September is going to be a really busy month around Nashville. But be sure to mark your calendars for these events! I’ve put them in chronological order (for your pleasure).
Greek Fest is one of my favorite annual events. New this year: pre-order your favorite pastries! Their website has photos of most of the baked goods to make it easier, but my recommendations are the amglydota, kourabiedes, and kataiffi (which is a little easier to eat than regular baklava because it’s easier to bite into). Of course, I also love the tiropita and spanakopita. While at the festival, though, do NOT miss out on the loukoumades (donut balls dipped in honey).
There’s plenty to do besides eat, too. Lots of free music and dancing and activities for the kids (previous years’ entertainment has included a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, and bounce houses for additional fees). The church’s playground will also be open for kids to play. Additionally, there will be vendors selling Greek-inspired jewelry, clothing and gifts as well as tours of the church. Bring some water and cash.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church.
Nashville Greek Festival
Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 11 am – 7 pm
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
4905 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37220
Admission: $2 (includes re-admission all weekend)
Free Admission for Children 12 and under and all Military, Police, & Fire Personnel (w/ ID)
Parking, on-site and via shuttle: Free
This event is the creation of members of the Kings of Leon with chef Jonathan Waxman and is being produced by the same group (C3 Presents) that’s responsible for the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza as well as Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn of Vector Management. In other words, this is a big deal. Tickets for this two-day event–held on September 21 & 22–are $275 per person, but include admission to a fantastic spread of Nashville’s best food and libations (“Flavors of Nashville“) as well as panels and demonstrations held by world-renowned chefs throughout each day.
Also part of the event is Harvest Night, a “farm-to-plate extravaganza” which teams up chefs from all over with middle Tennessee’s fine local produce. The food served will be paired with a large selection of wines, cocktails and beer. This event, along with admission to Petty Fest requires an upgraded ticket, “All In” which is $500 per person. If you’re a fan of fine food and music, it’s quite a deal. Check out the website for more details.
Also on the website is exclusive content in the blog section that features recipes from local foodbloggers (myself included) as well as tips on favorite Nashville restaurants and hot spots. Be sure to check out the Tales of Nashville video series, too. Producers feature local chefs and musicians talking about what makes Nashville a great place to live and visit.
If you want to enter to win tickets to the festival, there’s an Instagram contest going on right now. But hurry! The contest ends this Sunday, September 1 and the winner will be chosen Monday (so you’ll still have time to buy tickets).
Another way to get into the festival is to sign up to be a volunteer. I believe some spots are still open (if this form is still active, there are still openings). It’s a great way to get involved, get into the festival and see all the cool stuff going on behind the scenes with the chefs and musicians involved. (ps–big thanks to Leah from So, How’s It Taste for telling me about the volunteer opportunities!)
This—THIS—is how I’ll be spending my birthday weekend. Celebrating with cheese! This is the third year for the festival—held this year on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28—and each time, organizer Kathleen Cotter of The Bloomy Rind uses feedback from previous events to make it better. New this year will be the venue (The Neuhoff Building in East Germantown) as well as the “Meet Your Maker” dinner on the Friday night before prepared and curated by chef Tony Galzin. It’s also getting started a little earlier in the afternoon (2:30 p.m.) and lasts until 6 p.m., so you can sample all the cheeses at your own pace.
The festival this year will have over 150 vendors sampling cheese and complementary artisan products (spreads, beer, wine). Standard tickets are $45 per person (with a $5 voucher toward additional purchases from vendors and a souvenir tasting glass) and VIP tickets are $80 (includes extra persks such as access to a VIP area). You can purchase tickets to the dinner and festival separately or discounted together. If you plan to go, buy your tickets now; this event will likely sell out.
Southern Artisan Cheese Festival
September 27 & 28
1319 Adams Street
Tickets available on the website