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March Getaway Guide: Knoxville's Big Ears Festival, Saint Patrick's Day in Savannah, and more

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March Getaway Guide: Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival, Saint Patrick’s Day in Savannah, and more

Photograph by Eric Smith
Photograph by Eric Smith

Festival of the month
Big Ears Festival
Knoxville’s annual Big Ears Festival (March 27–29) has made its mark by mixing indie, classical, pop, and jazz music. The New York Times noted that this year’s lineup “reads like a season listing for Greenwich Village and Brooklyn, compressed into a single weekend.” You’ll hear the Kronos Quartet; Nels Cline of Wilco and Bryce Dessner of the National, both rock guitarists who are now classical performers; minimalist composer Terry Riley; and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell at venues like the historic Bijou and Tennessee theaters. There will be free performances at the Knoxville Museum of Art, which will also host film and art exhibitions. Weekend passes (now from $178.50) are selling out quickly.

Photograph by Jared Ragland
Photograph by Jared Ragland

Stitching for Selma
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March, Birmingham sewing cooperative Bib & Tucker Sew-Op invited the public to create blocks that were stitched into commemorative, narrative quilts. The project partnered with the Birmingham Museum of Art and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, among others. This spring, view the quilts at events in Selma and Montgomery.

Illustration by Nick Shepherd
Illustration by Nick Shepherd

SXSW by the Numbers
This year’s music, film, and interactive conference will be held March 13–22 in Austin. Headliners stretch from Father, an up-and-coming Atlanta rapper, and rocker Ben Kweller to the old-school punk band Gang of Four. Below, some 2014 stats. sxsw.com

2,371 musical acts

133 feature films

55,000 main-stage concert attendees

Photograph by iStockphoto.com
Photograph by iStockphoto.com

Tara Feis
In Savannah, many Saint Patrick’s Day activities cater to the 21-and-over set. But March 14, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs will host this family-friendly festival in Emmet Park on Bay Street. Feis (pronounced “fesh”) means “festival,” and Tara was once home to the king of Ireland. Revelers can enjoy Irish dancing, music, and crafts—no green beer (or other alcohol) allowed!

Face lift
State Lodges

Coral Hospitality, which operates resorts for the state, has completed multimillion-dollar renovations of the lodges at two top Georgia parks. At Amicalola Falls, a new rocking chair porch, private patios, and Craftsman-style furnishings add to the mountain ambience. Unicoi remodeled its meeting spaces, and both properties updated their guest rooms.

Photograph by Exhibits Development Group
Photograph by Exhibits Development Group

Downton Duds
More than 40 “Downton Abbey” costumes will be on display at Asheville’s Biltmore through May 25.

This article originally appeared in our March 2015 issue.

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