Downtown to be bustling on Saturday; anticipate street closures to accommodate special events

 

Upwards of 20,000 biscuit aficionados will convene downtown Saturday for the world-famous International Biscuit Festival. Thousands more book lovers and barbecue enthusiasts will fill both lawns of World’s Fair Park. The Market Square Farmers’ Market will be in full swing as well.

Needless to say, downtown will be hopping on Saturday – with some street closures and temporary no-parking zones in place to accommodate the special events.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, a section of Magnolia Avenue will be closed to motorized vehicles for the fourth Open Streets Knoxville event.

“Downtown will be festive, and we’re anticipating a huge crowd,” said Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett. “In the past, downtown has easily hosted multiple events at the same time. We encourage everyone to come on down and join the fun, but give yourself plenty of time to find parking and detour around the closed streets.”

 

International Biscuit Festival

Who doesn’t love a lovingly baked biscuit? The International Biscuit Festival was started in 2010 by a group of local biscuit devotees who wanted to share Knoxville’s biscuit heritage with the world. The event has blossomed into a nationally recognized food festival. Saturday’s 9 a.m.-2 p.m. festival is staged on Market Street, Church Street and Clinch Avenue.

 

These streets will be closing at 3 p.m. Friday and reopening at 5 p.m. Saturday:

  • Clinch Avenue, between Gay and Walnut streets;
  • Market Street, between Cumberland and Clinch avenues; and
  • Church Avenue, between Gay and Walnut streets.

In addition, temporary no-parking zones go into effect at 1 p.m. Friday.

 

Market Square Farmers’ Market

The 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday open-air market on Market Square, Market Street and Union Avenue features products grown or made in East Tennessee. Products vary by season and include produce, eggs, honey, herbs, pasture-raised meat, bread, baked goods, salsas, coffee, artisan crafts, and more.

These streets will be closed from 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday:

  • Union Avenue, between Walnut and Gay streets; and
  • Market Street, between Clinch and Union avenues.

Temporary no-parking zones go into effect at 5 a.m. Saturday.

 

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival

The noon-6 p.m. Saturday beer, wine and spirits sampling event on the World’s Fair Park South Lawn (also known as the Performance Lawn) features 60 beers and 40 bourbons. The national tour assists a number of charities; visit http://www.beerandbourbon.com/knoxville/show-info for details and ticket prices. (No streets are being closed to stage the festival.)

 

Children’s Festival of Reading

Hosted by Knox County Public Library to kick off its summer reading programs, the free event will feature classic storybook characters including Pete the Cat, Corduroy, Pancake Pig, and the Berenstain Bears. In keeping with this year’s theme of “Building a Better World,” East Tennessee PBS is bringing in Bob the Builder, and Union Avenue Books will reveal the oft-hidden Waldo.

The 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday reading festival will be held on the North Lawn (or Festival Lawn) and Amphitheatre at World’s Fair Park.

World’s Fair Park Drive between Clinch and Grand avenues will be closed from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

 

Whew! That’s a lot happening on Saturday in downtown Knoxville. On Sunday, the family-oriented fun packs up and heads east to Magnolia Avenue for the fourth installment of Open Streets Knoxville. The Open Streets event on Magnolia Avenue follows well-attended Open Streets events on Central Street and in Bearden.
Open Streets Knoxville

You won’t want to miss the Appalachian Puppet Pageant, a mile-long parade of oversized puppets, costumed dancers and artists organized by Cattywampus Puppet Council. The council is one of the more than 60 activity providers and seven food trucks participating in this Open Streets event, scheduled from 2-6 p.m. Sunday. Plus, several of the business owners along the route will be serving food and refreshments as well.
A section of Magnolia Avenue will be closed to motorized vehicles between Chestnut and Randolph streets. There’s also a small loop onto East Depot Avenue.
Open Streets is presented by Bike Walk Knoxville with support from the City of Knoxville, Visit Knoxville, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization and dozens of local businesses and community groups. Visit http://openstreetsknoxville.com/ for more details and a map showing where vendors and activities will be set up along the route.

 

The section of Magnolia will close at 1:45 p.m. Sunday and reopen at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

 

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