It’s Spring, and officially Festival Season in Nashville! Not that there is any shortage of festivals here in the winter, but spring brings with it an amazing variety of festivals for you to enjoy. On Mother’s Day weekend, take your choice of these amazing annual festivals, or take Mom to them all!
1. Ingram New Works Festival
At the Ingram New Works Festival, you get to witness staged readings of the Ingram Lab Playwrights’ new works as they’re presented during the festival! The Ingram New Works Festival is a celebration of new plays born and fostered each year in the Ingram New Works Lab, a year-long residency program for emerging Playwrights.
This festival is a launching pad for wonderful new works for the American theatre, and your participation as audience member is an exciting and important part of the process!
7:00 PM each evening
Nashville Public Television, Studio A
161 Rains Avenue, Nashville TN 37203
1 Pass, 5 Plays, Just $35!
2. Sevier Park Fest
The Sevier Park Street Festival is an annual celebration to bring together the neighborhoods of 12South, Belmont, and Hillsboro to promote local talent and businesses.
The celebration kicks off on Friday at 6pm with a ticketed concert featuring Blues Traveler, Kansas Bible Company, and Isaac Hayden.
Saturday’s Street Festival on 12South will feature 10 live music acts on 2 stages, art, family fun, a bicyle Criterium Race, local restaurants and food trucks, hot wing eating contest, a kids area, and vendors offering everything from clothing and jewelry to pet grooming and beef jerky.
Money raised will benefit Sevier Park.
Friday concert at Sevier Park: Tickets $25 in advance
Saturday the Festival is FREE and open to the public. Located everywhere on 12th Avenue South between Montrose Avenue and Cedar Lane, and in adjacent Sevier Park.
3. Tennessee Craft Fair
For those of us who love fine quality arts and crafts, the annual Tennessee Craft Fair is mandatory! Fine quality handmade crafted art in dozens of mediums are offered for sale or appreciation.
Not only is the Tennessee Craft Fair a market for local fine crafts, but you can also watch demonstration programs, have hands-on opportunities, and get the chance to meet and talk with professional craft artists. More than 200 exhibitors will show their Clay, Fiber/Textile, Jewelry, Photography, Glass, Wood, Furniture, Sculpture, Painting, Metal, Printmaking, Leather, Mixed Media works, and more!
So, whether you’re shopping for yourself, your home, or a gift, Tennessee craft artists will be there to offer something special and unique for you.
Friday and Saturday: 10am-6pm
Located in Centennial Park next to the Parthenon
Admission is FREE and open to the public!
4. Tennessee Renaissance Festival
This one will be fearsome! Travel back to 16th Century England in the Village of Covington Glen, and experience the bustle of a Renaissance Marketplace. This year, more than 70 skilled Artisans from all over the country display their wares, from silks, gems and jewels, to swords and other medieval weapons.
You’ll be greeted by the flavors, aromas and tastes of specialty foods and drinks, and the sounds of Renaissance musicians (on 6 stages) and merrymakers as they echo through the trees. Imagine the brilliant color and peals of laughter from those who thrill to the challenges of Games of Skill and Man-Powered Rides. And enjoy free tours of the castle first floor and grounds from 11am-3pm! (weather permitting).
Each weekend will have its own theme. This Mother’s Day weekend (May 7-8) is the Festival kickoff, and is the family and community appreciation weekend.
With the purchase of two regularly-priced adult tickets, two grandparents and all children age 12 and under will receive free admission, this weekend only. And in their honor, the first 400 mothers through the gate this weekend will receive a specially-crafted rose.
Come join us at the 31st annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival!
May 7-8, May 14-15, May 21-22, and May 28-30 Memorial Day!
Located off Highway 96 between Franklin and Murfreesboro, at 2124 New Castle Road, Arrington, TN, 37014
5. Main Street JazzFest
This jazz-filled festival is in the Nashville suburb of Murfreesboro, and it’s more than just a concert, it’s an event!
This year, JazzFest will celebrate 20 years with a lineup that includes Terell Stafford, Annie Sellick, Roland Barber Salsa Band, Marcus Finnie, 129th Army Band, MTSU Jazz Faculty, MTSU Jazz Ensemble I, Ethos, and many more.
Three years in a row, the Main Street JazzFest has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast, by the Southeast Tourism Society. Through the years, the Festival has been a critical force in developing jazz curriculums within high schools and middle schools in Rutherford County. Several high school jazz bands will kick off the weekend of music on the main stage.
Several styles of jazz will offer something for everyone. Enjoy some of the best contemporary live jazz in the area!
Friday, May 6, from 6pm until-
Saturday, May 7, from 11am until-
Located in Historic Downtown Murfreesboro, Main Street, Downtown Square
Admission is FREE, and all are welcome.
6. Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil
Come on down to Cumberland Park this Saturday for a rockin’ party! 2,000 people will get to experience the annual Nashville tradition of indulging in 4,000 pounds of all-you-can-eat, fresh crawfish, Louisiana-style sides, 80 kegs of all-you-can-drink cold beer and cider, and 7 of Nashville’s hottest bands.
Hosted by the Nashville Junior Chamber, the ticket proceeds go to benefit Safe Haven, to help support homeless families.
Saturday, May 7
Located at Cumberland Park, on the banks of the Cumberland River just across the Pedestrian Bridge from downtown.
General admission tickets are $44.95 or you can upgrade to VIP for $74.95.
7. Strawberry Jubilee @ Nashville Farmers’ Market
This Saturday, from 10-2, the Nashville Farmers’ Market is kicking off the strawberry growing season with a celebration that includes live music, a STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CONTEST, locally baked pies and cobblers, cocktails, local beer and wine, food trucks, and much, much, more.
If you’ve ever been told that you make the best Strawberry Shortcake ever, now’s the time to put it to the test! Just bring 5 individual servings of your best Strawberry Shortcake and a printed copy of your recipe to the Grow Local Kitchen in the Farmers’ Market between 11 and 11:30am. The panel of esteemed judges will view and review each one, then award the Blue, Red, and White Ribbons of Strawberry Shortcake Superiority, as well as a special gift basket from the Nashville Farmers’ Market!
So put on your best red clothes, your biggest red derby hat, and come on down to the Strawberry Jubilee for a celebration of food, farming, community, and Tennessee agriculture.
FREE to all!
Strawberry Tasting 10-11am
Strawberry Shortcake Contest from 11am-12:30pm
Nashville Farmers’ Market, 900 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208
What a great variety of festivals this Mother’s Day weekend to kickoff Nashville’s festival season! Please tell me know which one(s) you go to and how much you enjoy them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!