100 Block Officially Reopens with a giant Block Party

Balloons Mark the Entrance to the 100 Block of Gay Street, Knoxville, October 2010

First Friday featured celebrations all over downtown. One of the biggest was on the 100 block of Gay Street which has finally reopened after a lengthy and painful reconstruction. The wait has been worth it.

Crowds Fill the Street at the 100 Block of Gay Street, Knoxville, October 2010
The sidewalks are much broader and have a faux tile design. The street is more nicely paved, less complicated with the closure of the intersection with State Street and with fewer lanes than its previous incarnation. One of the most picturesque of any blocks downtown, the businesses and residents have suffered while necessary underground repairs were made and surface improvements were put into place. While the block has been essentially finished for several weeks and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in July, this was the official announcement that they are open for business.

City People Booth at 100 Block of Gay Street Grand Opening, Knoxville, October 2010

For the celebration, food, music and other entertainment was offered alongside the art galleries which have become synonymous with this part of downtown. The City People group also offered tickets for sale to their upcoming Tour of Downtown Homes set for October 10, which is a fun event know to convert curious onlookers to downtown residents.

We Have a Tradition provided a shot of Rock and Roll to the festivities

In that connection, this week saw the opening of Nouveau Classics, the newest business on the block. There are more improvements to come as the city plants large trees to line the street and more businesses are slated to be added. The next event is already set: a Haloween celebration for October 29.

I think we should all give a tip of the hat to the businesses that endured this difficult period. Check out Nama, Aaron at Unarmed Merchants or one of the others. The block is definitely worth the walk from other parts of downtown and will, in my opinion, become a more sought-after location for downtown living.

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