Beginning in 1939, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville is held each year for ten days ending on the Saturday before Labor Day. This is the premier event in the industry with the World Grand Champion being crowned on the last Saturday night. Spectators and exhibitors from around the world assemble in Shelbyville at the historic Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Grounds for the annual spectacle. Fans fill the 30,000 seat arena in anticipation of the new World Grand Champion each year.
The Webb School Arts and Crafts Festival is the premier arts and crafts show in Tennessee. There are over 500 booths with unique and eclectic items from across the United States. Over 100,000 people attend this event each year. This festival includes live music, plenty of food vendors, health vendors, hand made furniture, photography, pottery, prints, clothing, purses, yard items, antiques, and so much more.
This annual celebration of various genres of music takes place the first weekend in June each year at Jernigan Field in Wartrace. Whether it’s rock and roll, blues or country, you will find some of your favorite songs being played here. There is fun for the entire family with great food, pony rides for the kids, arts and crafts and a fireworks show finale on Saturday night.
The Bedford County Fair is held each year for six days the last week of July at the Bedford County Agricultural Center and Fairgrounds. This is one of the top county fairs in the area with all types of fun activities for the family. Events include a tractor pull, baking contests, carnival rides, music, livestock judging of all types and great food. This is great way to cap off the summer before school starts each year.
Celebrating two southern favorites, R.C. Colas and Moon Pies, this festival in Bell Buckle draws visitors from around the country each year on the third weekend in June. Highlights include a 10k Race, parade, music and food. The parade culminates in the crowning of the King and Queen of the Festival followed by games for all ages. The grand finale is the cutting of the World’s Largest MoonPie.
The Great Celebration Mule and Donkey Show is held each year at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration ground on the second weekend of July. The show brings three days of quality mules and donkey. The show features mules and donkeys from 25 states. Riders and exhibitors of all ages are welcome to come and show their prized animals. The festive atmosphere includes vendors with unique items for sale as well as great food.
For nearly 4 decades, the Strolling Jim 40 mile Ultra Marathon has taken place in Wartrace on the first Saturday in May. The race is named after a legendary Tennessee Walking Horse. Road Warriors from around the world return each year to compete in the race which winds through some of the most picturesque vistas in the south. In conjunction with the race, there is a standard 26.2 mile marathon and a 10 K race for those not quite ready to take on the challenge of the big one.
The Butterfly Festival is a two-day juried arts and crafts show along with art demonstrations, hands-on crafts for children, an outdoor classroom of the butterfly metamorphosis, two live butterflies releases (Saturday only), and entertainment stage. It is held at the historic Fly Arts Center in Shelbyville. www.flyartscenter.com
The Calsonic Arena located on the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration grounds is host to many events throughout the year in Shelbyville. The arena can seat up to 7,000 people for concerts. The arena has hosted monster truck shows, circuses, concerts, dog shows, car shows, motocross races, rodeos and of course horse shows.
The following are just a sample of the many events held in the last year:
September 30 – October 3, 2015
October 9 – 17, 2015
January 22 – 23, 2016
February 20, 2016
February 27, 2016
March 17-19, 2016
May 6-7, 2016
July 7-9, 2016