Our favorite fall festivals

The Tennessee State Fair celebrates 100 years of memories Sept. 9-18 in Nashville.Fall is just around the corner, and in addition to cooler weather, we’re also looking forward to a plethora of local festivals bringing some of the best entertainment, arts, music, food and fun to Middle Tennessee. Here are the top five we’re excited about to round out September.

Tennessee State Fair
The state fair is a tried-and-true Tennessee tradition for more than 150 years. The fair features arts and crafts, explores agriculture and includes experiences for the whole family to enjoy. With nightly karaoke contests, live music, ice-cream-eating competitions, a cornhole tournament, and kids’ activities such as a potato sack race and a hula hoop competition, the fair is way more than just rides. The fair ends Sept. 18, so make plans to go this weekend!

Music City Food and Wine Festival
Nashville has rapidly evolved into a foodie city over the past few years, and some of our culinary rock stars are generating almost as much buzz as the actual musicians who call our city home! The Music City Food and Wine Festival gives you a chance to sample delights from award-winning local celebrity chefs such as Maneet Chauhan, Sean Brock, Tandy Wilson, Deb Paquette, Matt Bolus and Sarah Gavigan, all in one place! And did we mention the weekend also includes culinary demos and beer, wine and spirit tastings?

Fall Craft Fair
The free craft fair in Centennial Park is a sure sign that fall is on its way to Middle Tennessee. Showcasing the work of more than 200 juried and award-winning artists from across the nation, the fair is a great way to celebrate craftsmanship and enjoy the changing of the seasons. Mark your calendar for Sept. 23-25 and plan to soak in the sights!

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival
This festival, founded by Better than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin, returns for its second year at Harlinsdale Park in Franklin. The festival is bigger and better than last year, with an eclectic lineup of artists including Beck and Hall & Oates. In addition to the great concerts, there’s also a marketplace where local artisans can showcase their goods, local and regional food, wine, beer and spirits, and activities just for “little pilgrims.”

Bacon & Barrel
This event combines two of the South’s favorite things: food with bacon in it, and fine dark liquor. Add a healthy dose of live music and a swirl of conversation with distillers, and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect evening! All proceeds benefit Hands On Nashville, so you’ll also be supporting a great cause.