4 Oak Ridge TN Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss This Summer
Summertime is festival season in Oak Ridge, Tennessee! When the weather gets warm, the Secret City heats up with a variety of incredible events. To help you make the most of your summer vacation, we have put together a handy guide to four Oak Ridge TN festivals that you don’t want to miss.
1. Nine Lakes Wine Festival
Anyone who enjoys a nice glass of red, white, or rosé will love the Nine Lakes Wine Festival! Running from May 17 – 19, 2018, this excellent festival is comprised of three wine-centric events:
• Chef’s Table Wine Dinner (Thursday, May 17): Held at the UT Visitor Center in nearby Knoxville, TN, the Chef’s Table Wine Dinner will be prepared by local cooking instructor Terri Geiser. Attendees can expect gourmet food paired with award-winning wines from The Winery at Seven Springs Farms.
• VIP Taste of Gold (Friday, May 18): The best wines in the state of Tennessee will be recognized at the Governor’s Cup award celebration. Come to Melton Lake Park to sample gold medal wines and mouthwatering small plates.
• Grand Tasting (Saturday, May 19): The Grand Tasting at Melton Lake Park is the Wine Festival’s signature event! Guests will have the chance to sample over 100 Tennessee wines and ciders, attend wine seminars, watch chef demonstrations, and listen to live music.
2. Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival
The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival brings some of the nation’s best raconteurs to Oak Ridge for a series of events that celebrate the magic of live storytelling. The schedule for the three-day festival is as follows:
• Minton Sparks Writing Workshop (Friday, June 1): Acclaimed storyteller Minton Sparks will lead a 3-hour interactive workshop dedicated to writing and performing original stories. No prior experience is needed to take part in this one-of-a-kind class held in the Auditorium at the UT Arboretum.
• Flatwater Festival on the Water (Saturday, June 2): Visitors and locals alike will congregate along Oak Ridge’s waterfront for an afternoon of family-friendly fun. The festivities will include live music, food trucks, beer, wine, a team-building regatta, cardboard boat races, and children’s activities.
• Storytelling at the Oak Ridge Playhouse (Sunday, June 3): World-renowned storytellers Minton Sparks, Bill Lepp, and Tim Lowry will take the stage at the Oak Ridge Playhouse to delight audiences with their homespun tales. The Playhouse will host performances in the afternoon and evening, with different stories at each session.
3. Secret City Festival
Of all the Oak Ridge TN festivals held over the summer, the Secret City Festival is the most famous. Scheduled for June 8 – 9, 2018, this two-day festival at A.K. Bissell Park has been an East Tennessee tradition since 1982 (when it was known as the Azalea Festival). Attendees will have the chance to enjoy live entertainment from big-name musical acts, history exhibits, a World War II parade, arts and crafts shows, robotics competitions, and mouthwatering food from a variety of vendors. Dennis DeYoung, the lead singer of Styx, will perform the band’s classic hits on Friday, June 8th and the Little River Band will headline the Saturday, June 9th concert.
4. Lavender Festival
The Lavender Festival is a unique annual celebration in Oak Ridge’s Historic Jackson Square. Planned for June 16, 2018, this daylong event will feature more than 100 vendors that sell everything from fine art to homemade jam. With live music, cooking demonstrations, educational presentations, wine tastings, and even more things to see and do, the Lavender Festival truly has something for everyone. The festival is so named because some of the vendors sell lavender (and an “herb of the year”).
To stay up to date on all of the Oak Ridge TN festivals throughout the year, be sure to bookmark our Events Calendar!