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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 in these cities, explore the South and its fantastic springtime events.

22 Southern Events & Happenings: May 2022

Through May 8, 2022: 7th Annual Southeastern Showhouse & Gardens — Atlanta, GA

If you haven’t had the chance to visit Atlanta’s Southeastern Showhouse yet, now is your chance! The annual spring tradition showcases some of the best interior designers and architects in the game. This year’s home is located at 3628 Castlegate Drive NW and features designs by Beni Borza, Ashley Gilbreath, Joy Williams, and more. Admission is $40, and hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. southeasternshowhouse.com

May 1 – 7, 2022: 84th Annual West Tennessee Strawberry Festival — Humboldt, TN

Experience Tennessee’s largest and longest-running festival by attending the annual West Tennessee Strawberry Festival. Hosting over 20 events, including a fireworks show, cook-offs, live music, parades, and a horse show, this festival is sure to entertain the whole family. Some events are free to attend, while others require an admission fee. strawberryfestivaltn.com

May 1 – 7, 2022: Kentucky Derby Week — Louisville, KY

From watching Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct their morning workouts to enjoying bourbon and live music, Churchill Downs dedicates an entire week to the Kentucky Derby. Events run up until Derby Day, and tickets begin at $16. To see a full list of events, visit churchilldowns.com.

May 4 – 8, 2022: 39th Annual North Charleston Arts Fest — Charleston, SC

Join in on the fun at the annual North Charleston Arts Fest! Taking place in venues throughout Charleston, the five-day celebration of art and culture showcases local artists and performers. Experience an array of concerts, theater presentations, children’s activities, exhibitions, public art installations, and more. All events are free to attend. northcharlestonartsfest.com

May 4 – 8, 2022: 26th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival — Key West, FL

As the largest festival of its kind, the Key West Songwriters Festival is a five-night celebration featuring notable songwriters in addition to up-and-coming talent. This year’s lineup includes artists like Devin Dawson, Chris Young, Payton Smith, and Shelby Darrall. Ticketed events begin at $30, while other events are free to attend. keywestsongwritersfestival.com

May 5, 2022: Taste of Derby — Louisville, KY

Mingle with horse racing celebrities as you indulge in exquisite cuisine and wines. Sample regional specialties with wine pairings, created by nationally recognized chefs. The event also includes live music entertainment and a live chef cooking showdown. The event begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are $325. kfcyumcenter.com

May 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2022: Mental Health Podcast Conversations — Virtual

Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month? While mental health has recently become a hot topic in media, there is still so much stigma surrounding our mental and emotional well-being. Issues like depression, anxiety, stress, medication, or addiction often feel taboo or off-limits. Join Onsite for a month of free podcast resources dedicated to normalizing and destigmatizing the conversation around mental health. Every Thursday, they explore practical topics like how to ask for help, how to support someone who is struggling, and more. Join the conversation at livingcenteredpodcast.com or wherever you listen to podcasts by searching “Living Centered Podcast.”

May 6 & 7, 2022: North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival — Huntersville, NC

North Carolina’s favorite beer festival returns to Historic Rustic Hill. This year’s musical lineup includes artists like Jade Bird, Katie Pruitt, and The SteelDrivers, and notable breweries include Birdsong Brewing Co., Lenny Boy Brewing Co., and Red Oak Brewery. Tickets begin at $15, and non-drinking tickets are also available. ncbrewsmusic.com

May 6 – 8, 2022: 51st Annual Spring Tennessee Craft Fair — Nashville, TN

Enjoy the great outdoors as you explore handmade art at the Spring Tennessee Craft Fair at Nashville’s Centennial Park. The annual event is free to attend and features art from over 125 artisans across Tennessee and the Southeast. In addition to the main craft fair, attendees can enjoy live demonstrations, workshops, a kids’ tent, and more. Fair hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tennesseecraft.org

May 6 – 8, 2022: Gumtree Arts & Wine Festival — Tupelo, MS

The Gumtree Art and Wine Festival is a beloved annual event that celebrates artists and makers from across the country. Honoring both the visual and performing arts, attendees can experience a chalk art contest, plein air painting, and more. Plus, new this year is the inclusion of wine and spirits! gumtreeartandwinefestival.com

May 7, 2022: 7th Annual Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party — Memphis, TN

Dust off those sundresses and wide-brimmed hats for Southern Reins’ annual Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party! Tickets start at $150 and include snacks and an open food and drink bar. All proceeds from the event benefit Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy. event.auctria.com

May 8 – October 31, 2022: Alice’s Adventures at the Garden — Memphis, TN

Experience the wonder and whimsy of Alice in Wonderland at Memphis Botanic Garden’s newest exhibit. As you stroll the garden, you’ll view topiary-like sculptures of Alice herself, The Red Queen, The Cheshire Cat, and more. Plus, each month, the garden hosts Alice-related programming that focuses on literacy, arts, and horticulture. Tickets are $12 for adults (ages 13 and up), $10 for seniors (ages 62 and up), $7 for children (ages 2 to 12), and children under 2 are free. membg.org

May 11 – 15, 2022: Regions Tradition Golf Tournament — Birmingham, AL

Golf lovers rejoice! The Regions Tradition Golf Tournament returns for another year. The annual golf championship weekend takes place at Greystone Golf & Country Club. This tournament, which has generated more than $20 million in donations to local charities since 1992, always draws a large crowd of spectators. General admission tickets are $25. Gates open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. regionstradition.com

May 12 – May 14, 2022: Women in Blues Festival: Helena, AR and Clarksdale, MS

This new festival will take place in two towns, in two different states, but just down the road from each other! Celebrating the women who sing the blues, in the heart of the area where the blues first originated. Join the fun and enjoy live music, yoga, drinks, food and celebrating and supporting women (that’s something we firmly stand behind!). Find out more: womeninblues.org

May 13 & 14, 2022: 15th Annual Alys Beach Digital Graffiti Art Festival — Alys Beach, FL

Head to Alys Beach to experience its annual Digital Graffiti Art Festival. Using the town and its buildings as a backdrop, the festival projects artwork from artists, designers, photographers, and architects under the night sky. Local and regional chefs, restaurants, winemakers, distilleries, and breweries are at the event on Friday, and food trucks are on-site Saturday. Tickets begin at $25, and event hours are Friday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. alysbeach.com

May 14, 2022: Iroquois Steeplechase — Nashville, TN

“Nashville’s grand tradition” returns on Saturday, May 14. In addition to the horse race, attendees can enjoy tailgating, hat and style contests, the Parade of Hounds, and more. Festivities begin at 8 a.m. at Percy Warner Park. Individual tickets are $50 and include access to tailgating, the Iroquois Shoppe, and the family area. Upgrade packages are also available. iroquoissteeplechase.org

May 14, 2022: Magic City Wine Fest — Birmingham, AL

Travel across the globe at the Magic City Wine Fest. Taking place at the Birmingham Zoo, attendees can sip on wine and beer specific to certain regions of the world while enjoying delicious food from local restaurants and live music. The festival begins at 6 p.m., and general admission tickets are $49. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Birmingham Zoo. magiccitywinefest.com

May 18, 2022: Farm-to-Table Bespoke Dinner — Virginia Beach, VA

Take in the charm of Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks at this six-course dinner hosted at Bees Nees’ Pink House. In addition to a delicious meal, the evening includes remarks from informational speaker Jenna Rodriguez and wine pairings from Certified Sommelier Brian Williams. The dinner begins at 5 p.m., and a two-night stay is included with admission. The event is limited to 12 people. Email [email protected] to reserve your spot. beesnees.com

May 21, 2022: Birmingham Taco Fest — Birmingham, AL

Bare Hands, Inc. once again presents Birmingham Taco Fest! Taste tacos from Birmingham’s top vendors and food trucks at Sloss Furnaces. In addition to mouthwatering tacos, the festival includes live music, children’s activities, and local art vendors. Attendees can vote for the best taco and pair their taco selection with delicious locally crafted beverages. The event begins at 1 p.m., and advance general admission tickets are $8. barehandsinc.org

May 21, 2022: Tennessee Whiskey Trail Experience — Nashville, TN

In celebration of International Tennessee Whiskey Day on Monday, March 21, join the Tennessee Whiskey Trail for its inaugural Tennessee Whiskey Trail Experience outside Nissan Stadium. In addition to whiskey tastings, the event includes educational and mixology experiences from Whiskey University and Tennessee Whiskey Workshop. Educational classes run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the main tasting event takes place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets begin at $39, and non-drinking tickets are also available. tnwhiskeytrailexperience.com

May 21, 2022: BloomFest — Louisville, KY

After a three-year hiatus, Bernheim’s annual celebration of spring is back. Enjoy a variety of activities for children, including arts, crafts, garden faerie house construction and naturalist-led discovery stations, as well as local artisans, food vendors, and musical entertainment. Festivities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a free event, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per car for non-members. bernheim.org

May 28, 2022: Great American River Run — Memphis, TN

Lace up your sneakers and finish the month with a running event ideal for all ages and skill levels. The Great American River Run invites runners from all over the U.S. to weave through the trees of Memphis while enjoying the history and sights of the Bluff City. Runners can partake in a half-marathon, 5K, or 10K race. Registration begins at $35. memphisinmay.org

Here’s to a fun-filled May!

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To see more great Southern events, visit our Happenings calendar!

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