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Knoxville has an array of fun, educational, cultural and musical festivals throughout the year from an Italian Street Fair to Civil War reenactments.
Dogwood Arts Festival – You know spring has truly arrived when the Dogwood Arts Festival hits the streets of Knoxville. This unique event has grown to become much more than a celebration of the beautiful dogwoods, azaleas and other plant life that make East Tennessee shine. It has grown to become an event that promotes and supports education, arts, music, drama, crafts, history and other related activities for the purpose of emphasizing the cultural opportunities in the city of Knoxville. Events include various arts and crafts shows, nature tours, musical events and a parade through downtown Knoxville. Other events include children’s activities, and of course, an array of delectable food.
Rhythm N Blooms - If you are looking for a piece of Americana look no more.. This music festival brings some of the best talent in the nation and introduces some up and comers to folkthat have flocked for the art festival.
International Biscuit Festival - Grab a pat of butter!! This festival is not for those scared of carbs. Biscuit Boulevard hassweet and savory biscuits from around the region for folks tosample. You can meet chefs and amateur bakers in the baking contest with two folks giving clor commentating through out the afternoon. The Biscuit Pageant is like nothing you have ever seen before... poise, grace and world peace. The day kicks off for some with a delightful brunch by Blackberry Farm. There are events through out the day and musicians dot corners in the city as the Farmer's market is running as well.
Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival – The annual Rossini Festival, whose proceeds benefit the Knoxville Opera, is one of the premier cultural events in the Southeast. The festival brings a taste of Europe to East Tennessee and celebrates the color, fun and excitement of opera and Italian culture. A favorite of the festival is its “Italian Street Fair.” Downtown Knoxville’s Gay Street is transformed into a lively European festival with several stages featuring a range of entertainment options including an upscale “Artisan’s Market,” the smells and tastes of authentic Italian foods and beverages, and a special children’s area with entertainment, fun and games.
Kuumba Festival – The Kuumba Festival is an annual event sponsored by African-American Appalachian Arts, Inc. Each year, participants from Knoxville and other communities in the United States and Africa come together to demonstrate the shared heritage of the African, African-American and African-Appalachian communities, and to show how this heritage is an integral part of the culture of East Tennessee region. The festival, which takes place at Chilhowee Park in June, showcases visual arts, folk arts, dance, theater, music, storytelling, games and food.
“Cherokee Heritage Days” at James White’s Fort – Cherokee Heritage Days, which take place at the beginning of August, offer an invitation to come and relive a day in the life of the Cherokee Indians. Dressed in authentic costume, Cherokee Indians demonstrate tomahawk throwing, blowgun weaponry and traditional Dance & Drum. A campsite of the early 1800s reveals the daily life and chores of Cherokee man and woman. Children and adults are treated to friendship dancing, storytelling, crafts and face painting. Inside the Fort, visitors will be transported back in time to where open-hearth cooking, hand-spinning and blacksmithing were daily events.
Knoxville Film Festival - Two festivals put their heads together and create Knoxville's Premiere Festival.With a homebase of a Regal Entertainment Indy film house locals and filmmakers from aroundthe world converge for the four day festival. Festival film sneak peeks as well as a 7 day shootout plus a competition for the up and coming youger filmmakers.
Foothills Guild Craft Show – The Foothills Craft Guild, chartered in 1968, is the oldest artisan's guild in Tennessee and is dedicated to promoting and preserving the art of creating the finest handmade Tennessee crafts. The Craft Show itself takes place in early November and showcases traditional crafts of the region as well as the newest trends and developments in the craft world at large.
Tennessee Valley Fair – The Tennessee Valley Fair is an annual event held in Knoxville at the beginning of September that provides entertainment for the whole family. It features a traditional midway, children's rides, rodeos, livestock events, tractor pulls, demolition derbies, concerts, beauty pageants, performing arts shows, and an array of contests and competitive exhibits. Unique daily entertainment includes pig races, hands-on science exhibits, stilt walkers, comedians, karaoke contests and live gospel music. The daily fireworks displays are a favorite of all fair attendees.
Boomsday Festival (Labor Day weekend)– The Boomsday Festival consists of concerts, games and events – not to mention the largest Labor Day weekend fireworks show in the nation! Since 1987, Knoxville has enjoyed a full day of family activities and 30 minutes of spectacular fireworks, choreographed to a soundtrack, and a magnificent blast-off from the Henley Bridge over the Tennessee River.
Christmas in the City – This festival celebrates the holidays in grand fashion. With special events occurring almost daily, there is something for everyone who wishes to join in the community spirit of Christmas in Knoxville. Events include Christmas “Candlelight Tours” of Knoxville's 18th century homes, a presentation of the Nutcracker by the Appalachian Ballet, a traditional Christmas Eve Prelude, and Candlelight Communion Services.
“Candlelight Tours” at Confederate Memorial Hall – The Confederate Memorial Hall, also known as “Bleak House,” was used as the headquarters for General Longstreet during the Civil War. It was purchased by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1959 and is now a Confederacy memorial and museum. Every December, Confederate Memorial Hall hosts candlelight tours of the grounds.