October festivals tend to focus on harvest and fall colors. Middle East Tennessee festivals and events for October 2021 also include a Greek Fest and hot air balloons. There are all sorts of family-friendly events if you feel like going somewhere. You might also want to check out the lists for Northeast Tennessee and Southeast Tennessee.
Covid-19 is still very active and should be a factor in planning your trips. For your own and everyone else’s protection please wear your masks in crowded areas and follow any safety rules these events have in place. We advise checking websites or Facebook pages or calling ahead to make sure any of these you plan on attending haven’t been canceled or decided to change times and dates.
The Event List (in calendar order)
October 1st through 4th
October 1st is Fall Heritage Day at the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton. This special day will include old-time demonstrations such as blacksmithing, sorghum and apple butter making, and sawmilling. Hayrides, traditional music, a hay maze, a tractor exhibition, and more will be part of the fun. Most of the fun is included with museum admission. Museum members get in for free. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended.
The 42nd Annual Greek Fest will take place October 1st through 3rd in Knoxville. The star of this festival is authentic greek food including pastries. There will also be live Greek music, folk dancing, shopping, and more. Come and learn about Greek culture. Admission $2 a day or $3 for the whole weekend. Children 12 and under admitted free.
Shop Farragut will host a Farragut Harvetfest on Sunday, October 3rd. Over 4 dozen booths will be serving food, selling merchandise, or offering information (and maybe a discount or two) about their services in the area. Admission is free and there will be continuous live entertainment.
The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their annual Taste of Monroe event in downtown Madisonville on the 4th. Besides getting to taste some of the best food and beverages Monroe County has to offer there will be music, a car and motorcycle show, and a bounce house and face painting for the children. Admission is $10 for those 11 and up, $5 for children 4-10, and $8 for chamber members.
October 7th through 24th
The fall Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center and lasts over 2 weeks. It features over 200 booths of handmade items with craftsmen from all over the US. The skilled craftspeople will be demonstrating their skills and there will be live music twice a day. Concessions are available. Adult tickets are $10, everyone 17 and under gets in free with a paid adult. Tickets are cash only, you can upgrade to a multiday ticket for free.
October 8th and 9th
CAM Cabin Crafts will be hosting a Fall Craft Fair in Townsend. Crafts handmade in the Appalachian area from old-fashioned traditional crafts to the much more modern will be featured. Admission and parking are free.
October 15th and 16th
Cumberland Gap will host a Genealogy Jamboree and Pioneer Days. This is a free family event where all can learn about their family history and heritage. Besides the Genealogical and Historical societies present there will be crafts for sale, living history presentations, and more.
October 23rd and 24th
The Cherohala Skyway Festival is on October 23rd at the Charles Hall Museum in Tellico Plains. This festival features crafts, living history, and lots of food and treats. There will be horse-drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo, and kids train rides. Live music performances will take place all day with a dobro pick-off competition at 3 PM. Admission is Free. Parking in designated lots is $5. Please do NOT park at Volunteer Federal Bank during business hours.
October 23rd the Knoxville Museum of East Tennessee History will Host Monsters at the Museum. There will be Halloween-themed games, crafts, and storytelling. Admission to the museum is free during the event. Children will get to trick-or-treat at various stops around the History Center and there will be several costume contests.
The Mountain Makins Festival is held at the Rose Center in Morristown. This two-day event, on the 23rd and 24th, features some of the finest local artisans in the area. There will also be home-cooked food, children’s activities, and entertainment.
The Lakeside of the Smokies Balloonfest will take place in Dandridge on the 23rd and 24th. This festival features more than ballons with food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, an antique tractor show, and a kid’s fair. A balloon glow will take place both nights. Tickets start at $12 for adults and $8 for children for one-day passes with two-day passes and premium experience tickets also available. Both tethered and untethered balloon rides will be available but they and the wine tasting will be an additional fee.
There will be a Howl-O-Ween Pooch Parade and Pet Expo at the UT Gardens in Knoxville. Catering to dogs and dog lovers, this event will have pet products, rescue groups, educational booths, food trucks, and more. One of the highlights is the costumed pet parade, which will have prizes in several categories. Admission is free but there is a fee if you and your dog(s) want to enter the parade.
October 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 29th, 30th and 31st Cherokee Caverns in Knoxville will have a Trick-or-Treat in the Cave event. Admission is $12. Walk through an underground vortex tunnel and collect candy along the way. This cavern is handicap and stroller accessible according to their website.
Discover Columbus’ Ships is a traveling museum that will be set up in Lenoir City or Knoxville through most of October. These replica ships are floating museums that detail what life was like aboard a ship in the 15th century, Columbus’ journeys, and more. Normally it is a two-ship museum but only the tall ship Pinta is currently touring. Admission is $6.50 (discounted from the two ship price) and senior and student rates are available. Guided tours can be arranged in advance for groups of 15 to 100 for $5 per person. It will be docked at the Fort Loudon Marina from October 1st through 11th and at the Calhoun’s on the River dock from October 15th through 31st.
Festivals and events are harder to plan this year with Covid still active. Middle East Tennesse is the largest area so I’m sure to have changes, both additions, and cancelations, as the month goes on. Hopefully, this list of Middle East Tennessee festivals and events for October 2021 will help you find something to do that you will enjoy if you are looking for a fall event. I will try to add to this post and update information (especially about cancelations) at least once a week.
If you are the organizer or publicity manager of an upcoming event contact me at LucindaBrown@TravelEastTennessee.com to have your event added to this or any future monthly posts.
Are you planning on attending any of these Middle East Tennessee festivals and events for October 2021? Did I miss an event you would recommend others attending? Let us know in the comments.