Dahlonega — Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, through April 22, spotlights bluegrass and old-time music, and has a juried Artists Market Place featuring traditional mountain crafts, storytelling and free music workshops and demonstrations. www.bearonthesquare.org.
Thomasville — Rose Show & Festival, April 26-28, features roses, parades, live music, street dance, arts and crafts, food, and more. www.thomasvillega.com.
Tybee Island — Tybee Island Wine Festival, April 26-28, happens in various restaurants and locations. The Grand Wine Tasting happens Sunday. tybeeisland.com.
Vidalia — Vidalia Onion Festival, April 26-29, features food, competitions, parades, carnival rides, a battle of the bands, rodeo, fireworks and aviation activities. www.vidaliaonionfestival.com.
Ellijay — Georgia Apple Blossom Festival, May 5-6, has regional vendors and kids activities. www.georgiaappleblossomfestival.com.
Augusta — Seventh annual GoodBoats: Paddling for a Purpose, May 5, features dragon boat races, food, children's activities and more. www.goodboats.org.
Tybee Island — SCAD Sand Arts Festival, May 11, allows students to create one-of-a-kind designs in the sand.
Savannah — Maker's Festival at Skidaway Island, May 12, offers a chance to interact with makers and buy their products. explore.gastateparks.org/info/259067.
Cullman — Bloomin' Festival, through April 22, features arts and crafts, art demonstrations, parades, shopping, and food. www.bloominfestival.com.
Bessemer — Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival, April 28, combines blues music and barbecue and arts and crafts. www.bobsykesblues.com.
Foley — 2018 Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, May 4-5, includes a frisbee dog show, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors and food and entertainment. gulfcoastballoonfestival.com.
Decatur — Soulstock, May 18-19, features inspirational speakers and Christian music. www.soulstock.com.
Panama City Beach — Seabreeze Jazz Festival, through April 22, is held at the Pier Park Amphitheater and features both internationally known acts and local performers such as Brian Culbertson, Boney James, Kool and the Gang and more. www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.
Panama City Beach — SandJam, the first ever alternative rock festival held at the beach April 26-28, includes Incubus, Sublime with Rome, Fitz and the Tantrums, Kaleo, St. Lucia, Capital Cities and more. sandjamfest.com.
Panama City Beach — Parrot Head Rendevous 2018, April 26-29, features a full weekend of music. panamacityphc.org.
Pensacola — Interstate Mullet Toss, April 27, features mullet tossing competitions, live music, food and drinks. www.florabama.com.
Orlando — Orlando Funkfest, April 29, stars Charlie Wilson, Fantasia, Joe, Da Brat. www.funkfesttour.com.
Panama City Beach — Thunder Beach Spring Motorcycle Rally, May 2-6, will feature vendors and exhibitors, a bike parade, motorcycle stunt shows, tattoo contests, bike shows and more. www.thunderbeachproductions.com.
Lake Charles — The Louisiana Pirate Festival, May 3-13, celebrates the legend of pirate Jean Lafitte with music, parades, games, food and races. www.louisianapiratefestival.com.
New Orleans — Jazz and Heritage Festival, April 27-May 6, features arts and crafts, food and music from Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, Sting and more. www.nojazzfest.com.
Baton Rouge — The first Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival, May 19-20, is two days of live music, good food and a judged soul food competition. hitcitydigital.wixsite.com/brsoulfoodfest
New Orleans — The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, May 23-27, is in its 26th year, attracting more than 7,000 gourmands and connoisseurs as well as art and music lovers. www.nowfe.com.
Beaufort — Beaufort Wine & Food Festival, April 25-29, features private home wine dinners, a fashion show luncheon, grand reserve tastings and more. beaufortwineandfood.org.
Wilkesboro — MerleFest, April 26-29, features songwriting contests, activities and music from Kris Kristofferson, Robert Earle Keen, Brandy Clark, The Mavericks and more. www.merlefest.org.
Winston Salem — Piedmont Earth Day Fair, April 21, features music, activities for adults and children and earth-friendly exhibits.www.visitwinstonsalem.com.
Beaufort — Wine and Food Festival, April 25-April 29, features wine dinners and Vin de Mer (where guests are immersed in a culinary tour de force) offering 300 wine labels and cuisine from dozens of local and regional restaurants. www.beaufortwineandfood.org.
Myrtle Beach — Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show, April 28-29, features the Blue Angels, the USAF F-16 Viper Demo team, the USAF Heritage Flight team, and a parachute jump team. wingsovermyrtlebeach.com.
Walterboro — Colleton County Rice Festival, April 27-28, features 5K run/walk, music, dog show, croquet tournament, BMX bike shows, high school tennis tournament, food, golf, Miss Rice Festival Pageant and fireworks. www.ricefestival.org.
Townsend — Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival, through April 22, features a vendors marketplace, family activities, animal displays, fiber arts demonstrations and classes for fiber enthusiasts. townsendartisanguild.net/fiber-arts.html.
Gatlinburg — Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, April 24-28, features walks, motorcades, photographic tours, art classes and indoor seminars. www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org.
Medina — City Farmhouse Pop Up Fair, April 26-28, features vendors selected for their authentic farmhouse wares and styling abilities. The fair also will have live music and food trucks. jacksontn.com/tourism/#home
Knoxville — Junkin' It! Craft & Vintage Market, May 4-6, is an upscale, vintage-inspired market with vendors who specialize in handmade/homemade crafts of any type. www.tnvacation.com.
Ooltewah — Summertime on the Square, June 2, is a family festival with a petting zoo, food vendors, inflatables, craft vendors and music. www.tnvacation.com.
About the Author
Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com