There is no question that Knoxville is a city rich with culture and diversity. The individuals who make up this town all offer unique histories and traditions that add to the richness of living in Knoxville. The different businesses and organizations all pave the way to celebrating this diversity. We’ve listed out 7 different annual festivals, events, and parades (and their 2019 dates!) that pay homage to the amazing makeup of our city.
Not many people know this, but Knoxville actually has deep roots in the Irish heritage. St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in the city in 1850 and has been celebrated on and off since. This year’s celebration will be held from March 15 - 16. A pre-parade celebration at Krutch Park Extension on the 15th and the actual parade the next day. It’s a two-day celebration so there are no excuses for missing out on this event. Find your favorite green shirt and celebrate the Irish!
This one is for all the art-lovers in Knoxville. Held every year since 1961, this festival was designed to showcase and celebrate the natural and diverse beauty of this city. Growing every year since, it has been estimated that 40,000 - 50,000 people come celebrate this festival. Being held on April 26-28 this year, the art festival is sure to impress yet again. From a painting festival in downtown to hikes designed to highlight the regions unique landscape, you will be sure to find something to catch your fancy.
Grab those rainbow flags -- this one is for the LGBTQ community. We are celebrating the inclusion of all people on June 22. This year’s theme is Stonewall and Knox Pride wants everyone to be part of the parade. You can gather a group of friends and enter a float into this year’s celebration. If you’d rather watch from the sidelines, that’s cool, too! There will be plenty of organizations and businesses out for you to check out and learn about Pride Fest and LGBTQ+ history.
The African American Appalachian Arts, Inc. put together this four-day event to celebrate the African American heritage in our city. Kuumba means “creativity” in Swahili and that is exactly what this event promotes. Showcasing the local African American arts and artists, event-goers will be immersed in the culture from June 26-30. The event will be held in three primary locations: Market Square/Downtown, Haley Heritage, and Morningside Park.
In its sixth year, the Knoxville Asian Festival will once again feature the amazing histories and cultures of several Asian cultures on August 25 (Thailand, Burma, Korea, India, Japan, and China, just to name a few!) There will be food vendors, authentic performances, and tea ceremonies. There will be no shortage of things to learn and people to meet. There will even be a “Kids Asian World” for the young ones!
Close out your summers by checking out this legendary fair from September 6 - 15. Celebrating East Tennessee’s agricultural heritage, you will be sure to see a lot of the region’s history in innovation and industry. Enjoy a deep-fried cheesecake, throw a few rings at glass bottles, and listen to some amazing musical guests. There’ll be so much to do, you won’t be bored. (Psst! This will be the 100th year this festival has been held so you know they’re not holding back!)
For those who like a little Latin heat, this event is for you. Held by HoLa Hora Latina, this two-day event is meant to celebrate the Latin heritage of east Tennessee. On September 28 - 29, there will be a variety of foods, arts, entertainment, and crafts for everyone in the family to enjoy. You’ll learn so much about this culture and then some! If you’re a fan of parades, this festival has you covered. There will be a Parade of Nations sure to impress (and educate!) event-goers.
So much culture, so little time! Lucky for us, we have a town dedicated to celebrating its people and their diversity. Free up some time in your calendar to check out these awesome events -- you won’t regret it!