Fest is the annual auction & party hosted by the Sewanee
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 www.caversparadise.com
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!
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.
Cave Fest is a private event hosted by Cavers for
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.