2017 Guide to Chattanooga Festivals


I have a confession. Summer generally is not my favorite time of year. We aren’t even out of March, and it is already in the 80s. I am so going to melt come July! However, if summer has one redeeming quality, it is that it is festival season!

There are so many awesome festivals and events in and around Chattanooga, so get out your sunblock, hydrate, and check out some of the fun events our area has to offer!


Fence Posts and Fireflies Festival

April 22-23
Cleveland, TN
We feature a host of Arts and Crafts Vendors and Community and Home Based Vendors. Add in good food, live entertainment, and a whole lot of free stuff in the kids’ area for a great day. Free face painting, petting zoo, and pony rides.

National Cornbread Festival

April 29-30
South Pittsburg, TN
The National Cornbread Festival is a weekend-long celebration of cornbread and many cornbread-related activities for adults and kids. Activities include the National Lodge® Cast Iron Cornbread Cook-off, Cornbread Alley (sample various cornbread recipes), live music, arts and crafts from area vendors, a cornbread eating competition, and more!


Each Friday from May 6 through August 26
Nightfall is a free concert series held outdoors at Miller Plaza, rain or shine. Headlining acts begin at 8pm with local opening acts starting at 7pm. Bring your kids, lawn chairs, pets and friends to enjoy great live music, food and an ice cold beer in the outdoor atmosphere of Miller Plaza.

Boxcar Pinion Bluegrass Festival

May 4-6
Raccoon Mountain Campground & RV Park
The Annual Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival is a tribute held in honor of Boxcar Pinion who lost his life to cancer in 1990. The Festival also promotes bluegrass music and keeps Boxcar’s memory alive with the music and fun that he gave to so many people.

Little Owl Festival

May 13, 11am-6pm
Audubon Acres
This outdoor event includes local musicians, spoken word performers (story-tellers), art and craft vendors, historical demonstrations, food vendors, children’s activities, a student poster contest and much, much more. All proceeds benefit the Chattanooga Audubon Society and its preservation and education programs! Enjoy an unforgettable day of music and the arts in Chattanooga’s Oldest Wildlife Sanctuary.

Southern Blooms Festival

May 13, 14, 20, & 21
Rock City
Come “See” Rock City in all of its spring glory as we celebrate and honor our original gardener, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter. Walk in Frieda’s footsteps and learn about the legacy and heritage of the gardens with our tour guides and Master Gardeners. Meet members of our horticulture team and be a part of planting the gardens. Kids of all ages can enjoy educational make-and-take activities and learn what it takes to make a garden grow!

Tennessee Whiskey Festival

May 20, 6pm-11pm
First Tennessee Pavilion
The Tennessee Whiskey Festival showcases our state’s craft spirits and the people who produce them. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample the best whiskey offered in Tennessee as well as other craft distilled products available in the area.

Riverbend Festival

June 10-18
This year’s lineup includes acts such as Toby Keith, Brett Young, The Purple Xperience, Here Come the Mummies, Boz Scaggs, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Corey Smith, Crowder, and many more!

Riverfront Nights

2017 dates are TBA but will begin in July.
Riverfront Nights is a free Saturday concert series at Ross’s Landing in downtown Chattanooga. All shows are child and pet friendly, although coolers are not allowed. Doors open and beer sales begin at 6:30pm. Local opening bands start around 7pm and headliners kick into high gear promptly at 8pm and play till 10-ish.

Southern Brewers Festival

August 26, 2pm-10pm
With beer from over 30 breweries, live music from 2pm-10pm, and hosted at Ross’ Landing Park adjacent to the Tennessee River, this is a beer festival not to be missed. 

Hamilton County Fair

2017 date is TBA (previous fairs have been held in September)
Chester Frost Park
The County Fair celebrates our community’s heritage and traditions through the arts, crafts, music, food and blue ribbon awards. The fair features live entertainment from a variety of local bands and showcases dozens of exhibits, contests, demonstrations, food vendors, craft artists, and hands-on activities for the children.

3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival

October 6-7
This year’s lineup and schedule is TBA.

Wine Over Water

October 7, 5pm-8pm
Walnut Street Bridge
Wine Over Water is Tennessee’s premier wine-tasting festival. You can sample wines from over 100 world wineries, while you stroll the historic Walnut Street Bridge, which spans the scenic Tennessee River.

Which summer event(s) are you looking forward to the most? Share with us in the comments!