Yuck. That’s how I felt about banana pudding for YEARS. growing up I thought it was gross. Come to find out, it was mainly the nilla wafer cookies I really didn’t like. Now, as an adult, I’ve come to absolutely LOVE banana pudding. So when I found out that the NATIONAL banana pudding festival is held in Tennessee every year, I was IN! The pudding brings you in but all the other fun events keep you there for hours.
The banana pudding festival is in Centerville TN every year the first weekend in October. Centerville is about an hours drive from Nashville. The winding road off the interstate made my husband very happy. Once in Centerville, there is zero chance of missing where to go. It’s $5 per person to park and then you’re headed to banana pudding heaven.
The main entrance is surrounded by banana tree leaves. Right inside the gate, there was a booth taking note of where everyone is from and give you stickers. One, while grammatically incorrect, was pretty awesome. It was banana-shaped and said “1st time attender.” Another was a sticker celebrating the festival’s 10th anniversary. Next to this was a merchandise booth. I just had to get a shirt and a fridge magnet. After this, it was time to get to the pudding.
To get the most bang for your buck, you get in line for the Pudding Path. There you pay $5 to try a small portion of 10 different banana puddings. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of “before” we devoured all the amazing puddings. You can imagine that by the look of the “after” they were pretty tasty. After we all tasted and argued over which was the best, we voted for our favorites. It’s $1 per vote and the money goes to charity.
Next up was the kid zone. First was kiddie pools filled with corn. These were interesting. There were small prizes among the corn for the kids to play with. Nearby was a giant inflatable Smokey Bear that fascinated some of the smaller folks. Next to Smokey Bear, there was someone who made animal balloons. These were pretty awesome until they pop! Then it’s all tears. There was also pony rides but my favorite was the “train” pulled by a lawnmower. Kids really seemed to love this. The “cars” were plastic barrels that had been cut and had seats with steering wheels.
Food, food everywhere. I was most surprised to see a woman with 2, yes two, funnel cakes. You are at the National Banana Pudding Festival and you’re eating funnel cakes?!
The banana pudding eating contest was…something. It was all teenagers. Some of them seriously looked like they were asleep facedown in pudding! The method of measuring who ate the most was questionable but it was fun to watch.
Many vendors had booths set up. Most were small hand made items or informational booths. My husband decided to stop to chit chat at the suicide prevention booth. Really.
I love going to small-town festivals and the Banana Pudding Festival is one of my top two (I think Mule days still wins). My friends’ children had a great time and most of the children’s events were free once inside. So, if you’re ever in Middle Tennessee the first weekend in October, be sure to check out the National Banana Pudding Festival in Centerville, TN.