With the exception of four years during World War II, the Tennessee State Fair has kept the family-friendly party going ever since 1906. Classic fair foods such as cotton candy, corn dogs, and snow cones fuel visitors as they stop in on the prize-seeking animals, tap their toes to live music, and belt tunes at the karaoke showdown. While smaller kids ride the merry-go-round and explore the Tomb of Doom, their older siblings can get their thrills on rides with spine-tingling names such as the Mega Drop and the Fireball. And parents can learn all about Tennessee's small-time brewing operations and distilleries at local drink-making showcases.
Ever since painter and film producer Robyn Morshead first organized the festival in 2009, Artlightenment has continually showcased vital emerging filmmakers and visual artists every November. Structured around an annual theme, such as light and humor, the festivities kick off with two days of film screenings inside the 1898-built Old Fall School. From there, Artlightenment hosts everything from art exhibits and receptions to film seminars, artist workshops, and live concerts. Before the grand finale??a fashion show??awards are distributed in categories both traditional and unorthodox, such as "Best Artistic Expression."
Revisit E. B. White's classic tale of Charlotte's Web, where Wilbur the runt piglet is saved from becoming his farmer's dinner by a lovable spider named Charlotte. With help from the other barn animals, Wilbur becomes a pig savant instead of a pig savory in this poignant children's story. Charlotte's Web is playing on June 5 at 2 p.m., June 11 at 6:30 p.m., June 19 at 2 p.m., and June 25 at 6:30 p.m.
Being branded ?Roseanne Barr meets Jack Black? might be considered a slight to some, but Hick Chick Tours? guide Christy Eidson wears it as a badge of honor. The standup comedienne keeps her pub crawls, brewery tours, and bus tours light and irreverent with tongue-in-cheek asides. But since she?s a Tennessee native, there?s are also plenty of interesting historical information woven into her sassy narratives.
Live music fills the air every night in Sambuca 360's futuristic lounge space, urging hips to sway with strains of everything from acoustic rock to high-energy dance music. The food is equally energetic—chefs craft globally influenced entrees and small plates such as lobster enchiladas in a poblano cream sauce and tempura-fried buca beignets stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto. Mixologists craft more than 30 creative cocktails—many of which are designed with low-calorie diets in mind—at a glowing, saffron-colored bar that touches the stage, allowing revelers to sip an agave-nectar margarita or mango-peach martini between cheered requests for the band to play a favorite tune or play in a favorite guitar tuning.