Festival Season
Fall means more opportunities to pick pumpkins, drink cider and head out to local festivals. Here are a few of our favorites. During the thick of the summer heat and humidity, itâ€TMs hard to remember that it will soon disappear. But as sure as the calendar pages flip, leaves will change colors and drop to the ground. And with them another autumn certainty comes the pass: the start of the fall festival season. Almost every weekend this fall you can find a food and music festival in Middle Tennessee—somewhere to get outside, sample favorite eats, listen to live bands and appreciate a quirky local tradition. Weâ€TMve highlighted some of our favorites, from the time-honored to the new, from the offbeat to the traditional. Gas up the car, toss in your walking shoes and a picnic blanket and get ready to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of autumn. Stroll through the “Puddinâ€TM Path” (a garden path) and taste 10 different banana puddings made by local non-profit groups at the National Banana Pudding Festival in Centerville (about 80 minutes southwest of Nashville). This six-year-old festival has grown to be the go-to for all things related to the popular dessert, including a pudding-eating contest and the National Banana Pudding Cook-offs (both amateur and chefs), plus arts and crafts, kidsâ€TM activities and, of course, more banana pudding than you can eat. When: October 1, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., October 2, noon–5 p.m. Admission: $5; free for active military and kids who are not yet school age For more information: bananapuddingfest.org ***
The second annual Muletown MusicFest rolls into Columbia's downtown square this year, offering what organizers call "a great variety of music in a picture-perfect setting." Proceeds from the day- and evening-long event benefits United Way of Maury County. Acts this year include Brandy Clark, FireKid, Edda Glass Max Hatt and many others, plus, street performances, and specials at restaurants and shops along the square. Part of the objective of the event is to build the profile of businesses on the Columbia town square. When: October 1, 2016
How much: Many events are free; $30 for Saturday's ticketed shows; $50 including Friday's VIP night For more information:  https://www.facebook.com/Muletown-Musicfest ***
You know from the name alone that Goats, Music & More is not your typical pumpkins and hay ride kind of festival (not that thereâ€TMs anything wrong with that). The two-day fete honors the famous “fainting” goats of Marshall County. Lewisburg, about an hour south of Nashville, will host goat shows starting at 9 a.m. each day, followed by a 5k goat gallop, a three-legged triathlon sprint, a classic car show and then, to cap off the festivities, Diamond Rio will play a free concert. When: October 7–8 (Goat shows begin at 9 a.m.; main stage music starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.) Admission: Free
The festivities take place all October long during Historic Granvilleâ€TMs 18th annual Fall Celebration and Fourth Scarecrow Festival. The fall celebration is part of the townâ€TMs yearlong “Memories of the 1930s” event. Granville, which is about an hour east of Nashville, welcomes visitors to check out the way the village would have operated in days of yore, with sorghum-making, cider-making, grist mill operating and pioneer cooking demonstrations all month. The town hosts what it believes to be Tennesseeâ€TMs largest scarecrow festival. That means more than 300 scarecrows, 100 of which are life-size. Take a self-guided tour and learn about the history of each scarecrow. Local schools have created a Wizard of Oz section of scarecrows. You access it by following the yellow brick road—of course. When: October 1–29
Admission: Free, except for 1880 Sutton Home and the Ghost Walk For more information: granvilletn.com
Music City might as well change its name to “Beer City” this autumn, as there are at least four big brew fests to tempt taste buds. One of the favorites is the sixth annual Nashville Beer Festival, which takes place at the Musicians Hall of Fame (401 Gay St.), inside Municipal Auditorium downtown. More than 40 breweries participate; sample to your heartâ€TMs content with the unlimited ticket. Want more time to taste? Shell out for the VIP ticket, which gets you in an hour early. In addition to the beer (and wine), you get free entry to the museum and its exhibits, or you can watch college football on the big screens or learn about your favorite brews in educational sessions. Wondering what to wear? Well, letâ€TMs just say this: Costumes are encouraged. When: October 22, 3–8 p.m.
Admission: $55; VIP tickets, $100; designated driver tickets, $20