Huge apologies to those of you who’ve patiently been waiting for me to write a new post about fun things to do in and around Nashville. A few of you (who know me) have written to me directly for occasion-specific advice, and I’m always happy to offer suggestions. My “day job” has kept me unusually busy this summer – not too busy to have fun, of course, but too busy to write about it!
Now I look up and realize that summer is coming to an end, so I’ve got a really promising end-of-summer event to suggest: The inaugural Great Americana Barbecue Festival on August 27 at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin.
This is a fundraising event put together by the Franklin Noon Rotary Club and The Franklin Barbecue Society. And even though first-time events like this generally have some rough edges, it appears that they’ve managed to put together a day that promises fun for everyone in the family.
Barbecue* – This is a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition, where 60 teams will compete in five categories for over $8,000 in combined cash prizes. Festival goers will have the opportunity to taste the barbecue and vote to select the “People’s Champion.”
Food Trucks – I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy barbecue, but just in case you have a hankering for something else, there will be food trucks with options to please.
Music – An outstanding line-up of successful and up-and-coming Nashville talent is booked for the Music Stage.
Crafts Fair – If their crafts fair attracts any of the vendors who typically show up at Franklin’s annual Main Street Festival, it’s going to be great.
Kids Zone – The kids zone will feature face painting, balloon artists, pony rides and children’s music, along with other surprises.
Taste of Tennessee* – (aka, the “Big Kids Zone”) The festival planners have partnered with the Tennessee Distillers Guild to bring the Tennessee Whiskey Trail to Harlinsdale Farm. The Tennessee Distillers Guild membership includes distilleries from across the state, from the oldest registered distillery in America to some of the newest.
Tickets to the Great Americana Barbecue Festival start at $10 general admission. Children 12 and under are admitted FREE. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the gate, subject to availability. Gates open at 10am and the festival will close at 8pm.
*Admission to the barbecue tasting area costs an additional $10; admission to the Taste of Tennessee Whiskey Trail costs an additional $30, and is restricted to those who are age 21 and over.
To get to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm from Nashville, take I-65 South to Cool Springs Blvd. West (Exit 68-B). Follow Cool Springs Blvd. about 1.4 miles and turn right onto Mack Hatcher Parkway. In a little less than one mile, turn left onto Franklin Rd./US 31. Harlinsdale Farm will be on your right in a mile.