Florida Man on the Run

Everything You Need to Know About the 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival

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The 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival is almost here, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m a massive fan of small town festivals, the Moon Pie festival is one of my favorites. In fact, when we first moved to Tennessee in 2023, this is the very first festival I found and put on our calendar for the year. The RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival is held every year in Bell Buckle, Tennessee and you’ve come to the right place for all the information you need to have an absolutely fantastic time.

What is the 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival?

The 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival, held on June 15th, is a celebration of two of the South’s favorite treats! Which just so happen to be two of my favorite treats as well. The entire town of Bell Buckle, and the greater Middle Tennessee area, come together at this festival. In many ways, it becomes a time for the region to celebrate small town life as well. The RC Cola festival features a huge art market, 10 mile and 5k runs, an excellent parade and more.

Main stage at the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival
Main Stage featuring the Mid-State Cloggers!

The main stage serves as the central meeting point during the Moon Pie Festival. There are a number of different presentations on stage throughout the day. Early in the day will feature awards ceremonies for 5k and 10k, as well as clogging demonstrations. Later on, you can participate in the Moon Pie games with awards given to those who are from the furthest away, or youngest/oldest attendee. A play, “Blue Moon of Bell Keep on Pie’n”, is put on each year. Immediately after the play is the coronation of the RC Cola King and Moon Pie Queen! Finally, by the end of the day you’ll get a chance to eat a piece of the World’s Largest Moon Pie!

World's Largest Moon Pie at the 2023 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival
The best picture I could get of the World’s Largest Moon Pie!

As you wander through town, you’ll be amazed at just how huge the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival is. The various vendor booths are stretched throughout town. There is a main grouping by the main stage, where you’ll be able to grab your festival merch and an unlimited supply of RC Cola. Food vendors are all clustered together, making it convenient for everyone to pick their favorite festival food. Most local shops are also open, so make sure you stop in to them as well!

You can't miss the Bell Buckle mural at the 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival
The mural of Bell Buckle even features a Moon Pie and RC Cola!

The parade starts at 11:15am, so make sure you’re there well before then. It will run down Main Street and Webb Road. If you’re up by the main stage area, it can be hard to realize that the parade has started. So you don’t miss it, make sure to set an alarm. Then make your way down to the shops in front of the festival field to get a good view as it goes by!

Getting to and Staying Near Bell Buckle, Tennessee

Bell Buckle, Tennessee isn’t too difficult to access, but it’s it a bit away from the more populated places in Tennessee. Bell Buckle is about 60 minutes from Nashville and 90 minutes from Chattanooga. You can take I-24 from each of these cities to Exit 97. From there you’ll take Tennessee 64 to Tennessee 82, and right on into Bell Buckle. Any other place you may be coming from will likely take you through Nashville or Chattanooga on the way, unless you’re driving up from Alabama or Mississippi.

If you’re wanting to stay close to Bell Buckle, you’ve got a few options. There are hotels available in Shelbyville (20 minutes), Manchester (25 minutes), and Murfreesboro (30 minutes). The 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival is located in the center of a triangle formed by each of these three cities. You should be able to find accommodations in pretty much any of them. However, Murfreesboro will have the most options for where to stay. It can also serve as a pretty good base for turning your trip to the 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival into a full weekend or more.

The final important point you’ll need to take into account when coming to Bell Buckle for the festival is that it’s the same weekend as Bonnaroo. One of the largest music festivals in the country is right around the corner in Manchester on the same day. That’ll limit your hotel options quite a bit, or at least increase the cost of staying. It also means you need to be very aware of traffic. There are alternate routes into Bell Buckle (US 41 from Chattanooga/Monteagle or US 231 from Nashville/Murfreesboro) which might get around the traffic a bit quicker. Either way, Google will be helpful in navigating.

My Experience at the 2023 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival

We arrived at the 2023 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival about 10am. Fortunately, my fears about traffic didn’t materialize coming from Chattanooga. This may be because many people traveling in for Bonnaroo make the trip on Thursday/Friday, and the RC Cola Festival is on Saturday. Parking wasn’t too difficult, but we did have to walk about 1/3rd of a mile.

Nothing quite like an ice cold RC Cola on a hot day!

Once we got to the festival grounds, we were amazed at the sheer number of people who had turned out. It really is a huge party and celebration of all things RC Cola and Moon Pie. The family and I walked around the first set of shops before watching the Midstate Cloggers perform a show. As soon as I noticed the main merch booth, we grabbed some RC Colas to cool down! The weather was sunny and would climb into the low 90s by mid-afternoon. So make sure you wear sunscreen and are ready for warm temps.

Through the rest of the day we simply enjoyed everything the festival had to offer. As it’s centered on downtown Bell Buckle, we made sure to check out the local shops as well. If you like antiques, then you’ll be in luck! After we watched the parade, we grabbed lunch and saw the crowning of the RC Cola King and Moon Pie Queen. Then it was back to wandering the crafters and other vendors at the festival.

Make sure you take some fun pictures while you’re there!

Once the World’s Largest Moon Pie was revealed, we decided to beat the traffic out of town and made our way back to the car. That was the right call because by the time we hit the highway, there was a line of like minded folks behind us! It was an awesome time and great way to spend a Saturday with the whole family!

Final Thoughts on the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival

I really enjoyed our trip to Bell Buckle and the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival. It is definitely one I’d like to go back to in the future. We won’t make it this year because of other obligations that weekend though. The festival is really interesting compared to others we have been too. The number of vendors there is massive (well over 100 for sure), but it’s only a single day. There is some entertainment, but it’s 100% all local and small town stuff. Compared to say White Squirrel Weekend in Brevard, the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival is both bigger and smaller. White Squirrel Weekend definitely takes the cake with entertainment, but the Moon Pie Festival packs a lot into one day. If you get a chance to go to the 2024 RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival, I hope you have as great a time as I did!

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