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Defining the perfect essence of what is Southern hospitality can be found in the small historic town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee. The charming row of downtown shops and a famous Café nestled against a backdrop of tree lined streets, horse country, and slow moving trains beckon to those yearning for a simpler time.
But every third Saturday in June the quiet, friendly little town becomes a bustle of excitement and activity when one of the South’s most traditional pairings is celebrated at the 19th annual Bell Buckle RC & Moon Pie Festival.
Excitement has mounted for this year’s festival as the Tennessee Lottery will be sponsoring the event. They will be selling their new ticket featuring a Moon Pie scratch off. Bell Buckle will make sure you have a great day, and the Tennessee Lottery may make you a winner while you’re there!
The South’s original fast food meal was paired together in the 1950’s, and it has been a match made in Southern food lore heaven ever since. This year’s Festival will be held on Saturday, June 15th beginning with the 18th annual RC-Moon Pie 10 Mile Run. Over 1,000 runners will compete on the scenic but grueling certified 10 mile course and then rewarded at the finish line with a full breakfast that Runners’ World magazine called “some of the best food you will find at a race”! After the race, the real fun begins!
RC’s and Moon Pies are celebrated in every way possible with a parade, bluegrass music, dancing, the coronation of the King and Queen, and unique games featuring the two classics in every way imaginable and sometimes even beyond the imagination! Admittedly tongue-in-cheek humor bounces from center stage throughout the day with guest appearances by Moon Pie herself and her constant beau RC plus many other surprises that will bring a smile to every face. The band Speakeasy is performing and this good time rock-n-roll band will delight old and young alike.
The perfect day concludes with the perfect treat – the cutting of the World’s Largest Moon Pie. Bell Buckle serves up the gooey treat to everyone and it’s FREE! It’s Southern hospitality, it’s classic Americana, and it’s all in Bell Buckle.
This year’s King and Queen will be American gospel singer, Russ Taff, and his songwriter wife, Tori. Russ is an American gospel singer who was just recently inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He has six Grammy awards including the Grammy for Best Rock Gospel Album and Best Gospel Vocal Performance.
When the festival is over and you just cannot stand the thought of leaving, then come listen to Russ perform at the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall’s International Folk Fest. Dance groups from around the world have converged for the International Folk fest, as part of an annual celebration of cultural heritage intended to promote the arts. The dance event begins at 5:00 PM, and there is a small admission fee with an option to partake of the great food served by the Bell Buckle Café during the event. The evening will be topped-off by a performance from recording artist, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike.
The Bell Buckle RC-Moon Pie Festival has been named a Top 20 Event by the Southeastern Tourism Society, and Bell Buckle has earned a spot on the Tennessee Department of Tourism’s highly touted Jack Trail. So find out what all the fuss is about. Be sure to come visit the place that is close to home but a world away. And if you decide not to visit, well then as we say in the South, bless your heart.