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Colder temps do not translate to fewer opportunities for fun. As you’re mapping out your plans for the remaining weeks of winter, don’t miss some of the top food, music, and arts festivals taking place across the South. There’s no shortage of great experiences to be enjoyed in this late winter season!

*This list was updated late January 2022 — please refer to event websites for the most up-to-date information regarding dates and health and safety protocol. Use the links below to navigate the list, organized by month! We tried to hit the big ones, but if we missed one, email [email protected] to let us know.

As you explore, please also note that many festivals begin in February, and run through March.

Top Festivals & Events: Late Winter 2022

January 27-30, 2022: WinterFest — Blowing Rock, NC

This charming mountain town holds a giant, four-day celebration each year called WinterFest. Don’t miss all the fun like the famous Polar Plunge at Chetola Lake, ice carving competition, oyster roast, Chilly Chili Cook-Off, and much more.

Polar Bear Plunge

One of the most popular (and FREEZING) parts of this longstanding festival is the Polar Bear Plunge! Image: Courtesy of Blowing Rock WinterFest

January 29, 2022: Wilmington Coffee Fest — Wilmington, NC

Coffee enthusiasts gather ’round to sip, savor, and learn from coffee roasters, coffee shops, industry professionals, and local makers who share their wares, knowledge, and brews at this all-day caffeinated festival.

January 29, 2022: OWA’s 2022 Arts & Crafts Festival — Foley, AL

OWA’s pristine downtown entertainment district is the perfect backdrop for Coastal Alabama’s newest arts and crafts festival. Explore sights and sounds of local art, music, and handcrafted goods from more than 100 vendors.

January 29, 2022: International Street Food Festival + The South End Craft Market — Charlotte, NC

Charlotte’s International Street Food Festival features delicious cuisine from around the world, live music, a cornhole tournament, tasty local brews, and more. The outdoor event is centered around Sycamore Brewing in the vibrant South End neighborhood.

RELATED: 2 Little-Known NC Towns to Visit This Year

FEBRUARY

February 5, 2022: Atlanta Winter Beer Festival — Atlanta, GA

Atlantic Station has plenty of room for more than 150 beers from local and national breweries, plus wine, cider, delicious food trucks, and big heated tents with live music and DJs.

February 5-6, 2022: Panama City Beach Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival — Panama City Beach, FL

Taste 30 of Florida’s most popular food trucks and 50+ national, regional, and local craft beers to wash it all down. There will also be lawn games, live music, axe throwing, and fun for all ages.

February 11-13, 2022: The Antiques & Garden Show — Nashville, TN

This cornerstone annual charity event exhibits stunning antiques, landscaped gardens, and horticultural items. The show’s lineup is peppered with events, parties, and speakers like Martha Stewart, this year’s keynote speaker!

Through March 1, 2022: Mardi Gras — New Orleans, LA

Mardi Gras and carnival season in Louisiana is undoubtedly the greatest free party on … the planet?! From Twelfth Night through Fat Tuesday, parade after parade flank the city with colorful beads, extravagant floats, and rowdy reveling.

Mardi Gras New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a must, but there are so many places to celebrate this longstanding tradition across the South. Image: Mardi Gras New Orleans

February 11-March 1, 2022: Mardi Gras in Mobile — Mobile, AL

If you can’t make it to the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, Mobile, AL hosts “America’s Family Mardi Gras,” delighting young and old from around town and across the nation.

February 12-13, 2022: Palm Beach Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival — West Palm Beach, FL

If you have a boat, this festival is for YOU. During the two-day event, peruse unbeatable deals on nautical and marine-related things from fishing rods and water skis to boating apparel and diving equipment to antique collectibles and maps.

February 15-March 26, 2022: St. Patrick’s Festival — Dublin, GA

The Dublin – Laurens St. Patrick’s Festival is just as fun for locals as it is for the slew of out-of-towners who come see what all the ruckus is about! Come celebrate all things Irish at this jubilant affair.

February 17-20, 2022: Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) — Charleston, SC

The largest wildlife and nature event of its kind, this three-day celebration features artwork by 500 painters, sculptors, and carvers, plus educational wildlife shows, falconry and retriever demonstrations, decoys, sporting arms, lectures, conservation exhibits, outdoor outfitters and guides, and much more.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) is all about animals, nature, and conservation. Talk to the leading groups, brands, and community members in Southern wildlife. Image: Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

February 19, 2022: 30th Annual Orange Beach Seafood Festival and Car Show — Orange Beach, AL

For one BIG Saturday, The Wharf at Orange Beach becomes a vibrant pedestrian wonderland of coastal cuisine plus a show of antique, classic, and hot rod vehicles.

February 19, 2022: Shrimp & Grits Festival — Destin, FL

Try dozens of creative variations of the beloved Lowcountry dish by local chefs and restaurateurs from Fort Walton Beach to 30A. While competitors cook for the Emerald Coast crown and title, proceeds from event sales support Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.

February 19-20, 2022: WinterFest Arts Tour — Sautee Nacoochee and Helen, GA

This year, Helen Arts & Heritage Center and Sautee Nacoochee Center are partnering to create the 2022 WinterFest Arts Tour. See and buy art from 75 artists in two locations over two days. Watch live art demonstrations and shop directly from selections of pottery, paintings, jewelry, glass, fiber art, and more.

February 19-20, 2022: Naples National Art Festival — Naples, FL

Rated among the top art festivals in the state, downtown Naples’s scenic Cambier Park and 8th Street South become a destination for art and food of all kinds — from fine to folk.

February 21-27, 2022: Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival — Hilton Head, SC

This week-long culinary and cultural event brings top chefs, mixologists, sommeliers, local seafood companies, artisans, live musicians, and wildlife pros together in a picture-perfect venue while raising money for local non-profits.

February 22-17, 2022: Beaufort International Film Festival — Beaufort, SC

A spotlight on the world’s newest filmmakers, many call this the “best little film festival in the Southeast.” Come join the more than 17,000 attendees who head to beautiful Beaufort for movie screenings, workshops, and stargazing along the marshes of the Carolina Sea Islands.

February 25-27, 2022: Gasparilla Music Festival — Tampa, FL

The Gasparilla Music Foundation throws this annual music festival in downtown Tampa to support music education throughout its Recycled Tunes program. This year’s headliners include Black Pumas, The Revivalists, and Trombone Shorty.

February 26, 2022: Auburn Mardi Gras Parade — Auburn, AL

The Krewe De Tigris’s Mardi Gras Parade in downtown Auburn’s entertainment district is annually packed with free family-friendly events and activities.


MARCH

March 3-6, 2022: Bridge Crossing Jubilee — Selma, AL

A poignant commemoration of the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the Selma to Montgomery march, this is the largest annual Civil Rights Commemoration event in the world.

March 3-6, 2022: Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival — Okeechobee, FL

This whimsical four-day experience is filled with multi-genre music, immersive art, and transformative programs, deep in the heart of Florida’s wild wilderness. This year’s acts include Tame Impala, Porter Robinson, Jungle, Gary Clark Jr, and more.

Okeechobee

There are fewer cooler music festival venues in the South than Okeechobee. Trees, water, and mindfully curated artwork provide ample places to relax and play. Image: Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival via Facebook

March 4-6, 2022: Blue Grass Trust’s Antiques & Garden Show — Lexington, KY

This popular weekend in Kentucky features fine antiques, seasonal florals, inspiring designer vignettes, as well as daily lectures, and the Cocktails & Quickfire Series with keynote speaker Christopher Spitzmiller.

March 5-6, 2022: Ballyhoo Festival — Orange Beach, AL

Ballyhoo is unique in its focus on fine art, combined with the cultural charm and fun-loving spirit of Coastal Alabama. Feast your senses on fine art, local seafood, and live music from all across the Southeast.

March 11-12, 2022: Savannah Stopover Music Festival — Savannah, GA

Created to give traveling musicians a welcoming place to play en route to SXSW in Austin, TX, the small, vibrant coastal community has a burgeoning music scene, hungry fans, and an established arts community. The festival values music discovery in an intimate setting at affordable prices.

March 11-20, 2022: South By Southwest (SXSW) — Austin, TX

The SXSW Festival is a highly lauded symposium of thinkers, leaders, and performers in film, music, and comedy. There are free and ticketed showcases peppered throughout Austin, as well as parties, awards, screenings, and more.

March 12-13, 2022: Orange Beach Festival of Art — Orange Beach, AL

For more than 47 years, the Festival of Art is this island’s first rite of spring. The celebration of visual, performing, musical, and culinary arts features more than 100 artists working in a dazzling variety of media. There is so much to see, hear, touch, taste, and experience.

March 16-April 9, 2022: Festival of Houses and Gardens — Charleston, SC

This three-week-long event has everything from home tours and concerts to wine tastings and lectures. Learn from intimate glimpses into some of the most beautiful and significant homes, architectural landscapes, and historic events in Charleston from 350 years ago to today.

March 17-20, 2022: Suwannee Spring Reunion — Live Oak, FL

Live Oak is home to a few free-spirited stringed music festivals along the Suwannee River. Hike along nearby trails or dance the days away. Come night, enjoy a crackling campfire and late-night “Picking Parties.” The lineup includes Greensky Bluegrass, Trampled by Turtles, Yonder Mountain String Band, and more.

March 18-19, 2022: Charleston Bluegrass Festival — Charleston, SC

Set on the pristine 6,000-acre grounds of the Woodlands Nature Reserve, this charity festival features some of the finest names in bluegrass, glamping options, local food and craft vendors, and lots of outdoor activities.

RELATED: 5 Southern Weekend Getaway Ideas

March 18-27, 2022: International Cherry Blossom Festival — Macon, GA

Behold the beauty of 300,000 flowering Yoshino cherry trees in the “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World” — Macon, GA! There will be parades, amusement rides, food trucks, live music, animal shows, bed races, and more.

March 19, 2022: Gulf Coast Oyster Cook-Off and Festival — Biloxi, MS

In addition to the fantastically fun oyster cook-off competition, there is a Corvette car show, plenty of arts and crafts vendors, raw oysters, and other seafood and Southern favorites.

March 25-26, 2022: Blooming Arts Festival — Linden, TN

The charming town of Linden hosts one of the region’s leading outdoor festivals. More than 150 artists, artisans, and vendors showcase their fine art and crafts. Plus, enjoy interactive exhibitions, live performances, and food from local eateries.

March 26, 2022: Nulu Bock & Wurst Fest — Louisville, KY

Louisville’s NULU neighborhood is home to two adorably named alleys: Nanny Goat Strut and Billy Goat Strut aka the place for the Bock Beer Fest! As you sip some locally brewed bock beers and eat some equally German wursts, cheer on the (safe) goat races on Market Street.

Wishing you a cheery and fun-filled rest of winter!

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