First Friday or First Weekend?

I hate for a blog to come across like a list, but I’m afraid this one might. There is so much going on this weekend downtown that I’m not sure where to start. Some of it happens Friday night in conjunction with the First Friday celebration, some events have to do with the opening of the Dogwood Arts Festival and some are just fun events that happen to fall this weekend.

I’ll start with Friday night. It is First Friday and that means events are happening all over the downtown area. One event which I feel deserves special mention is a reading by Pamela Schoenwaldt at Central Street Books at 7:00. This is my first mention for multiple reasons. Pamela is my friend and we are in a writing group together. I was with her as she gave birth – to her novel, When We Were Strangers which was subsequently published by Harper Collins. She’ll read from that most excellent book (buy it if you haven’t) and, I believe, Magpies will be dishing out the cupcakes.

Relix Theater, Happy Holler (Downtown North)

It all happens in the bookstore formerly known as the Book Eddy, but moved to new digs in Happy Holler on central, near Magpies and the Relix Theater and, certainly not least, the Time Warp Tea Room, which will have live music provided by Danny Gammon and Music Therapy. It’s a great group of guys and you’re sure to feel better after you drop by. It’s about one mile out Central Avenue from downtown.

Crowds on the 100 Block

In downtown proper there is much to choose from. The Blount Mansion (South end of Gay Street) is hosting a presentation from Aaron Heck entitled “From Texas to Tennessee.” The East Tennessee History Center (601 S. Gay) has an exhibition of Jim Gray paintings through the years. The Art Market (422 S. Gay) has the opening round of a silent auction by local artists as part of the Dogwood Arts Festival and they feature a reception and opening for the works of Victoria Simmons (animal paintings) and Linda Sullivan (ceramics). The Emporium on the 100 Block has a reception and opening for the works of Pamela Neal showcasing her abstract impressionist paintings – many of which have a musical theme. The Streamliners Swing Orchestra will perform at the KMA (for the price of admission and the price of the food, this is the best steal in town).

Robinella and the C.C. String Band – Free Saturday at Market Square

And that’s not all. The Rhythm and Blooms concerts start on Friday night and run through Sunday afternoon at venues all around town $40 buys a ticket for the whole weekend, $20 for a one-day pass and there is free music, as well. Featured artists include Daryl Scott, The Felice Brothers and many others. As a part of this, Robinella and the CC String Band and Scott Miller will perform on the Market Square Stage Saturday night in a FREE CONCERT!

There is much more, of course. For a complete listing of First Friday events click here.

There is so much more I can’t possibly list it all: The Alzheimer’s Memory Walk will take place Saturday morning just west of downtown at Second Presbyterian on Cumberland and that is an event worthy of support. Sunday morning at 7:30 is the start of the Knoxville Marathon which will wind all around downtown. Be sure whenever you make it downtown to begin to develop your relationship with our new round of sculptures. They will be here for an entire year!

Take in what you can. The weatherman claims winter will take a break for Saturday and Sunday before hitting us again next week, so revel while the reveling is good.