The ostensibly sleepy town of Bell Buckle, Tenn., buzzes with visitors who throng the community during its annual events. On the third full weekend of October each year, the Webb School Art & Craft Show serves as the crowning spectacle for a 400-person town to where tourists from far and wide congregate en masse and get a taste of small town charm while browsing for antiques, quilts, crafts and collectables.
The Webb School Art & Craft Show features upwards of 800 booths, draping the town with unique items as far as the eye can see. Some of the crafts for sale include metal and wood works, pottery, textiles, jewelry and soaps. The heart of the show is the Webb Show, which features 100 of the most highly regarded booths and is located on the old Sawney Webb lot on Maple Street. These juried exhibitions are the crème de la crème of crafts, masterfully made by artisans who dedicate their time to achieving the highest caliber of quality in their respective disciplines.
The venue of Bell Buckle serves as a natural backdrop for the craft show, as its single-block Main Street is home to antique shops year-round. Showgoers are able to shop inside the likes of Phillips General Store, Hilltop Antiques and Livery Stable Antiques. Other boutique items can be browsed through at Simplicity, Doodle Bug and Farm Girlz Findery.
When lunch time approaches, visitors at the fair have a variety of culinary options to choose from; food trucks featuring cuisines from all over the world are parked and ready to serve delicious meals. Anyone who wishes to go into town and try their luck at the Bell Buckle Cafe can treat themselves to classic Southern fare such as catfish or indulge in a carrot soufflé, but they might have to wait a few hours before securing a coveted table! For a Southern twist to an American staple, try a fried green tomato cheeseburger with a side of ice cream at the Bluebird Antiques and Ice Cream Parlor. For smaller bites and a cup of Joe, head over to Bell Buckle Coffee Shop or buy a baked good at Simply Sweet Bakery.
Year-round, day trippers and Bell Bucklians alike enjoy a unique ambiance adorned by a colorful mural and quaint Victorian-era houses painted in vibrant hues. Passersby can strategically time their visits to correspond with Bell Buckle’s robust event calendar, which is rounded out by Daffodil Day in March, the RC-MoonPie Festival in June and the Old Fashioned Christmas in December.
Whether you plan to visit Bell Buckle during the Webb School Art & Craft Show or on just another weekend, you will not be disappointed by the charming middle Tennessee town and will have ample excuses to return sooner rather than later.