Compiled by Erin G. Edwards
May 16, July 11 and Sept. 12
Full Moon Pickin’ Party Friends of Warner Parks and Union Planters are teaming together again to bring the traditional sounds of bluegrass to Percy Warner Park. Grab your instrument (or just grab a friend) and meet at the Steeplechase Barn (2500 Old Hickory Blvd.) from 7-11 p.m. Beverages are included in the $20 ticket fee ($15 in advance) and food items will be on sale at the event. Participating musicians receive free admission. For information or tickets, call 370-8053.
Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival It’s picking time again in Portland, Tenn., which is cause for celebration. “Big Strawberry Festival Day,” the finale in a week of strawberry-themed events, begins with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Following breakfast is the “17th Annual Strawberry Stride,” a 5K race and kids’ fun run. Visitors will also have the chance to browse through a variety of vendors offering crafts and food, plus music and games. The event’s highlight, the “62nd Annual Strawberry Festival Parade,” begins at 2 p.m. Free admission. For information, visit www.portlandtn.com or call the Portland Chamber of Commerce at 325-9032.
29th Annual Historic Rugby Festival of British & Appalachian Culture Located east of Nashville on the Cumberland Plateau is Rugby, Tenn., one of the most authentic 19th-century villages in America. This annual festival celebrates Rugby’s British and Appalachian heritage with a mix of traditional music, crafts, dancing, historic building tours and plenty of food. Visitors can enjoy traditional bluegrass music while they watch demonstrations in blacksmithing, goat milking, letterpress printing and more. The festival is located at 5517 Rugby Highway, off State Scenic Highway 52. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CST, Sat.-Sun. $7 adults; $3 students in grades K-12. For information, call (888) 214-3400 or visit www.historicrugby.org.
May 17-18 & 24-26
18th Annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival Merrymaking 16th century-style is the order of business at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. During the event, the forest surrounding Castle Gwynn (a full-size replica of a 12th century border castle) is transformed into a medieval playground, featuring jousting competitions, turkey legs over the fire, music and comedy acts, wandering minstrels, a marketplace and more. It’s also a chance to see how those intriguing Elmington Park warriors (known as Dagorhir) spend their summer. The festival is located 25 miles south of Nashville at 2124 New Castle Rd., Arrington-Triune, off Highway 96. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (rain or shine). $14 adults; $6 children; $11 seniors; $12 military personnel. For information, call 395-9950 or visit www.tnrenfest.com.
May 22-Aug. 21
11th Annual Dancin’ in the District Traditionally free and staged at Riverfront Park, Dancin’ in the District will be moving across the Cumberland this year to the Nashville Coliseum parking lot and begin charging admission. Still, the weekly show will go on, featuring a diverse mix of artists including: Collective Soul, Blues Traveler, Shaggy, Violent Femmes, Everclear, Nickel Creek, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Indigo Girls and more. The event takes place Thursdays beginning at 6 p.m. (Gates open at 5:30 p.m.) Headliners play from 9:15-10:30 p.m. (No shows will take place June 5 and 26.) $3 admission; a 12-pack of tickets is available for $25 (online only). For information, call 298-9925 or visit www.dancininthedistrict.com.
2003 EuroFest Nashville European car and motorcycle collectors will enjoy this event, which is the largest of its kind in the Southeast, featuring over 300 new, late-model and vintage European vehicles by manufacturers such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, BSA, Ferrari, Land Rover, Moto Guzzi, Porsche, Triumph and more. This year’s event takes place at The Factory at Franklin (230 Franklin Rd., Franklin) and is open to the public on Saturday only, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Admission is free to the general public. Vehicle registration fees: $20 first automobile; $10 first motorcycle. Proceeds from the event will benefit programs within Nashville Family Shelter. For information or to register, visit www.eurofestnashville.org.
2nd Annual Memorial Day Legends of the Blues Festival. Celebrate this “Year of the Blues” with The Music City Blues Society and Metro Parks on Memorial Day at the Centennial Park Bandshell (2500 West End Ave.). A variety of blues artists will be on hand for the event, including the James Nixon, the Jefferson Street Bluesmen and Stacy Mitchhart and Blues-U-Can-Use. This year’s featured artist, blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards, plays from 5-6 p.m. and will field questions from 6-6:30 p.m. The festival finishes off with a jam session from 6:30-8 p.m., featuring Billy Cox, Chucky Burke, Tim Gonzalez, Marion James and other special guests. Hours: 1-8 p.m. (The festival’s rain location is the Centennial Park Event Shelter.) Free admission. For information, visit www.musiccityblues.org or call Buffy Holton at 297-9967.
May 28-July 2
Movies in the Park This chance to see the stars of the big-screen under the stars is brought to you by the Scene, each Wednesday for six consecutive weeks at the Centennial Park Bandshell (2500 West End Ave.). The weekly event makes for a perfect family outing as movie selections are rated PG or lower. Selected movie titles are top secret, but you can find hints in each week’s issue of the Scene. We can tell you that the Nashville Symphony will help us kick off MIP on May 28, and the Nashville Sounds will be on hand June 4. (A rain date is scheduled for July 9.) Movies begin at dusk, but plan to get there early for a seat. Free admission. Call the MIP hotline (available starting May 26), for event updates: 244-7989, ext. 650.
32nd Annual Fan Fair This massive pilgrimage of country music fans visits downtown Nashville again with performances by hundreds of artists, autograph signings, family activities and more. The Greased LightningÅ Riverfront Park Stages will host over 50 daytime shows during the festival’s run, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. ($12 each). The Nashville Coliseum will host nightly shows, including performances by Brooks & Dunn, Deana Carter, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Trick Pony, Travis Tritt and more, 7 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 6 p.m. Sun. ($27.50 each). Tickets are available through the Gaylord Entertainment Center box office, 501 Broadway, or through Ticketmaster, 255-9600 or www.ticketmaster.com. The music continues late into the night at “Fan Fair After Hours,” special late-night shows beginning at 11 p.m. at several downtown venues including the Ryman Auditorium, Wildhorse Saloon, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and more. For a complete schedule, visit www.fanfair.com.
10th Annual Celtic Music Festival Travellers Rest Plantation (636 Farrell Pkwy.) invites visitors to spend a lazy afternoon under the magnolias listening to the music of Tennessee’s Scotch-Irish and Ulster-Scot pioneers. This year’s featival performers include: The Scots Pipe Band, Sean McNamara, Isla, the Scotllis School of Irish Dance and headliner Gerry O’Beirne. Tours of the Travellers Rest Mansion are included in the admission price and refreshments will be on sale. Hours: 4-7 p.m. (Gates open at 2 p.m.) $10 adults; $5 children under 12. For information, call 832-8197 or visit www.travellersrestplantation.org.
Taste of Music City Keep an eye (and a taste bud) out for this inaugural event organized by Clear Channel Radio and Gaylord Entertainment to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank, which will feature samplings of cuisine from up to 40 local restaurants. (Participating restaurants were not confirmed at press time.) The event takes place at Gaylord Entertainment Center (501 Broadway). Lunchtime session: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinnertime session: 5-8 p.m. For information, call Candace Price at 664-2484.
33rd Annual American Artisan Festival For years now, Nashville dads have been getting better than average gifts for Father’s Day thanks to this popular arts festival in Centennial Park (2500 West End Ave.). Gift seekers, everyday browsers, art collectors and the family dogthey all attend the American Artisan Festival for a peek at handiwork (including jewelry, photography, pottery, woodwork and much more) by over 160 artists from around the country. Food, music and children’s arts and crafts activities will also be on hand at the event. Hours: noon-7 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Free admission. For information, call American Artisan at 298-4691.
June 14-Nov. 8
Monthly Farmers Market Festivals “Nashville’s Best Kept Secret,” the Farmers Market, has another great trick up its sleeve: It hosts monthly themed festivals the second Saturday of each month through November. This year’s festivals include: The “Fresh Festival” on June 14; the “Tomato Festival” on July 12; the “Watermelon Festival” on Aug. 9; the “Apple Festival” on Sept. 13; the “Fall Festival” on Oct. 11; and the “Turnip Green Festival” on Nov. 8. The market is located at 900 Eighth Ave. N., adjacent to the Bicentennial Mall. Festival hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Market hours: 9 a.m.-6 pm. Free admission. For information, call 880-2001.
9th Annual RC Cola and MoonPie Festival It’s time to crown another RC Cola King and MoonPie Queen in Bell Buckle, Tenn., and you are invited to the coronation. The scene in Bell Buckle during this festival is described by resident Billy Phillips, as “a cross between Lake Wobegon and Saturday Night Live” for its interesting characters and outright zaniness. The event kicks off innocently enough at 7 a.m. with the First Community Bank 10K Run. A crafts show and entertainment begins at 9 a.m., followed by the “RC Cola and MoonPie Parade” and king/queen coronation at noon. The festival’s musee event, “The Synchronized Wading Contest,” begins at 1 p.m. Contests such as MoonPie tossing, watermelon seed spitting and more take place throughout the day. Free admission; $3-$5 parking. For information, visit www.bellbuckletn.org or call (931) 389-6547.
8th Annual Celebration of Cultures Scarritennett Center (1008 19th Ave. S.) nurtures cultural diversity and spiritual well-being through various retreats and programs throughout the year. The Celebration of Cultures is Scarritennett’s main event, showcasing Middle Tennessee’s growing cultrual diversity. A sneak-peek benefit event, the Evening of Cultures, takes place 6-8 p.m. Thursday in the Susie Gray Dining Hall and includes desserts from around the world, international music and presentations. The Celebration of Cultures on Friday and Saturday offers visitors a variety of international foods and entertainment by international dancers, storytellers and singers representing more than 50 cultures. Hours: 5:30-8 p.m. Fri. & 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat. Friday admission: $4 adults; $2 children (ages 3-12) and seniors; $8 family. Saturday admission: $5 adults; $3 children (ages 3-12) and seniors; $12 family. Weekend pass (Friday and Saturday): $7 adults; $4 children (ages 3-12) and seniors; $15 family. For information, call 320-4600 or visit www.scarrittbennett.org.
2nd Annual Music City Brewers Festival Beer brewers from around the country will showcase their art form for the second year in a row at Nashville’s Hilton Park, the greenspace located between the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Downtown Hilton Hotel. $20 gets you your very own souvenir mug, which is then presented at brewers’ tables for all-you-can-drink samples of lagers, ales, stouts and more. Live music and food helps round out this boisterous event to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Hours: 2-9 p.m. For information, call Candace Price at 664-2484.
Aug. 7-Sept. 7
16th Annual Nashville Shakespeare Festival Centennial Park takes the part of fair Verona this summer as the Nashville Shakespeare Festival returns with a production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Overseeing this year’s festival will be Steve Cardamone, the company’s new producing artistic director. The production takes place at the park bandshell (2500 West End Ave.). Show times: 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. (Pre-show entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m.) Free admission. For information, call 255-2273.
Annual Rockabilly Fest Jackson, Tenn., is home to the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame, so it’s only fitting that Jackson host this large gathering of Rockabilly entertainers and fans. This year’s event includes live performances and seminars, plus a special tribute to Sun Records at the Carl Perkins Civic Center (400 S. Highland Ave., Jackson). Performers include: Narvel Felts, Sonny Burgess, Ace Cannon and Bill Haley’s “The Original Comets.” One-day pass: $17.50 adults; free admission for children under 12. Weekend passes: $45. For information, visit www.rockabillyhall.org.
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