Nashville Annual May Event Guide

An Annual Event Guide to May Events in Nashville

A list of Annual May Events in Nashville that includes some of the Best & Most Well-liked Annual Events that take place in and around Nashville in the month of May.

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    Photo Courtesy Getty Images/Jan Tyler

    Nashville offers plenty of great things to ensure that one can give mom that perfect Mother's Day. From the normal favorites like flowers and candy to exploring some of Nashville's most unique and fun ways to celebrate Mother's Day in Nashville.

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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke

    Come celebrate a Nashville Memorial Day in a big way and see what our top picks are on how to celebrate this Memorial Day in Middle Tennessee. Have fun and celebrate with our family & friends as we honor the memories of those who dedicated their lives to our country.

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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

    Some of the best Tennessee Wine makers gather together to showcase their wonderful Tennessee wine. This event takes place every May and is a wine lovers dream.

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    Art After Hours

    Photo Courtesy of Venture PR
    Art After Hours, Nashville's first monthly citywide art crawl offers a chance for art lovers to enjoy art after work at some of Nashville's best art galleries. This fun fun event takes place on the first Thursday of each month, and "It's Free!"
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    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    Normally held in mid-May at Bellevue's Red Caboose Park, this community event offers great food, entertainment, rides, games, and fireworks along with about 15,000 guests.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Brain Matters is an interactive exhibit that has in depth information about the brain, how it works and information about diseases and disorders. This exhibit consists of three stations that allow you to spend as much time as you like delving into the mystery of the human brain. Located in 100 Oaks Mall (upstairs), this free Vanderbilt exhibit is open during regular mall hours.
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    Photo Credit: Buchanan Log House

    The Buchanan Log House host monthly lectures on the 3rd Sunday of each month. These historical lectures feature a different speaker each month and highlight the people and times that define the local Donelson-Hermitage area. Free and open the public.

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Chris Graythen
    This annual Cajun Fest is held every May, normally the week before Memorial Day, in Lewis County at the Amber Falls Winery. Expect a great day of family fun and plenty of food & wine.
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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    This event is held normally mid-May, in Historic Collinsville, and features nineteenth-century, living-history, costumed tour-guides, an abundance of live music and a variety Pioneer activities. Southern Gospel Festival
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    CyberSphere at the Renaissance Center offers very impressive year-round brilliant laser light and planetarium shows with an infinite array of colors, scans the dome with incredible speed, creating some of the most unusual and colorful imagery in the world. Cost is normally under $10.
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    Photo Credit Shioguchi/Getty Images

    This Strawberry Festival highlights include tasting the longest Strawberry Shortcake, pie and baking contest, derby car races, music, carnivals and food vendors.

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    Photo Credit: ERFA

    Ellie's Run for Africa is a 5K race and family fun day that raises money and inspires others to act for Africa. Sprung from the dream and prayers of one 10-year-old girl, Ellie's Run for Africa is a local opportunity to walk alongside African children as they seek an education - one child at a time.

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    Byron Jorjorian/Getty Images

    Cedars of Lebanon State Park normally hosts their Annual Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflower Festival in early May. Held in partnership with the Center for Cedar Glade Studies of Middle Tennessee State University, this event offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about the area through seminars, guided nature walks, exhibits, guest speakers and naturalist displays. All events are free and open to the public.

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    Photo Credit: Webster PR

    Traditional country music fans have the opportunity to enjoy a very talented line-up at the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, which broadcasts LIVE from the landmark Texas Troubadour Theatre (2416 Music Valley Drive, Nashville) every Saturday night beginning at midnight. Admission to these shows is FREE and many artists typically stick around after the show to sign autographs in the lobby.

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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    Every month, local art galleries throughout downtown host receptions and art openings with most all offering free wine and other refreshments. As an added bonus, they also provide free shuttles between the galleries!
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    Presented by Downtown Clarksville Association, each ArtWalk event is normally held on the first Thursday of the month and highlights local artists at the many boutiques, restaurants & of course the Roxy in Downtown Clarksville Folks can enjoy local art on display in various venues.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/David Greedy
    The Franklin Rodeo is normally held annually at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in mid-May and offers plenty of good clean equestrian fun for the entire family. Prices are normally well under $20 and even less for the kids.
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    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    On the first Friday of every month in and around downtown Franklin you can tour the downtown Franklin art scene with their Franklin Tour of the Arts. This evening tour is normally free and, as an added bonus, you can always get unlimited pick-up and drop-off service on their trolly service for a minimum charge too.
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    Copyright Jan Duke
    Normally held on the first Saturday of each month, The Frist Center offers a monthly Architecture Tour for those interested in learning more about this Nashville landmark building–the former Downtown Nashville post office and a prominent Nashville architectural treasure from the Art Deco period.
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    Photo Credit: Marc Romanelli/Getty Images
    The Frist Center for the Visual Arts are host to Senior Mondays - a series of events for those who admit their "senior" status. On these days, gallery admission is 50% off of regular admission for seniors. Special gallery talks, activities, and other discounts are also normally scheduled for/on Senior Mondays too. Senior Mondays are normally held on the third Monday of the month.
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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke

    Some of Middle Tennessee's finest bluegrass musicians perform under the light of a full moon - really! True to the Bluegrass form they will also have numerous jam sessions taking place at any given time in addition to performances on the main stage. Full Moon Pickin' Parties normally runs annually from May through October.

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Rusty Russell
    This annual celebration of the mountain dulcimer is normally held in mid-May at Two Rivers Mansion and offers a day of music, food, dulcimer exhibits, jamming on the porch, a children's tent and free dulcimer lessons.
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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke

    The Grand Ole Opry, one of the worlds longest running radio shows, normally offers several live shows a week including shows every Friday & Saturday Night as well as a Tuesday Night show. Every year, in late fall, the show leave the Grand Ole Opry House (photos) and returns to the Ryman Auditorium Stage (photos) for a few months, normally from November - January.

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Manny Ceneta
    The Smyrna Rutherford County Airport Authority is home to and host of the annual Great Tennessee Airshow at Smyrna Airport. This World Class Airshow has a long community history dating back to the early 1970’s. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the United States Navy Blue Angels frequent the show along with many other exciting performers and ground displays of aircraft. This event is normally held in Mid-May.
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    Photo Credit Scott Barbour/Getty Images
    The Harding Art Show features exciting works from several dozen local and regional artists. The Show has grown from a modest gathering of artists in the early years to one of the largest exhibitions of fine art in the southeastern United States. In fact, The Harding Art Show is an important venue for participants and has launched the careers of significant Southern artists. The show is normally held in early May and features more than 3,000 pieces of original art and handmade items with a wide a range of prices from as low as $25 to more than $5,000. Located at the Harding Academy campus, 170 Windsor Drive, open to the public, admission is free.
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    Photo Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
    Every May the gardens at The Hermitage normally host a Spring plant sale to reflect their long heritage of raising perennials and vegetables on Andrew Jackson's historic farm. Most of their vegetable and flower offerings for sale this spring are all grown from heirloom seed saved since the 19th Century.
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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    Historic Rugby Festival of British & Appalachian Culture is an annual festival, held in Mid-May and celebrates Rugby's British and Appalachian heritage with traditional bluegrass music, crafts, dancing, this Historic Rugby Festival of British & Appalachian Culture is an annual festival, held in Mid-May and celebrates Rugby's British and Appalachian heritage with traditional bluegrass music, crafts, dancing, historic building tours and more.
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    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    The Historic Rural Life Festival, held in May, promotes the history of agriculture by featuring traditional crafts, farm animals, demonstrations and shade tree activities. Attracting around 2500 school children and adults with such activities as sheep shearing, butter churning, story-telling and gardening, this popular festival encourages students to notice the changes that electricity and modern conveniences brought to the farm.
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    Copyright Michelle Durham

    The Nashville Tennessee Iroquois Steeplechase is held traditionally the second Saturday in May. Horse people and spectators from all over the world congregate to see the race. (photos)

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    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    Jammin in the Alley is a free concert series that takes place in Historic Downtown Clarkville's Strawberry Alley every third Friday from May to October. Music begins at 7p.m. and it's free to the public.
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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    Come enjoy the downtown skyline, sunset, lights, and some of the city's premiere live entertainment. Plenty of free parking in Lot R, under the pedestrian street walking bridge. Every Third Sunday (May thru October) 5:30pm-8:00pm, at the Cumberland Park Amphitheater, beside the Titans Stadium on the riverfront.
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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    Beachaven Winery has Jazz on the Lawn concerts that are held on most Saturday Nights from April- October, offer free admission with free parking too. Of course you're encouraged to buy a bottle of Beachaven wine to enjoy with the music.
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    Photo Credit Doug Menuez/Getty Images
    Normally held in the first week of May, visitors can enjoy the best of local, regional and nationally known jazz artists in the shadow of the historic Rutherford County Courthouse. This is a free family oriented event with a large childrens activity area and numerous food vendors.
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    Photo Credit: Webster PR
    Jump in the car, take a drive into the country and pull off for a refreshing stop at Larry’s Country Diner. Join the folks at the “diner” set for some spontaneous music, guests and a full order of fun. Reservations to Larry’s Country Diner are free although they always tend to go extremely fast.
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    Photo Credit: Berry Hill
    An evening of good music, good food, and good fun! Free live music is provided in front of the Curious Heart Emporium and held on the 4th Friday of every month from April - September.
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    Copyright Jan Duke

    The historic Nashville City Cemetery presents an annual Master Gardeners' Tour - Members of the Davidson County Master Gardeners give visitors a glimpse of the cemetery as it was around 1862. The Master Gardeners maintain the flower gardens with plants that would be found in the cemetery right before the Civil War. Normally held in mid-May, this event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available within the cemetery grounds. For more information about the event, please contact the Metropolitan Historical Commission at 615-862-7970.

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Manchan
    Created in the 1990's as an opportunity to recognize the artistic accomplishments of Metro Nashville Public School students, this annual event is normally held for several weeks in late March to early May at the Frist Center.
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    Photo Credit: Metro Parks
    Explore what's happening this month at one of the many Nashville Metro Parks. Metro parks offers a variety of programs and events throughout Davidson County - there's something for everyone!
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Rosie Greenway
    The Brown Bag Lunch Special Concert Series are usually scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Centennial Park Event Shelter. These free lunch hour concerts run from April to November and feature a diverse group of musicians as well as a variety of healthy, fresh and delicious Brown Bag Lunches for under $10.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Koichi Kamoshida
    Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (MTAC) gathers every year in Nashville for three days of Anime Exploration and Fun.
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    Photo Credit Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images
    One of the largest, long-standing Strawberry festivals in the state, this event offers parades, contests, concerts, fun-for-everyone activities and good things to eat. Located about 30 minutes North of Nashville in Portland.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Pascal Rondeau
    Muddy Buddy has made Nashville a part of their annual schedule for the past few years. Normally, it's been held in the later part of May.
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    Copyright Jan Duke
    Enjoy some of Nashville's most accomplished and celebrated artists as they perform at the Frist Center on Thursday and Friday evenings. Musicians performing classical, jazz, Latin, Americana, bluegrass and environmental electronic music, as well as some of the area's accomplished singer/songwriters, contribute their talents to the Frist Center each week.
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    Photo Credit: Campbell Entertainment Group

    Featuring some of Music City’s most talented up-and-coming artists, Music City On Stage! is packed with a wide range of hits and styles, showcasing why Nashville really is Music City! Held at the Studio Gallery at Fontanel each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9p.m. Tickets include entry to the show, a home-cooked meal and a voucher (good for one year) to tour Fontanel Mansion. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged.

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    Photo Credit: Kaleidoscope Media

    Music City Roots is a weekly show built on the Americana music scene and the legacy of WSM's historic roots in live radio. It airs every Wednesday night from live from the Loveless Barn and features three to four artists in 30-minute segments, followed by a free-form "Loveless Jam."

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    Photo Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

    Held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, the Nashville Flea Market is known as one of the best Flea Markets in Tennessee and offers a relaxing day of wandering and discovery for the entire family.Nashville Flea Market is open on the fourth weekend of every month except for December when it's usually held a week earlier.

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    Photo Credit: Metro Parks
    Explore what's happening this month at one of the many Nashville Metro Parks. Metro parks offers a variety of programs and events throughout Davidson County - there's something for everyone!
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Rosie Greenway
    The Brown Bag Lunch Special Concert Series are usually scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Centennial Park Event Shelter. These free lunch hour concerts run from April to November and feature a diverse group of musicians as well as a variety of healthy, fresh and delicious Brown Bag Lunches for under $10.
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    Photo Credit: Seigenthaler PR
    Musicians Corner is a central point, free and open to all, where Music City gathers to perform and enjoy its music. Music in all forms. Music to entertain us, build bridges within our community, welcome our visitors and connect us with the world. Free music is offered at Nashville's Centennial on Saturdays in May, June, September and October.
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    Photo Credit: Nashville Rollergirls

    Founded in 2006, the Nashville Roller Girls are local all-female flat track roller derby league. This hard hitting group of skaters normally packs in the crowd at the Municipal Auditorium.

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    Photo Credit: Janis Christie/Getty Images
    This annual event (open-to-the-public) brings Hollywood’s top writers to Nashville, providing aspiring screenwriters and individuals interested in film and TV the chance to network, learn and explore professional opportunities within these industries.
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    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    From April into September you can always ensure a great family day at the ball field with the Nashville Sounds.
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    Photo Credit: Natchez Hills Vineyard
    Natchez Hills Vineyard and Nashville Unleashed pair their passions for wine, music, and cuisine in unprecedented fashion, offering music enthusiasts a truly unique and mesmerizing concert experience by centering it all around an up-close-and-personal weekly acoustical performance and dinner concert, known as Nashville Unleashed. It's the perfect date night!
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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    This annual event, held in Dickson, has been going on for over 50 years and offers a ton of good ole family fun that includes a fireworks display, parade, live entertainment, demolition derby and even a Liar's Contest.
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    Photo Credit: Gaylord Entertainment
    Every Thursday night from March through October, Opry Country Classics highlights classic country music and memories through music, storytelling, and film clips of country’s all-time legends.
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    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    Poet’s Corner at Scarritt-Bennett Center offers a monthly poetry reading on the fourth Thursday of each month . The environment is informal, and conversation between the poet and audience is encouraged. Normally held at The Front Porch at Scarritt-Bennett from 7-8 p.m, the event is Free and open to the public. Reservations are requested but not required.
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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    Promise Land is located in Dickson County right near Charlotte. Normally held the last weekend of May and/or the first days of June, this event is an annual celebration of their first African-American community of freed slave and offers great fellowship along with plenty of family entertainment.
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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    Experience period entertainment and music every weekend in May at The Renaissance Festival, located in Triune. The activities are offered including; visiting Castle Gywnn, meeting costumed characters and watching mounted armored knights jousting.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Steve Mason
    The Second Saturday Book Sale is monthly book sale that offers plenty of great deals on books each month. This monthly event is held at the Donelson Public Library Branch, located at 2315 Lebanon Road, on the 2nd Saturday of each month - normally from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Phillip Dvorak

    Several times every month, Nashville Shakespeare Festival gathers to read one of the works of William Shakespeare. Normally, the readings are held at the Nashville Public Library on the first Saturday of the month (sometimes even the 2nd too) and readings at the Brentwood Library are generally held on the third Saturday.

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    Copyright Rick Moore
    Join in on the free fun at Fort Negley on the last Saturday of each month at 2 pm for feature presentations on the big screen. It’s free and open to the public!
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    Songs for the Cure

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke

    Songs for the Cure hosts several benefits throughout the year and offers folks not only a way to help others but also a chance to listen to some amazing music by some of Nashville’s best songwriters and musicians.

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    Photo Credit Rob Melnychuk/Getty Images
    This event features some of the best inspirational music, comedy and praise to be found in traditional southern gospel.
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    © Jan Duke
    ••• © Jan Duke
    Sumner Crest Winery Summer Festival is held on the third Saturday of the month from May to November, and is a great way to spend a relaxing evening. Pack a picnic and your favorite blanket or lawn chair, buy a bottle of Sumner Crest wine for the evening and a couple to take home for the upcoming week, sit back and enjoy the music.
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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    The Tennessee Crafts Fair has been held in Nashville's Centennial Park the first weekend in May every year since 1972. A showcase for the work of craft artists living and working in Tennessee, the event also heralds the outdoor summer season and attracts 45,000-50,000 each spring.
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    Photo credit: Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    Celebrate Tennessee's State Parks! Discover miles of scenic waterways and acres of pristine land. Activities range from hikes, outdoor events, and family-friendly fun to weekend getaways and more.
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    Photo Credit: Tennessee Department of Tourism
    Ranked as one of the top horse shows in America, the Spring Fun Show takes place the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Memorial Day. The show offers fans a sneak preview of the horses which will perform at the annual National Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Normally held the weekend before Memorial Day, the TN52 Yard sale offers over 95 miles of bargains, antiques, quilts, crafts, food, clothing, furniture, toys, books and more along Tennessee Highway 52.

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    Logo Courtesy of Metro Nashville
    Tour De Nash is an annual non-competitive walk and ride for health and designed to introduce residents to Nashville's best places to bike or walk and to challenge them to live a more active lifestyle.
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    Photo Credit Getty Images/Stringer
    A 502-Mile "Happening" Slated for U.S. 11 (formerly a 250-Mile Event)"U.S. 11 Antique Alley," The third weekend in May, a 502-mile festive roadside sale will be held on U.S. Highway 11 from Meridian, Mississippi through Birmingham, Alabama, and towns in Dade County, Georgia, then Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Knoxville, Tennessee, and on to Bristol, Virginia.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    About 8,000 people annually join in on this bluegrass competition and celebration of Uncle Jimmy Thompson. Held west of Nashville (near Cookville), this event normally takes place every year in last days of May.
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    Photo Credit: Scarritt-Bennett Center

    Vespers & All that Jazz offers community worship services for all ages every Sunday evening in Scarritt-Bennett Center’s Wightman Chapel. Inspired by jazz as a process of making music and using the music as a way to experience the interruptive spirit of God, Vespers & All That Jazz encourages compassion, peace, justice and wonder. The services are informal and last approximately 45 minutes.

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Adam Gault
    This event, normally held the fist weekend of May, features live music, arts and crafts, and nature-related fun and games targeted toward families with preschool and younger elementary children. Activities include face painting, puppet shows, scavenger hunt and hikes.
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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    The Watkins Visiting Artists Series is an annual year-long program which welcomes nationally and internationally recognized fine artists, designers, filmmakers, educators and critics to the campus and the community. The series explores the artisits and their work through by hosting lectures and art exhibits.
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    Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
    More than 100,000 persons attend this annual event annual week-long festival held in Humboldt Tennessee. Make sure to stop by the West Tennessee Historical Strawberry Festival Museum, located on Main Street, which includes Strawberry memorabilia of past festivals dating back to 1934.
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    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Harris
    Tennessee Women's Theater Project presents its annual celebration and showcase of works by women that includes theater, poetry, dance, music, film, visual arts and more at an unbeatable bargain price. This annual event normal runs throughout the entire month of May.



If I've overlooked your favorite Annual May Event in Nashville or if you need me to update, add to, or change one of our current listings, please contact me anytime - Thanks Jan