The Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley sponsored the annual Bark in the Park Event this weekend. It accentuates something that Knoxville is increasingly recognized for: we love dogs and enjoy having them in public spaces. Any day or evening downtown will find dogs walking about on leashes or settled onto a patio while their person enjoys a meal. Many shop owners offer a water bowl and, sometimes, treats to encourage canine visits. We even have a store dedicated to the pooches with the recent opening of CitiFid-o.
Saturday morning an increased animal presence was obvious at the Farmers’ Market even though it already is often thick with the four-legged friends. CitiFid-o was overrun from early morning and throughout the day. From there it only built. By the time the event actually started the Square was practically nose-to-butt throughout its expanse. Like Mardi Growl, plan an event with dogs and people come out.
The evening featured contests and a tent-city of vendors offering everything puppy. The Humane society had volunteers panning out asking for donations and support. Spaying and neutering was a common theme. Mostly people just milled about with their cute dogs. Owners and pets alike initiated interactions with each other. Some of the favorite scenes for me were the interactions between very different breeds of dogs.
I’ll let the photographs tell the rest of the story, but it was another very big weekend downtown. Friday found me wanting to take it a bit easy, but that night alone found the Race for the Cure event starting on the World’s Fair Park, The Streamliners playing the KMA Alive After Five and the annual Knoxville’s Largest Kid’s Party sponsored by Premier Athletics.
That last one is a bit confounding to me. It flies so under the radar I didn’t even mention it in the weekly events last week. I saw nothing advertising it. I talked to friends who have retail businesses downtown and they were surprised by its appearance. But here’s the thing: there were about a million children there and how does that happen if you don’t advertise your event? Maybe they advertise at their gyms and that’s all they need to do. It’s a great event and I guess they don’t need more attention if its doing that well.
A couple of program notes: I’m going to be in and out of town quite a bit for the next few weeks, so I’m going to trim back to Monday/Wednesday/Friday posts for a while. If I’m able I may do more and I will try to maintain the weekly to-do list, but it gets a little crazy to find, write and post stories when I’m traveling so much. I may do a post or two on my travels, but I’ll just have to see how it goes. After a little slower pace for a while I’ll pick it back up.
That leads me to my second program note: I’m going to miss some great events this coming weekend. I absolutely hate that I will miss Pridefest including the parade. I seem to have a trip planned every year about that time. I’ll also miss Kuumba events which, along with Pridefest, is an eminently photographable event. Both are so joyous and visual that I hate to miss them. Throw in a special appearance of Lance Owens among our current crop of Jazz luminaries at the KMA Alive After Five event Friday night and I’m missing several hundred photographs I would normally take.
Which means – I would love to have photographs to share with everyone of those events. If you are able to attend any of them and would be willing to share photographs, that would be great. If you want to write about the events, that would be welcome, also. Please let me know (Knoxvilleurbanguy@gmail.com) and I’ll see if I can post them sometime soon.