Hola Festival 2011 Highlights a jam-packed weekend in the City

Entrance to Hola Festival 2011, Regas Square, Knoxville

Hola Festival 2011 viewed from the Gay Street Viaduct, Knoxville

This was one of those weekends in which far too much happened to take it all in. Painful choices had to be made. Alison Krauss played the the Tennessee Theatre both Saturday night and Sunday night which was the beginning of five straight sold out shows at the Tennessee, with Widespread Panic taking over the venue for three shows Monday through Wednesday. A Lantern Tour was offered for Old Gray Cemetery featuring reinactors and a bit out of downtown Greek Fest ran all weekend at the Greek Orthodox Church. Knox Heritage held their annual Scruffy City Soiree at the foundry. And those are the things I didn’t make it to.

Vendors lined the streets (and Dora greeted guests)

Art for sale at the 2011 Hola Festival, Knoxville

In the heart of the city on Saturday people milled about or ran about in every direction. The Farmer’s Market, which is shifting from vegetables to crafts, though there is still plenty to eat, was as crowded as I remember anytime this summer. Couples had pictures made in the park. A dog show encamped on Krutch Park Annex and Big Brothers Big Sisters had a fun event throughout the city. I’ll have more about those events in a later post.

Panamanian Booth at the Hola Festival 2011, Knoxville

Urban Toddler in awe – It’s Dora! Also pictured, Urban Daughter and Urban Guy

The centerpiece of the weekend for me was the Hola Festival, which is sponsored by Hora Hola Latina. It has moved around a bit in recent years, being held on Market Square for a couple of years, on the one hundred block of Gay Street last year and this year on Regas Square. I hope it has found it’s long-term home. I thought the spot was excellent and indications are strong that the center city is moving in that direction, so that should help in coming years. I do think the crowd was smaller particularly early in the day and location may have been a factor.

Cuba was well represented at the Hola Festival 2011

Gorgeous couple at the Hola Festival 2011

The Hola Festival simply cannot be contained in one post, so there will be at least a couple more throughout the week. Next up I’ll post pictures of the Parade of Nations, which is easily the most beautiful part of the Festival. That alone may require a couple of posts.

Urban Toddler keeping it cool at the Hola Festival.