Asian Festival and Blankfest Highlight Upcoming Weekend

Blankfest-poster-2016
It’s hard for me to pick a good weekend to leave town. When I realized recently that I would need to be away for a couple of days, I deliberately chose to be here for the Asian Festival and Blankfest next weekend. More about those below, but the weekend I chose, the on that just ended, turned out to be full of great activities, as well. I hope many of you made it to the East Tennessee History Fair, the Emory Place Block Party and Sunset on Central. That’s quite a Saturday. Sadly, I missed them all.

 

I plan to be on hand next weekend, however, for Blankfest and the Asian Festival. The two together represent so much of what is great and what I want for our city. The musical talent in this town can’t be overstated and Blankfest (along with Waynestock in January) is one of the very best opportunities to hear some of the finest bands Knoxville has to offer. Also bringing in excellent bands from outside the city, and with an expanded three-day celebration, Blankfest is a must for serious music fans in the city.

 

The Asian Festival started two years ago as a very small effort to present a culture which doesn’t get much play around town. Knoxville’s various, small Asian communities represent such a tiny portion of our over-all population, that they may be easily missed. According to the 2000 census, the group represents just under 1 1/2 % of the city’s population. Still, that’s over 2500 people, so it’s fun to join with them for a festival that helps the rest of us understand their various cultures just a bit better.
Moon Taxi, Market Square Stage, Blankfest, Knoxville, May 2014

Moon Taxi, Market Square Stage, Blankfest, Knoxville, May 2014

David Mayfield Parade, Blankfest, Market Square Stage, Knoxville, August 2015

David Mayfield Parade, Blankfest, Market Square Stage, Knoxville, August 2015

Black Cadillacs, Blankfest, Market Square Stage, Knoxville, August 2015

Black Cadillacs, Blankfest, Market Square Stage, Knoxville, August 2015

Blankfest kicks off Friday night and runs through Sunday, starting at 5:00 PM each day. Sponsored by Blank Newspaper, like the Asian Festival, this is also the third rendition of Blankfest. In addition to musical artists, cabaret and comedy will also be available. All performances will take place in Market Square venues, including the Market Square Stage. Performances on the outdoor stage will be free, while a $25 wristband grants access to all venues, all week long. VIP passes are also available and a portion of sales will benefit Positively Living.

 

As for the music, you’ll find many of my local favorites including a number I’ve written about here, from Hudson K and Bark to Heiskell and Guy Marshall. You’ll get a chance to hear new material from Southern Cities, who were featured on last week’s edition of Knoxcentric: Powered by Inside of Knoxville (90.3 WUTK, 10:00 AM Sunday mornings). Headliners Perpetual Groove from Athens, Georgia, promise to deliver a high energy highlight. Rusty promised the greatest light show the square has ever seen.
Asian Festival, Krutch Park, Knoxville, September 2014

Asian Festival, Krutch Park, Knoxville, September 2014

Asian Festival, Krutch Park, Knoxville, September 2014

Asian Festival, Krutch Park, Knoxville, September 2014

The Asian Festival runs 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sunday and, as you can see on the map, takes up all of Market Square as well as Krutch Park, and parts of Union Avenue and Market Street. This year marks a new day of the week for the festival (previous festivals were held on Saturday) and a much expanded footprint. Previously, the entire festival nestled into Krutch Park extension, but last year it became obvious more space was needed.

Much of the focus is in two directions: children and food. Many, many activities and programs will appeal to children, entertaining them while teaching them about Asian culture. At the Japan tent, children may get a passport to be taken to the various country tents for stamps and returned to the Japan tent for an award of a Japanese snack and origami. Children will also enjoy water baloon games, Tamaire (Japanese ball games) and a Japanese Robot coming from the Japanese embassy. Of course there will be face painting and lots of crafts.

 

Asian Festival Map
Authentic cuisine from many different countries will be combined with education about the utensils and preparation used. Performances will be held on multiple stages, and will include martial arts demonstrations, music and dance. Artisans will demonstrate bonsai, origami, pottery and more. A healthy living section will focus on traditional screenings for high blood pressure, vision and more, while presentations regarding yoga and other Asian healing arts will also be integrated.

 

It’s another wild, eclectic, fun weekend headed our way. And this is one I do not intend to miss. I hope to see you there.

The Downtown Knoxville Ten Day Planner (8/21 – 8/30/2016)

Blue Slip Bistro, Southern Railway Station, Knoxville, July 2016

Blue Slip Bistro, Southern Railway Station, Knoxville, July 2016

If you want to be certain your event is included on this calendar, I’ll need your event two weeks in advance. The absolute best way to make sure I include your event is to make a FB event and invite me – two weeks in advance. My FB “events” are the one place I’ll go to every time – if you invite me before I write the post.

If you see an event I’ve missed and you’d like to plug, please comment below. I am no longer able to add to the list events about which I was not informed in advance – it’s just gotten too big, and that’s a good thing. Staying true to the scope of the blog, I’ll only list downtown or near-downtown events. Any number of venues outside of downtown have some great events, but I have to draw a line somewhere. If you want to add those in a comment, that’s fine. Please “Friend” me (Alan Sims) on Facebook and invite me to your events. Look over to the right of this post and not only “friend” me, but “like” Inside of Knoxville. Subscribe (also to the right) to make sure you catch all the posts.

Want to get the word out more directly and get more eyes on your event or business? Consider placing a front page ad! For $300 (or $425 for an ad twice as large) you get a full month exposure to around 40,000 different people (and growing). Contact me for details @ KnoxvilleUrbanGuy@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 21

  • Knoxcentric: Powered by Inside of Knoxville, Radio Show on WUTK 90.3 FM (Listen online, Follow the Podcast), 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Jazz Brunch @ 5 Bar, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Shifflett’s Jazz Benedict, Bistro at the Bijou, Noon – 2:00 PM
  • Live Jazz, Downtown Grill and Brewery, 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM
  • History of Knoxville with Jack Neely, A Four Week Series (each Sunday), 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Church Tours/ 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Lecture, Free
  • FocusFest: Battle of the (Praise) Bands/Other Activities, World’s Fair Park, 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • The Three Muskateers,” Knoxville Children’s Theatre (109 E. Churchwell Ave.), 3:00 PM, $12
  • August BLUES Cruise with FEW MILES ON!, Star of Knoxville, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, $16/$20
  • Upstairs Underground Comedy Open Mic, Preservation Pub Speakeasy, 8:00 PM
  • Hard Working Americans, Bijou Theatre, 8:00 PM, $27/$30
  • Arc and Stones/Vinyl Thief/Shiloh Hill, Preservation Pub, 8:00 PM
  • Jon Whitlock Trio, Barley’s, 8:00 PM

Monday, August 22

Tuesday, August 23

  • Battle on the State Line Media Event (To promote activities going on in Bristol before the game), 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: Jane Fallon/Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers, Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • August Big Kids Coloring Club, Ijams Nature Center, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, $5
  • Singer/Songwriter Open Mic, Preservation Pub Speakeasy, 7:00 PM
  • Old Time Jam with Sarah Pirkle, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, 7:15 PM
  • Keith Harkin, The Square Room, 8:00 PM, $35/$55
  • Jazz on the Square, Market Square, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Einstein Simplified, Scruffy City Hall, 8:00 PM
  • Sweet Years/Yeesh/Crumbsnatchers, Pilot Light, 9:30 PM, $5
  • The 9th Street Stompers, Barley’s, 10:00 PM
  • Cullen Wade and the Waters, Preservation Pub, 10:00 PM
Blue Slip Bistro, Southern Railway Station, Knoxville, July 2016

Blue Slip Bistro, Southern Railway Station, Knoxville, July 2016

Wednesday, August 24

  • Market Square Farmers’ Market, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: Nellie Clay/Banjo Nickaru, Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • Tennessee Shines presents Barefoot Sanctuary/Jamie Cook, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, 7:00 PM, $10
  • Mitchell, Coker and Deacon (jazz), Bistro at the Bijou, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • NoKno Cinematheque presents “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” The Central Collective, 8:00 PM, Free (BYOB)
  • Scruffy Science Theater 6000, Scruffy City Hall, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Xuekatre/All Hell/Enthean, Pilot Light, 9:30 PM, $7
  • Tomàs Gorrio, Preservation Pub, 10:00 PM

Thursday, August 25

  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: The WillowWacks/Music From the CBT production “Violet,” Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • Six O’Clock Swerve with Wayne Bledsoe presents Exit 65, Barley’s, 6:00 PM, $5
  • Bourbon and Ice Cream, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, 6:30 PM, $35
  • The Three Muskateers,” Knoxville Children’s Theatre (109 E. Churchwell Ave.), 7:00 PM, $12
  • Scottish Jam, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, 7:15, Free
  • Sugar High! w/Craig Holcombe & Andy Cummins (comedy), Sugar Mama’s, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM
  • The 200’s, Scruffy City Hall, 9:00 PM
  • The Hood Internet/Showyousuck/Earl Grae, The Concourse at the International, 9:00 PM, $8
  • Brendon James Wright and the Wrongs, Barley’s, 10:00 PM

Friday, August 26

  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: Minor Moon/Kristy Cox, Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • Blankfest, Music and Comedy, Market Square and Surrounding Venues, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM, $10/$25/$60
  • Good Sport Night, The Central Collective (923 N. Central St.), 6:30 PM, $14/$20
  • The Three Muskateers,” Knoxville Children’s Theatre (109 E. Churchwell Ave.), 7:00 PM, $12
  • Summer Movie Magic presents “Top Gun,” Tennessee Theatre, 8:00 PM, $7/$9
  • Harakiris/El Escapado/Fire at the Marquee/Heavy Sleepers, Pilot Light, 9:00 PM, $5
  • Spectrum (jazz), Bistro at the Bijou, 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Styles & Complete, The Concourse at the International, 10:00 PM, $10
  • Deltaphonics, Barley’s, 10:00 PM
  • Carpe Capare, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, 10:00 PM

Saturday, August 27

  • Restoration House Over the Edge Event, Rapell from the Langley Building, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Dragon Boat Race Festival, Volunteer Landing, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Family Safety and Preparedness Fair, World’s Fair Park, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Market Square Farmers’ Market, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • POWER YOGA at The Mill & Mine (FREE), 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • GermanFest 2016, First Lutheran Church (1207 N. Broadway), 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM, $2
  • Authors Rachel Holbrook and Bobbi Phelps Wolverton sing their books in front of Union Avenue Books, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: MojoFlow/The Good Bad Kids, Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • The Three Muskateers,” Knoxville Children’s Theatre (109 E. Churchwell Ave.), 1:00 PM, $12
  • The Three Muskateers,” Knoxville Children’s Theatre (109 E. Churchwell Ave.), 5:00 PM, $12
  • Blankfest, Music and Comedy, Market Square and Surrounding Venues, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM, $10/$25/$60
  • Livin Lush Cup: Under the Lights, Lighted Paddleboard Race (lights provided), Billy Lush Board Shop/Tennessee River, 7:00 PM (Must Register 24 hours or more early), 2 Mile Race $45, Five Mile Race $65
  • Corey Smith, Tennessee Theatre, 8:00 PM, $28
  • Ascend, The International, 9:00 PM (Tickets at the Door, No Price Given)
  • Mark Boling (Jazz), Bistro at the Bijou, 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Shriek Operator (Record Release)/Wife Pile/Evil English, Pilot Light, 10:00 PM, $5
  • Nick Moss Band, Barley’s, 10:00 PM
  • The Good Bad Girls, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, 10:00 PM
Blue Slip Bistro, Southern Railway Station, Knoxville, July 2016

Blue Slip Bistro, Southern Railway Station, Knoxville, July 2016

Sunday, August 28

Monday, August 29

  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: Ethan Crump/The Coteries, Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • Special 6 O’Clock Swerve with Wayne Bledsoe presents Jubal, Barley’s, 6:00 PM, $5
  • Writers in the Library Reading: Christopher Hebert, UTK Hodges Library, 7:00 PM, Free
  • The Coteries, Preservation Pub, 10:00 PM
  • WUTK’s The Mothership presents The Blueprint, Barley’s, 10:00 PM

Tuesday, August 30

  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: Hadley Kennary/Jenni Alpert w/ Aubryn and Byron, Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • City Council Meeting, City County Building Main Assembly Room, 6:00 PM
  • Singer/Songwriter Open Mic, Preservation Pub Speakeasy, 7:00 PM
  • Old Time Jam with Sarah Pirkle, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, 7:15 PM
  • Jazz on the Square, Market Square, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Einstein Simplified, Scruffy City Hall, 8:00 PM
  • Charge the Atlantic, Preservation Pub, 10:00 PM
  • Paul Lee Kupfer, Barley’s, 10:00 PM

Daylight Building Offers Downtown Homes For Sale

Daylight Building, 500 Block Union Avenue, Knoxville, August 2016

Five years after accepting its first residents, Dewhirst Properties is offering what have been leased apartments inside the Daylight Building, located on the 500 block of Union Avenue, for sale as condos. The historic tax credits received to help … [Continue reading]

Dogwood Arts Finds a New Home: And You are Welcome

Dogwood Arts Offices, 123 W Jackson Ave., Knoxville, August 2016

Dogwood Arts recently moved into new offices and invited the public to see the new space with an open house on First Friday. It's something they could not have easily done in their previous location in the Burwell Building. While it's cool to be … [Continue reading]

Pop Weasel Emporium Opens at 611 N. Gay Street

Gina Alazawi, Pop Weasel, 611 N. Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2016

It's hard not to get excited when listening to Gina Alazawi talking about pop culture. Her passion, which started at a very young age, has only grown and is reflected in her new business, Pop Weasel Emporium at 611 N. Gay Street. In naming the … [Continue reading]