Staff Picks: There's a festival for everyone this weekend

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 1:00am
You'll find delightful pieces of art like this red heart by artist Jeanie Holland at this weekend's 38th annual TACA crafts fair to be held at Centennial Park.

Community Arts Program Student Exhibit
Cummins Station
209 10th Ave. S., 259-0999
free, 4 to 7 p.m.

Entrepreneur extraordinaire and real estate developer Zack Liff is using his love of art to boost up the community's emerging artists. He's turning the grand hallway of the historic Cummins Station, which he owns, into an art gallery of sorts to display the works of students from Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Sewanee: The University of the South and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Guests will see a variety of art styles including oil paintings, mixed media, photography, pencil drawings and more. Art lovers are invited to kick off the art exhibit at the opening reception and sip on wine and beer and — in a nod to Cinco de Mayo — feast on Mexican-themed hors d'oeuvres. The 100-year-old Cummins Station, with its interesting architecture and history and more than 100 different businesses, is worth a visit in itself.
— Alexa Hinton

38th Annual TACA Tennessee Craft Fair
Centennial Park, 2598 West End Avenue
free, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

I was 7 when my parents took me to my first Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA) craft fair. My mom gave me $5 to spend, so I very carefully explored the lines of white artist tents in search of the prettiest thing for my pint-sized budget. I settled on a carved wooden trinket with grooves. I remember the thrill of cool grass under my feet as I stared, fascinated, at the myriad, eclectic pieces of craft work and the faces who created them. But I don’t think an art lover ever outgrows that intrigue. This weekend marks the 38th annual TACA craft fair, featuring artists from across the state with such media as jewelry, stained glass, weaving, sculpture, dolls, candles, pottery, photography, metalwork, baskets, leather, beadwork and more. Plus, artists will be giving on-site demonstrations to show the techniques behind such processes as printmaking and woodturning. And, there will be a Kids Tent where children can get down and dirty making their own crafts .
— Alexa Hinton

Vintage & Indie Designer Sale
Fanny's House of Music
1101 Holly St.
free, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Vintage clothes carry a stigma of hipness — as in, by sheer fact of surviving past their season/year/decade/era, they must be uber cool. But where do you find them? Well, on Saturday <i>The City Paper</i>'s Style Arbiter and fashion extraordinaire Libby Callaway is hosting a vintage and indie designer sale, bringing together about a dozen local clothing and accessory designers and vintage dealers. They'll all set up shop in the backyard of Fanny's House of Music, the new East Nashville music store. The following vendors will be there showing their quality and stylish wares: Anne Thessin, Closet Case Vintage, Flora Vintage, The Gilded Cage Vintage, Jessica Maros, Kim Vintage, Local Honey, Parlour Vintage, Say Ooh, Shannon Lea, Too Many Treasures, Valentine Valentine and White Rabbit.
— Alexa Hinton

Nashville Children’s Theatre hosts spring festival
Nashville Children’s Theatre, 25 Middleton St.
free, 2 to 4 p.m.

Spring is in the air! And Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT) will honor the season this Saturday with a free Spring Festival designed to kick off weekend performances of <i>Still Life with Iris</i>. Scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m., this family-friendly event will feature a variety of creative activities, musical acts and more outside the theater.

“The festival will take place between our two Saturday afternoon performances, allowing the theater experience to spill out onto the campus,” said NCT Producing Director Scot Copeland. “It’s a wonderful way for families to celebrate Spring with great food, entertainment and fun.”

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville Public Library’s Wishing Chair Productions and the Nashville Symphony will be on hand, as well as Howard Pink and his Musical Garden Hoses, Playing by Air, Youth Speaks and Bill Crosby Music. Food will be available for purchase from Rainforest Cafe, Las Paletas and Kernals Southern Gourmet Popcorn. And because Saturday is also TARGET Family Time, tickets to that day’s performances of NCT’s new production of Still Life with Iris are half price.
— Amy Stumpfl

Gameness Cage Fighting Mixed Martial Arts Championships
Nashville Municipal Auditorium, 417 Fourth Ave. N.
$25 and up, free with military ID; 7 p.m.

Nashville's first local professional cage fighting event will feature the most impressive roster of Tennessee fighters fighting in Tennessee since state law passed last year allowing Mixed Martial Arts events to take place in the Volunteer State. The Gameness Fighting Championships are the premier MMA Fights in Tennessee, sanctioned by the Tennessee Athletic Commission and the World Kickboxing Association. The main event features Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Josh Schockman. In all, eight Nashville fighters will be on the card.
— Drew Ruble

SATURDAY-SUNDAY, MAY 2-3, plus weekends through Memorial Day
Tennessee Renaissance Festival
2124 New Castle Road, Arrington
$6 for children ages 6 to 12, $18 for adults; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Travel back to 16th Century England at the annual Tennessee Renaissance Fair. See the Village of Covington Glen come alive with the bustle of a Renaissance Marketplace. More than 60 skilled Artisans from all over the country display their wares from silks to swords, gems to jewels. Flavors, aromas and tastes of specialty foods and drinks greet the festival-goer. Hear the sounds of Renaissance musicians and merrymakers as they echo through the trees. Color, movement and peals of laughter welcome those who thrill to the challenges of Games of Skill and Man-Powered Rides. The festival is easily accessible from I-24, I-65 or I-840. Take Highway 96 to Triune, follow the "Renaissance Festival" signs. It’s just 25 miles south of Nashville.
— Drew Ruble

CRA Budweiser All American 150
Fairgrounds Speedway, Smith and Wedgewood avenues, 242-2077
$10 Saturday, $20 Sunday, $25 for both days, children under 10 free
10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Many of the region’s racing regulars will again make the rounds at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway this weekend, but it’s a polarizing star from the big series who’ll bring the pizzazz in front of a crowd expected to reach 10,000. NASCAR ace Kyle Busch will race at the historic short oval for the first time during the highlight of the track’s early season, the CRA Budweiser All American 150. Busch, who notched his first CRA Series win early this year, will make his way to Nashville after competing in NASCAR’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup series races at Richmond International Speedway on Friday and Saturday nights. Pit gates will open on Saturday at 10 a.m., with the on-track action starting at 1 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. on Sunday as well, with an autograph session slated for 1 p.m. The racin’ starts an hour later, with the All American 150 scheduled as the second of three contests on the bill. The race’s top three finishers will be guaranteed a starting spot in the Speedway’s season-ending Music City All-American 400 on Halloween weekend.
— Geert De Lombaerde

31st Annual Richland-West End Neighborhood Home Tour
$12 for adults, $5 for children under 12
12 to 5 p.m. each day

Eight houses, seven gardens, one weekend not to be missed! Experience the conviviality of life in the 19th, 20th and 21st century homes and gardens that comprise the Richland-West End Neighborhood Home Tour. One highlight of the tour? Now a Nashville residence for 200 years, the historic Craighead house is one of the oldest brick houses in Davidson County. And, this neighborhood is so spirited, they will even be selling RWENA home tour coffee by the pound. Don’t miss the java and cake.
— Drew Ruble

Nashville Opera Liff Center Grand Opening Festival
The Noah Liff Opera Center
3622 Redmon St.,
free, 3 to 5 p.m.

To celebrate the opening of the new Noah Liff Opera Center, the Nashville Opera is hosting a free, public festival. The event will include a performance of <i>The Magic Flute</i>, part of the Nashville Opera’s education tour production for children, as well as photography stations with costume make-up, wigs and props for children and adults. Italian finger foods, opera karaoke, an opera quiz station, favors for attendees and tours of the new facility will also be part of the afternoon event.

The new Noah Liff Opera center includes elaborate rehearsal space, functional areas for community gatherings, board and conference rooms and administrative offices designed to accommodate Nashville Opera productions, performance schedules and outreach performances. The new facility, which will be dedicated Friday, will play a major role in taking opera to a new level in the Middle Tennessee area.
— Alexa Hinton