January 10, 2023

The Best of Bristol: Top Events to Discover in 2023

Bristol is an entertainment capital, bringing the best of what Virginia and Tennessee have to offer with good food, cozy stays, and exciting events.

This year is no different, from exhilarating races at Bristol Motor Speedway to music, food, and art festivals downtown.

Here are the top events you don’t want to miss on the Virginia-Tennesee border this year.

Food City Dirt Race Weekend

When: April 7-9, 2023
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway

It doesn’t get much more thrilling than the intense competition at NASCAR’s only dirt race on the schedule.

Join the crowds at The Last Great Colosseum, where the top drivers compete on a unique surface.

Turn this into a weekend affair with four hours of open practice on Friday during Bush’s Beans Practice Day and a real battle on the track during the Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt Saturday night. The crowning event, the Food City Dirt Race, happens in prime time Sunday night with all the excitement you could want out of a weekend in Bristol.

Learn more about the Food City Dirt Race Weekend.

Steep Canyon Rangers

When: May 11, 2023
Where: Paramount Bristol

One of the most recognizable names in bluegrass today hits the Paramount Bristol stage this May.

The Steep Canyon Rangers are bringing their signature sound to the city that birthed country music for a one-night show.

As frequent collaborators with comedian and banjoist Steve Martin, these musicians know how to put on a good show.

Learn more about the Steep Canyon Rangers concert.

State Street Tattoo Fest

When: May 19-21, 2023
Where: Downtown Bristol

Looking for some cool new ink? Join over 70 artists from across the country for the third annual State Street Tattoo Fest.

This is your chance to find some of the hottest names in the tattoo world, all in one space.

Each artist books their own appointments, so check out the list of vendors to set up an appointment.

Learn more about the State Street Tattoo Fest.

NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

When: June 9-11, 2023
Where: Bristol Dragway

Drag racing doesn’t get any better, or louder, than at the legendary strip at Bristol Dragway.

The Thunder Valley Nationals feature three days of competition, action, and fireworks this summer.

Tickets will even get you into a fan autograph session with top drivers and a free track walk.

This bracket-style knockout championship will have you on the edge of your seat all weekend long.

Learn more about the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Music Festival

When: September 8-10, 2023
Where: Downtown Bristol

Bristol goes all out during the annual Rythm & Roots Reunion as the city celebrates its place in the history books as The Birthplace of Country Music.

More than 100 artists will take to the stages over the course of the three-day festival, filling downtown with the sounds of country, Americana, bluegrass, and indie-rock.

The 2023 lineup includes Nickel Creek, Margo Price, Bruce Hornsby, Watchouse, 49 Winchester, Amythyst Kiah, Allison Russell, and many more. Tickets go fast, so make sure to lock up your spot today!

Learn more about the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race Weekend

When: September 14-16, 2023
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway

The lights. The drama. The thundering crowd. The excitement returns to Bristol Motor Speedway for Bass Pro Shops Night Race Weekend.

The spectacle plays out on one of the biggest stages: NASCAR Playoffs. But just one night of racing isn’t enough.

Get to town early for an epic doubleheader Thursday night at the UNOH 200 / Bush’s Beans 200 and the Food City 300 Friday night.

Upgrade your experience to include camping at the Speedway, giving you easy access to all the emotions of the track.

There is only one Bristol!

Learn more about the Bass Pro Shops Night Race weekend.

Bristol PepperFest

When: September 23, 2023
Where: Downtown Bristol

Things are heating up this September with the return of the Bristol PepperFest.

You’ll have the chance to sample some scorching peppers, plus enjoy live music, cornhole, and more.

Could you be the last one standing at the Ultimate Beat the Heat Pepper Eating Competition? You won’t know until you put your tastebuds to the test.

Learn more about the Bristol PepperFest here.

Country Thunder Music Festival

When: October 6-7, 2023
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway

Things are getting loud in the BMS infield as Country Thunder returns to The Last Great Colosseum.

The two-day music festival features Eric Church, Brooks & Dunn, Jelly Roll, Randy House, and many more!

Bring the whole crew out for a weekend of camping, music, and fun.

This is a whole new way to experience the speedway.

Learn more about the Country Thunder music festival here.

Bristol In Bloom Art Festival

When: October 14, 2023
Where: Cumberland Square Park

Appalachian artists of all mediums come together during the annual Bristol in Bloom Art Festival to showcase the area’s rich artistic roots.

Here you’ll find a little bit of everything, whether you are just browsing or looking to adorn your walls, car, and body.

In between visiting tents, check out the lineup of demos and art talks happening throughout the park.

Learn more about the Bristol In Bloom Art Festival here.

Featured Event

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

08 Sep, 2023 17:00 - 10 Sep, 2023 19:00
08 Sep, 2023 17:00
5:00 pm - 9:04 am
Birthplace of Country Music Museum

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