The Weekendist: Full-Blown Fall Fest Edition

A week of cool autumn temperatures already has us in the mood for bonfires and corn mazes and pumpkin patches. Luckily, Nashville caters to our seasonal moodiness with an assortment of fall festivities, many taking place this weekend. Here are our top picks for enjoying the 75-and-sunny temperatures of this weekend.


  • Al Menah Shrine Circus. Municipal Auditorium, various show times Thursday – Monday. The Shriners are back in town, though we didn’t see any elephants roaming downtown Nashville streets this year.
  • Bluegrass Fan Fest. Nashville Convention Center, October 2-4. Topping off World of Bluegrass Week is the Bluegrass Fan Fest down at the Nashville Convention Center. The music goes all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and individual day passes are a bit pricey… But kids up to age 16 get in free, so for the whole bluegrass-lovin’ family it might not be that bad.


  • Free admission at Cheekwood. Cheekwood, Saturday 9:30am-4:30pm, Sunday 11am-4:30pm. Cheekwood’s free this weekend, but you already knew that.
  • Celebration of Cultures. Centennial Park, 10am-6pm, free. Enjoy the weather outside at Centennial Park, where there will be performances, food (and lots of it), a world market and global village displays. Last year, your Nashvillest editors even got to dress up in traditional Somali garb and have our pictures made!
  • Walden Artisan Market. 1898 Eastland Ave, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-3pm. This is the last neighborhood artisan market in the current location, so don’t think you can just go next month. Support local artisans with beautiful handmade wares on display, and start your Christmas shopping early!
  • Rocktoberfest. Grimeys, 10am-8pm. Another one of Grimey’s all-day outdoor sales and concerts, but this time not in 100-degree weather. Catch a lineup of Brooke Waggoner, Oblio, Heavy Cream, Warband, The Shazam and Patrick Sweany with DJ sets in between, and buy some records. You know, what you usually do at Grimey’s.
  • First Saturday Art Crawl/Sound Crawl Nashville. Downtown Nashville, 6pm-9pm. Joining the usual first-Saturday art crawl is a new twist: Sound Crawl Nashville. In addition to enjoying fine visual art at most of the downtown galleries on Saturday night (for free, of course), an auditory art component will be interwoven through the experience. Okay, so we really don’t know what’s going on, but the art crawl is fun and we’re sure that the sound crawl will be too.


  • Sunday’s short of fun of its own, but don’t forget that many of this weekend’s events include Sunday too. Browse the Walden Artisan Market, check out Cheekwood or go see the Shrine Circus on Sunday, since we know you won’t be fitting everything in this weekend.

Photo by Allison Stillwell.

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  2. Free Fall Weekend At Cheekwood [Freebies]
  3. The Weekendist: Memorializing Edition
  4. The Weekendist: Work It (Or Don’t) Edition
  5. The Weekendist: Flowers, Film & Roller Skates Edition