Let’s Get Festive! Here Are the Essential Summer Events in Franklin, Tennessee

It’s festival season in Williamson County! From Franklin to Brentwood, and Spring Hill to Arrington, an exciting lineup of events for locals and visitors means there’s something for everyone all summer long.

The 37th Annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival, held on Saturdays and Sundays in May, plus Memorial Day, invites visitors to Covington Glen in Arrington. Here, you’ll be transported to 16th-century England, with authentic artisans and merchants offering period-appropriate food, drink, and wares while minstrels and jesters stroll the streets. Games of skill, man-powered rides, and a host of performers add to the merriment, as do the thrilling jousting competitions, where knights on horseback do battle on the tournament grounds. The final weekend includes a Celtic Celebration, and Fairy Training Camp is available for the kids. You can also visit the grounds of Castle Gwynn, a spectacular modern rendition of a Middle Ages citadel more than 30 years in the making.

On Friday, June 2, the 21st District Recovery Court’s Eat the Street Food Truck Festival invites nearly three dozen wheeled eateries Franklin’s Bicentennial Park from 5 to 9 p.m. Proceeds help the program provide recovery participants with the services, treatment, and supervision they need to successfully remain free from addiction and live healthy lifestyles.

New this year, the Hill Fest Paint the Sky! festival in Spring Hill promises to become a cherished tradition. The free event on Saturday, June 3, in Fischer Park intends to fill the air with color—tethered hot air balloon rides, professional kite-flying demonstrations, daytime fireworks, and all the bounce houses, bubble stations, food, and fun your family can handle. Kids can build and fly their own kites and paper airplanes at stations on-site, and proceeds from the event will support Spring Hill’s wildlife rehabilitation facility at Willow Bend Nature Center.

Also, on June 3 at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, the Franklin Pride Festival offers a free event designed to celebrate, support, engage and unite the community on behalf of LGBTQ neighbors. Live music and 50+ food, drink, and artisan vendors will ensure a full day of entertainment from noon to 6 p.m.; Franklin Pride TN seeks to uplift, educate and present positive images that help maintain a healthy, productive, and visionary community and this annual festival is their largest event of the year.

Juneteenth is Monday, June 19, in the United States, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Here in Franklin, the event is held yearly at The McLemore House, a ho880. Formerly enslaved, McLemore became a successful farmer and beloved community member. Music, food, games, and African American cultural activities are part of the celebration, and the public is welcome for food, tours, and fellowship.

Saturday, June 24, Boyd Mill Farm will again play host to the Blackberry Jam, a family-friendly musical experience supporting the non-profit Hard Bargain Association. Now in its 20th year, the Jam traditionally brings out serious talent, and this year could be the best yet. Headliner Shawn Camp has played with the likes of Guy Clark and John Prine as an instrumentalist and has written #1 songs for George Strait, Josh Turner, and Brooks and Dunn. Tickets are just $15; kids 12 and under get in for free.

The City of Brentwood’s summer festival, BrentFest, is set to turn Crockett Park and the Eddie Arnold Amphitheater into an ‘me-turned-museum built by Harvey McLemore in 180s & ’90s dance party that same Saturday, June 24. The concert begins at 6 p.m. when local favorite Rubik’s Groove brings its cast of high-energy characters and legendary tunes to the stage. Several food trucks, a beer garden, and the Kid Zone invite folks to come early and stay through the show.

Lucky Ladd Farms may be best known for the pony rides, petting zoo, playgrounds, pick-your-own flowers, and plenty more ag-centric entertainment across 60 acres. Still, on Saturday, July 1, the Watermelon Festival takes center stage. Think watermelon crawls and eating contests, plus inflatable water slides, a splash pad, and a bubble blast pool. 

When your town is named after one of the nation’s founders, you can bet that we take Independence Day seriously. Franklin on the Fourth, an all-day celebration of the red, white, and blue presented by the Franklin Lions Club, takes over the Public Square each year with a star-spangled lineup of entertainment, arts and crafts, food, and family fun. As the sun goes down, everyone heads to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm—an easy walk from downtown—for the big show. City Parks and the non-profit Friends of Franklin Parks bring live music, food trucks, beer tents, and fun things for the kids to do in and around the Tractor Supply Co. Arena. After dark, Franklin’s fireworks light up the grounds of the 200-acre historic horse farm, a perfect cap to America’s birthday celebration.

For over three decades, the fourth weekend in July has meant Bluegrass Along the Harpeth is coming to the Square. Held July 21-22 this year, the jamboree brings world-class players of all ages to showcase their talents in fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and other old-time instrument competitions. It’s a step back to times past, with string bands and harmonies filling the air as Appalachian flat-foot and buck dancers keep you tapping along. 

The first Friday in August kicks off nine days of fun at the Williamson County Fair! An incredible midway of rides and games, a full schedule of thrilling performances, hands-on exhibits, competitive events, and agricultural demonstrations mean this Fair is often recognized as among the best in the nation. Don’t miss it August 4-12.

Soak up the sunshine along with some area culture. No matter the month, summer is festival season around here!