Reelfoot Arts & Crafts Festival


September 29 thru October 1, 2023

Reelfoot Lake, Ellington Hall, and Armory Building,
Tiptonville, TN


Buildings Open


To Exhibitors


To Public


8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Friday     09/29  

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 09/30  

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday   10/01  

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM


9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

Celebrating 200 Years of Reelfoot Lake

1811/1812 -- 2011/2012

..."On the 16th of December, 1811, about two o'clock, a.m., we were visited by a violent shock of an earthquake," writes Eliza Bryan, a resident of the area at the time.  The quakes continued, almost daily, until February 7, 1812, when the most violent of all occurred.  In Eliza's words, "At first the Mississippi seemed to recede from its banks, and its waters gathering up like a mountain...then rising fifteen to twenty feet...and expanding, as it were, at the same moment, the banks were overflowed with the retrograde current, rapid as a torrent...the river falling immediately, as rapid as it had risen...and lately it has been discovered that a lake was formed on the opposite side of the Mississippi, in the Indian country."1

This is how Reelfoot Lake was formed, a natural phenomenon, a cypress forest covered with water from the mighty Mississippi River when it flowed backwards for a time.

The complete eyewitness account by Eliza Bryan can be found on the New Madrid Earthquake website.

1 From "Lorenzo Dow's Journal," Published by Joshua Martin, Printed by John B. Wolff, 1849



History of the Festival

In 1971 a woman had a vision to promote the beauty and splendor of Reelfoot Lake by having an Arts & Crafts Festival organized. She felt that if she could help set up a board of directors to form a festival, it would bring people into the community and enable others to enjoy what the “locals” called paradise.


The board of directors consisted of nine men and women. Every member had roots in the community and longed to see others come to know the area as they did. The first year of the festival, though small in numbers, brought tourists into the community and helped stem interest throughout the state.

Working with the state parks and local authorities, the festival has grown to an estimated crowd of over 45,000 people. Exhibitors come from many states to show their crafts and sell their wares with over 300 different vendors in 2010.  Every year comments are positive and results are great for the tourists and vendors alike. The festival is always held on the first weekend with an October date in it. There is free entertainment with artists from the area. People come and sit in the shade to enjoy old time string music and singing.

Come enjoy the festival and soak up on the local flavor as well. Great restaurants, great fishing, beautiful scenery with nature walks along the lake; we look forward to sharing it with you.