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CaveFest 2019 pre-registration is now closed. Please use on-site registration at the event. We look forward to seeing you there!

Cave Fest is the annual auction & party hosted by the Sewanee Mountain Grotto. The event is held Labor Day weekend every year at Cavers Paradise, which is located in the HEART OF T.A.G. Please refer to for directions. Amenities on site include a bath house, hot tub, sauna and thousands of caves within just an hour drive!

There is no registration fee to attend, however we do ask that attendees bring a dish for the potluck dinner. The campground also charges $10/person for the entire weekend. All proceeds raised during our event go back into the caving community. The auction at Cave Fest is also a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to get some caving gear both new and vintage and all of the proceeds from our auction go back into the caving community! Some vendors who have already donated to previous auctions are: Chaco, Black Diamond, Blue Water Ropes, CMI, Fox River Mills, Fozzils, Hallelujah Pottery, Highline Ropes, Lodge Cast Iron, The Lost Sea, Nestle Waters, the National Speleological Society Bookstore, Ruby Falls and we hope to receive more!

We will have led cave trips, a bat float to Nickajack, kids activities, a potluck dinner, and of course our main attraction THE AUCTION!. The potluck dinner and Auction will be on Saturday night (dinner at 5pm and auction at 7pm) and the Bat Float will be on Sunday. More details as the event gets closer.

The dates for this years event are August 30 - September 2, 2019. For more information or to keep up with the event, please visit our Facebook Group Page at

Cave Fest is a private event hosted by Cavers for Cavers.


The History of Cave Fest
Maureen Handler moved to the mountain in August 2002 and had the first labor day weekend party 2 weeks later. In the summer of 2003, Mud Puppy (Peter Michaud) came to live on the mountain to help her build her house. He asked if he could have a labor day weekend party up there. Sure!! We’re always up for another party. PupFest 1 was a success. PupFest 2 and 3 followed in the coming years. In 2004, the Sewanee Mountain Grotto reactivated and in 2005 we decided to do a BBQ and auction to raise money for conservation. Since there were no other big parties in TAG during Labor Day, we decided to do the event at PupFest, since it had a good following. In 2006, SMG took over the whole event, planning cave trips, music, BBQ and the auction. In 2007, we added frosty adult beverages. From its beginning with about 40 people, the event had grown to about 100 people. In 2008, we had our first T-shirts professionally printed. PupFest 6 shirts are still seen regularly at caving events. Through it all, we were able to keep the event free for all participants. This had been a goal from the start. We wanted the best party in TAG for Labor Day weekend and nothing is better than a free party. The event continued to grow and we have since moved the Potluck dinner and Auction to Saturday night and moved the band to Sunday. The grotto has been able to donate thousands of dollars for cave conservation and back to the caving community over the years due to our fund raising efforts. As all things progress and grow, PupFest has involved into the Sewanee Mountain CaveFEST!! The event is still free and we hope to keep it that way as we look to the future.