As anyone from Middle Tennessee can tell you, the first weekend in October has come to be known as ‘Fall Festival Weekend.’ In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find local festival entertainment throughout all of October. In order to help you decide where to spend your time, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best fall festivals in Middle Tennessee. Unless otherwise noted, admission to each festival is free of charge.
Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival
Saturday, October 5
Centennial Park | Nashville
Since 1995, the annual Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival has been treasured as a perfect venue for community members to share their cultural heritage and traditions with each other. Join your neighbors as they share meals, dances, music, activities, and crafts. More than 50 cultural groups live together in Nashville, and the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival seeks to promote a continuation of the mutual awareness and understanding that help make Nashville the greatest place to live.
Main Street Festival
Saturday, October 5
Downtown Gallatin | Gallatin
The Gallatin annual Mail Street Festival welcomes more than 30,000 visitors each year. Boasting over 200 artisans, non-profit organizations, a handful of commercial vendors, two entertainment stages, tasty treats, and a kids’ play area, this charming fall festival is not to be missed.
Banana Pudding Festival
Saturday, October 5 – Sunday, October 6
Centerville River Park | Centerville
Though it began as a way for local community volunteers to raise money to help cover the cost of aiding the victims of natural disasters, the Banana Pudding Festival has quickly become so much more.
During the first Banana Pudding Festival, the overwhelmingly positive response from the community helped the volunteers begin to realize that they could earn money for organizations that desperately needed funding. Thus, an annual tradition was born!
This year, the citizens of Tennessee are once again urged to enter the National Cook-Off for the nation’s Best Banana Pudding, taste Banana Puddin’ crafted by ten local nonprofit organizations, and visit the two entertainment stages.
Little ones can visit the “Little Nanners” children’s area, while older kiddos are encouraged to “Go Bananas!” in Banana Land. There will be plenty to eat, every type of banana pudding to taste, and a whole lot of love for the non-profits of Nashville.
This event is $5 per visitor. Bring cash; some vendors do not yet accept credit or debit cards.
Thursday, October 10 – Sunday, October 13
Historic Germantown | Nashville | Germantown
Nashville Oktoberfest is always massive, and with 2019 marking the 40th Nashville Oktoberfest, we expect the ten-block festival to be absolutely hopping.
Traditionally, Oktoberfest is a celebration of all things beer-related, but in Nashville, we do things a bit differently. Intended for the whole family, Nashville Oktoberfest includes authentic, mouthwatering German cuisine from dozens of local restaurants and vendors, award-winning beers from the best local breweries, live music on several entertainment stages, the beloved Dachshund Derby, an outstanding parade experience, and Tennessee’s second-largest 5k event!
Oktoberfest is enthusiastically pet-friendly, but keep in mind that this event is loud, crowded, and packed with pups.
Take a look at the festival maps located here for detailed information about available parking locations.
Saturday, October 26
Franklin’s Main Street | Franklin
Middle Tennessee’s largest fall festival is back again for the 36th year! More than 65,000 people are expected to come out to enjoy the live entertainment, artisan creations, local cuisine, costume contests, activities for children, and even a pet costume contest.
Explore the open market that stretches down both sides of the streets around the town square, check out the chili cook-off, and wander through the boutique shopping that draws visitors to downtown Franklin all year round.
Fall Fest @ The Hermitage
Saturday, October 5th – Sunday, October 6th
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage | Hermitage
Fall Fest @ The Hermitage is a celebration of history, music, art, and culture. The extensive schedule of events includes the Nashville Library’s famous Puppet Truck, The Frog Prince (Sunday ONLY) performed by the Tichenor Marionettes, and a brand-new puppet performance of Twain’s famous short story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
Face painting is available to all children free of charge, though donations made directly to the artists are welcome and appreciated. Bring the whole family and spend the day at Fall Fest!