3 – 5 in Nashville at The Harding Art Show. This beloved show, in its 43rd year, hosts over 70 artists from across the country and is the oldest school-sponsored art show in Tennessee. Attendees will enjoy a fun cocktail party atmosphere on Thursday and Friday and a family-friendly day on Saturday complete with art activities, food vendors, face-painting and live music. Tickets are a $10 suggested donation on Thursday and Friday with free admission on Saturday. thehardingartshow.com
May 4, 2018: ‘The Trifecta’ Derby Eve Gala — Louisville, KY
Ready to hit the trifecta? This year the star-studded ‘The Trifecta’ Derby Eve Gala will take place at the new Omni Hotel Louisville! Walk the red carpet and feel like a celebrity at this black tie event with incredible entertainment. The Trifecta, an official event of the Kentucky Derby, benefits the West End School, and the University of Louisville Autism Center at Kosair. This event takes place from 7 p.m. to midnight. Visit trifectagala.com for tickets.
May 4-6, 2018: Beale Street Music Festival — Memphis, TN
Kicking off the entire Memphis in May celebration is a three-day music festival featuring over 65 big-name stars and local musical acts performing on four stages and one tent in Tom Lee Park. Featured performers include Jack White, Post Malone, Erykah Badu, Kaleo and more. You can find the full lineup of acts and purchase tickets at memphisinmay.org.
May 5, 2018: Kentucky Derby 144 — Louisville, KY
The first Saturday in May is sacred in Kentucky, and the Kentucky Derby is an experience like no other. Don’t miss a chance to be a part of the action, and be sure to wear your best frock and hat. Check out our What to Wear article to see how to do Derby right. For tickets, visit www.kentuckyderby.com.
May 5 & 6, 2018: Asheville Bread Festival – Asheville, NC
This year marks the 14th year of the Asheville Bread Festival. This two-day event, which draws over 1,500 attendees each year, is an opportunity for bread enthusiasts and professional bakers to break bread together, to improve their baking skills, share ideas and network within the artisan bread community. Also, the dinner brings together farmers, millers, bakers and bread enthusiasts for an evening of bread talk and networking. Tickets to the dinner are $25. Tickets are required for all workshops. Visit ashevillebreadfestival.com for more information.
May 10-19, 2018: Nashville Film Festival — Nashville, TN
The Nashville Film Festival has been showcasing independent cinema since 1969, growing each year to now show 300+ films over the course of 10 days. This diverse lineup includes films locally made in Tennessee as well as 25+ countries around the world. In 2017, the festival featured 93 female directors. Head to Regal Hollywood Stadium 27 from 10:30 a.m. to midnight daily. Tickets are $12 per film. Visit nashvillefilmfestival.org.
May 12, 2018: Magic City Wine Festival
Calling all wine lovers! Come out to the Birmingham Zoo this May 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.for the 2nd Annual Magic City Wine Fest. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample both wine and beer from specific different regions across the globe. Bites from local restaurants and live music will complete the event. Tickets start at $49. magiccitywinefest.com
May 12, 2018: Iroquois Steeplechase — Nashville, TN
Each year on the second Saturday in May, thousands flock to Nashville’s Percy Warner Park for the Iroquois Steeplechase. This spring racing event is a favorite among locals and Music City visitors. Gather a group and purchase tickets to the tailgating area, which is as popular as watching the horse races! Dust off your hats and pray for sunshine this year. Ticket options include: box seats, tailgating, general admission, tents and skybox suites at varying price points. iroquoissteeplechase.org
May 12 & 13, 2018: ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival – Miramar Beach, FL
ArtsQuest is a Mother’s Day Tradition that takes place in the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. Now in its 30th year, ArtsQuest provides an opportunity to view and purchase original art from over 200 artists from around the country while also experiencing live musical entertainment, ImagiNation (where kids rule), student exhibits and great food and beverage options. ArtsQuest awards $10,000 in cash prizes and is a rain or shine event. Visit artweeksouthwalton.com.
May 13-20, 2018: Longleaf Writers Conference – Seaside, FL
Creative writers from all over the nation, featuring award-winning writers in poetry, fiction and screenwriting will gather at the Longleaf Writers Conference in Seaside, Florida. These professionals will offer a full week of intensive writing workshops, one day seminars, school outreach programs and social events. This event is an opportunity for beginning, intermediate and advanced writing workshops, one day seminars and more. Celebrate writing, network with other writers and hone your craft this week in Seaside. There will also be seminars hosted by professional editors and literary agents who will offer one-on-one consultations. All participants who pay the full conference tuition fee will be able to take part in all daily activities, while those paying a la carte pricing will have the pick of which classes and workshops they would like to attend. For registration pricing and more information, visitartweeksouthwalton.com.
May 18-20, 2018: Atlanta Funk Fest Presented by Pepsi — Atlanta, GA
Take a trip to Funkytown at the Atlanta Funk Fest! This three-day event features some of your favorite performing artists from back in the day and now, including Lil’ Kim, Nas, Charlie Wilson and many more. The fun(k) happens at Wolf Creek Ampitheater, but check the website to get the specific performance schedule for each day, ticket prices and other details. atlanta.funkfesttour.com
May 18-20, 2018: Oxford Bourbon Festival & Auction
The Oxford Bourbon Festival & Auction is a three day celebration of all things bourbon, with dinners, tastings, live music and an auction where you can bid to own rare bourbons by the bottle and perhaps a custom-bottled barrel of your own. Proceeds from the weekend benefit Move on Up Mississippi in their efforts to teach children about health, well being and physical activity to combat obesity. Tickets run from $35 to $500. moveonupms.org
May 18-20, 2018: Digital Graffiti —Alys Beach, FL
Alys Beach has plenty of bare canvas in the way of white walls, and during Digital Graffiti, artists of all kinds will project their original works of art on those canvases in this not-to-be-missed three-day festival. Digital artists, photographers, filmmakers, celebrities and art lovers, among others, descend upon this beautiful beach town to take in the unusual — and stunning — sites only found at this annual event. Find a complete schedule, ticket pricing and more at their website, digitalgraffiti.com.
May 18-20, 2018: Hangout Music Fest — Gulf Shores, AL
Arguably one of the best summer music festival lineups of 2018, Hangout Music Fest is back in Gulf Shores for another weekend of amazing music. Don’t forget your shades for this weekend on the beach, featuring a packed list of top-notch acts including Kendrick Lamar, The Chainsmokers, The Killers, Halsey and Odesza just to name a few. Children 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult of 21 years or older for admission. A weekend wristband costs $319 and VIP and Super VIP options are also available. hangoutmusicfest.com
May 24-28, 2018: Abbey Road on the River — Louisville, KY
Celebrate the 60’s at the WAVE 3 News Abbey Road on the River, the world’s largest Beatles-inspired music festival. The five day event will be held at the Big Four Station Park in Jeffersonville, IN over Memorial Day Weekend. More than 50 bands will perform, including Grammy-winning rock group America and the fathers of psychedelic rock Vanilla Fudge. Other festival highlights will include presentations by The Beatles’ legendary sound and recording engineer Geoff Emerick and a Tom Petty tribute show by The Petty Hearts. Tickets start at $35 for one day general admission. arotr.com
May 25-27, 2018: Decatur Arts Festival — Decatur, GA
Decatur knows how to throw a festival and this pedestrian-friendly city does it up right when it comes to May’s Arts Festival. Besides the lovely art, food and music at this free event, some other highlights include the Theater and Literary Arts Tent, the Comedy Tent and dance performances and one-hour classes at nearby Decatur Recreation Center. Check the website for the specific days and times of the various events. decaturartsfestival.com
May 31 through June 3, 2018: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival — Atlanta, GA
The much anticipated 8th Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival returns to Midtown Atlanta on May 31 through June 3 for a weekend filled with more than 150 of the South’s best chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, and pit masters. The festival is centrally located at the Loews Atlanta Hotel with Tasting Tents at Piedmont Park and events around the city. Atlanta Food & Wine Festival provides guests with endless ways to know the South through immersive learning experiences, all-you-can-indulge Tasting Tents, and unique dinners and parties. Whether attending Atlanta Food & Wine Festival to learn or to indulge, there isn’t a more delicious way to experience the South! Tickets start at $85. Be sure to use #AFWF18 and #KnowTheSouth on Instagram. Visit atlfoodandwinefestival.com for more info.
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