Another Jam-Packed Weekend in Knoxville: Dogwood Arts Parade, Rossini Festival and more!

2011 Dogwood Arts Parade

I don’t plan on becoming a blog about what is coming up to do, though I do try to mention things all along. Still, when as much is happening downtown as has been happening the last few weeks, how can I not give you a heads-up? So, here’s another heads-up post about this weekend and it all starts tonight.

The big event for the whole family is the Dogwood Arts Parade which starts at 7:00 at the Auditorium and turns right onto Gay Street off Hill Avenue before traveling the length of Gay Street heading north. I’d encourage you to get away from Mast General Store and move down near the Bijou for the best viewing. It’s one of our very best parades of the year.

The big family event on Saturday is the Rossini Festival which takes over Gay Street all day Saturday from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. This is probably our largest downtown festival of the year and Gay Street will be packed with thousands of people enjoying special foods as well as drama and music. The event is sponsored by the Knoxville Opera Guild, so while there will be a great variety of music, you know which kind to expect to run into early and often.

But there are numerous other events and activities to pursue in the city for people of every interest. Here are a few:

Feeling like helping a good cause? You might want to join other participants on the World’s Fair Park for the Walk to Cure Diabetes. The focus is on finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes and there will be informational booths as well as inflatable fun for the children.

Feel like stretching your muscles? Friday night at 6:00 Dogwood Arts is sponsoring a Kid’s Fun Run just before the big parade. Let them run and get tired and they should be more manageable while the floats pass by! After the parade, it’s the grown-ups turn with the Dogwood Mile race starting on Wall Avenue and running through downtown. If that doesn’t tire you out you can join the canoe and kayak race at Volunteer Landing Saturday morning at 10:00.

Feel like expressing your political opinion? There are at least two opportunities to get your activist on: Saturday morning at 10:00 AM beginning on Market Square is the March for Women. This is planned to coincide with similar marches across the country intended to answer what is perceived by many to be a “war on women” from certain of our right-leaning fellow citizens. Also on Saturday at 2:00 PM is the Workers Memorial Day Ceremony. The event will start with speakers in front of the City County Building and will move to the Gay Street Bridge where flowers will be dropped in remembrance of workers who have died on the job in Tennessee.

Feel like taking in some arts? Illumine will be shown in Krutch Park Extension for the final time from 8:30 to 10:00 Friday night. Using words and graphic design, this work is shown on the back side of the William F. Conley building. Another artistic option is the reading by author Jenny Bennett who will be reading from her book, Murder at the Jumpoff and will sign copies from 2:00 to 6:00 PM on Saturday.

There has to be something in that list that catches your attention. If nothing else, it’s always fun to stroll downtown and watch the people who are doing all these things. While you are at it you might pick up a few vegetables at the final preview week before the Market Square Farmers’ Market officially kicks off next weekend.

Have fun everybody!



  1. Great day at Rossini!! I have one exception to take … while it is a FABULOUS day festival … the Dogwood Arts Festival Market Square Art Market is 3 days of fabulous artists (real artists,) great food, now the addition of great wine and food, and terrific music. That, to me, makes the BEST festival Knoxville has to offer. As for Rossini, I love the addition of the wine tasting tent in Krutch Park Extension … a little pricey for most festival goers …. but we are stepping it up, folks! I am proud of my little hometown!!

  2. Mary Kathryn says:

    Loved the festival today! Thanks for the list of things to do!

  3. KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

    Hope it is fun for you guys. I’m having to take care of some family business, so I’ll miss it all. 🙁 I’ll have to catch the next round of events. Pictures to submit, anyone?

  4. I had to go back and look for the potshot because I missed too. I assume it must be the “you know which kind” comment. I’m taking that more as another means of giving the Opera credit for the festival. The weekend sounds like a good one.

  5. Ready for the parade. Great weather. I’m in town buying a condo. The real estate market is hopping. My realtor has 9 downtown properties under contract. The Glencoe building at State & Church is sold out and the developer will move on to the Elliot building nextdoor soon.

  6. I was a little disappointed to see you take a veiled potshot at opera. Given the amount of benefit Knoxville Opera and the Rossini Festival has brought to downtown, and given the performers that you publicize on your blog, maybe something cordially positive would have been more appropriate.

    • I think I missed the veiled potshot. I thought he was very positive about the Rossini Festival. Everyone knows it’s the best festival downtown has.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      Art, man you know me a little better than that! I said it that way meaning – what other kind of music would you expect since the event was sponsored by the Opera Guild? In any case, sometimes when I’m writing after midnight because I haven’t been able to get to the blog before that I don’t always say things as well as I possibly could. Opera isn’t my kind of thing so much, but this is a great event for Knoxville and I intended to point that out in the post. Sorry to have disappointed you even a little.

  7. It’s shaping up to be one of the best weekends in the city. I love Rossini!

  8. I love the Rossini fest mainly because of all the deep fried sweets and the people watching.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.