Today started like many Saturdays, with Franklin’s Farmers Market. There are many choices of vegetables but I opted for Ellie’s Old Fashioned Donuts and a breakfast burrito from the Califarmia truck. Basically I went for breakfast. Thats how the day began but it ended with Justin Timberlake preforming in our back yard (figuratively) right here in Franklin, TN! I should mention that this day in Franklin life happened to be the first day of the 3rd annual Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival – Saturday, September 23, 2017. That’s where the day becomes anything but a typical Saturday.
A couple of friends came over and we prepared to walk over to Pilgrimage Festival. The mental checklist included a wristband (the ticket to the event), a factory sealed bottle of water, liberal application of sunscreen, a mandatory hat, camera, phone, lip balm, beach towel, cash and ID. In a matter of minutes, my wristband was scanned and I was welcomed through the entrance by the typical colorful streamers and a handy brochure to reference for a map and schedule. Luckily, the Pilgrimage App is also an easy way to keep track of the lineup and stage associated with each performer. Big Sam’s Funky Nation got everyone at the Infiniti Gold stage jamming and dancing. A strawberry Popsicle from Padrino’s Pops was a cool treat while perusing the rows of vendor tents and set the stage for a late lunch. I decided on a fried chicken biscuit from Ozark Mountain Biscuit Company. This is where the beach towel comes in to provide a seat in the grass to eat and listen to Shovels and Rope at the main stage, Midnight Sun. Later, my friends found a little shady spot to sit and listen to Better than Ezra while I made my way closer to the stage to flashback to my college years. We took a siesta from the heat and returned refreshed and ready for the main event, Justin Timberlake! The sun set behind the Midnight Sun stage just before JT wowed Tennessee festival goers with awesome music and dance moves. He brought out surprise guest, Chris Stapleton, to join him for three songs! That puts day one, year three in the books.
I ran into several first time attendees plus my friends were experiencing the festival for the first time. They all remarked on how well organized Pilgrimage Festival was and that Harlinsdale Farm is the perfect venue for this event. If you haven’t attended Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, you should put it on your calendar next year and buy tickets early because they sold out this year. This festival just gets bigger and better each year. I hope to see you next year (or tomorrow) for another day of music, food and art!