CaveFest 2023

September 1-4, 2023

Preregistration is closed. On-site registration begins on Friday, September 1.

Follow our event page on Facebook for more information and the latest updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SMGCaveFest/


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 evolved into the Sewanee Mountain CaveFEST!! The event is still free and we hope to keep it that way as we look to the future.