April 2012 First Friday, Market Square

Market Square, First Friday April 2012

It’s worth saying that this had to be one of the all-time most spectacular weather weekends in Knoxville History. Chilly enough for a light jacket all morning, comfortable enough to walk in the sunshine under gloriously blue skies all weekend. It was simply magnificent. Urban Woman and I enjoyed First Friday, but the whole weekend was simply amazing. We sat outside the French Market Saturday mid-morning sharing a crepe and coffee and pretending we were back in Paris. It felt like Paris or San Francisco in the summer. A young man helpfully walked by pulling his suitcase competing the motif.

Man Reading the Bible Aloud on Market Square

But before that it was First Friday – which also happened to be Good Friday on the Christian calendar. There was far too much to put into one post, so today I’ll just tell you what we found on Market Square as the evening got started. It was enough to indicate that the night would be jam-packed with fun.

Girl Skateboarding around Market Square Fountain

The first thing that hit me when we entered the square just after 5:30 was the size of the crowd. People were simply everywhere. Some were engaged in any of a number of activities spread around the area while others simply shared the space with friends, talking and laughing and generally enjoying the cool temperatures.

Bronze Guy on Market Square
Bronze Guy on Market Square
Bronze Guy makes new friends

There was some evidence of the fact that it was Good Friday. One of the first things I noticed (after the girl skateboarding around the fountain in her dress) was a gentleman reading the Bible aloud. No one seemed to be listening and this fact did not seem to disturb him. In the background a choir sang on the Market Square Stage.

The bronze guy was back and up to his usual non-shenanigans as he stood stoically in place. After a particularly heated debate between some teenagers regarding whether he was “real” he did suddenly swing his face toward them before freezing again which led to the inevitable squeals. One thing that bugged me a bit: I saw this guy and a guy twirling fire entertain large numbers of people – some of whom like the girls in the picture above had their picture made with the buskers – and get no money. As in none. Give the guy a tip, people. Otherwise they will go away.

Ribbon Twirler entertains the children
Ribbon Twirler on Market Square

Another man waved about a large stick with ribbons attached to the end, much to the delight of children who chased it about but seemed almost inexplicably disciplined about not grabbing and breaking the ribbon thus ending the game for the night.

Green Initiative offered a little education for your Friday Night

I’ll cover the Knox Heritage Salvage show in a separate post, but even without that or the other various events inside stores and restaurants, the crowd exhorted, cavorted and generally made their own fun. Absolutely delightful.