Blacksmith working on Union Avenue, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
When something like the Rossini Festival comes along pictures loom more important than words, so this post will be long on the pictures and shorter on the pontification.
Austin-East High School Drummers, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Crazy Dancing to Arabic rhythms, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Urban Woman: “She’s too skinny.” Urban Guy, “Yes, dear.” Italian Belly Dancing
Cute American girls dance to Arabic music at the Italian Street Fair, Knoxville
For those who may not know, the tenth annual Rossini Festival was held in Knoxville April 9, 2011. Why, you might ask, does Knoxville hold a very large Italian street party each year? Surely there must be a very large Italian-American community in Knoxville, you surmise.
Hat lady decorating hats, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
One of my favorite vendors, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Daniel Sparkes on the Opera Stage, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Food vendor at the Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Well, no. Unlike our larger sister cities, we do not boast a Little Italy. It’s just that east Tennesseeans love to listen to exquisite opera. Or at least that’s what the Knoxville Opera Company would like to see happen, so they throw this little party each year to raise a little money and engender a little interest in that art form they hold so dear.
Opera performers? People from the past? Notice the cool Rossini motif in the background.
Smoky Mountain Harmony, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
A Little Petunia, Krutch Park, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Accordion Player, Market Square, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
The festival starts at 11:00 AM and runs until 9:00 (does anything in Knoxville go later than this apparent bewitching hour?). During that time vendors sell food – Italian and otherwise, music is performed on four different stage – Italian, but mostly otherwise, arts and crafts are offered for sale in many booths, very few of which have anything to do with Italy. Gay Street is closed from Cumberland to Summit Hill and pedestrian congestion almost shuts the street down as many thousands of people invade downtown.
Old City Buskers, Market Square Stage, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Fancy steps, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Pellissippi Jazz Band, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
View down Gay Street, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
This has to be Italian, doesn’t it? It’s pretty cool, anyway.
Watching the people is almost as good as any other portion of the experience. Voted “best festival” in the past, it is worth experiencing with the whole family. Of course, the best way to enjoy it is to move downtown so you can enjoy it for a while, take a nap, festivalize for another spell, eat dinner and have a final go, but that takes a little planning. So start preparing for next year: call a realtor.
Circle Modern Dance, Market Square Stage, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville
Italian motorcycle from BellissiMoto located on Summit Hill Dr.
Paige and Jason Patrick on the opera stage, Rossini Festival 2011
Crazy Dancing to Opera – Just before giving me a man hug.
Pellissippi Singers, Rossini Festival 2011, Knoxville