Knoxville Festival Fun 2017

Festivals come alive during springtime in Knoxville, TN. It’s a fantastic time of year indeed! First warm temperatures of the season arrive making for the perfect environment for outdoor fun! From Opera to chicken wings, reading to biscuits, get your calendars out because I’m here to keep you in the know for all of the festival fun this spring and summer of 2017!

Get ready quickly because opening weekend of festival fun has already come and gone and there are several events you won’t want to miss the remainder of the spring and summer! The Children’s Festival of Reading downtown is a fantastic festival for children with all things educational yet fun! Switching things up a bit, you may have noticed above I mentioned biscuits, as in the International Biscuit Festival right here in Knoxville. If you love these heavenly creations, I have just the festival for you! Biscuit Boulevard is a Southern fave, so be sure to head downtown early if you want to taste some of the locally favored biscuits! New to the biscuit festival this year, tickets are already on sale online and can be purchased now! 

Moving to later in the year and a personal fave, the Great Llama Race is entertaining for all ages, complete with a parade of llamas and lots of smaller llama-like activities. And let’s talk about the race itself! Have you ever seen a llama run? How about run in a race? We found it to be quite hilarious! And an added bonus: the llamas are led by local celebrities who are all paired with a Knoxville school and part of the winnings will benefit the local schools who win, as well as Casa de Sara, an international non-profit that benefits a school in Bolivia! Definitely a must-see!

Check out many other festivals included below (listed by date) as there is much fun to be had nearly every weekend this spring and summer!

2017 Knoxville Festival Fun:

Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum
2743 Wimpole Ave. Knoxville, TN 37914
Saturday, 4/15/17 11:00AM-5:00PM
Cost: FREE
Come out to learn more about how you can help your planet and bring along your household items that need recycling, including cloth diapers, light bulbs, and mercury thermometers! You can bring the kiddos along to check out the youth area so they too can learn all about how they can help save the planet!

UT Orange & White Game
Neyland Stadium
Saturday, 4/22/17 4:00PM
Cost: FREE
Come out to support the Vols as they take on each other for a spring practice!

Rossini Festival
Gay St. and Market Square (Downtown Knoxville)
Knoxville, TN 37902
Saturday, 4/22/17 10:00AM-9:00PM
Cost: FREE
An international street fair full of food frenzy and multicultural music of all sorts! And of course, the YMCA FunZone is a must for the littles! **A little tip from personal experience: they expect close to 100,000 people at this event annually so if you can “wear” your littles and avoid a stroller, you will be able to navigate the crowds much easier! If you have a child that is too big to wear and is one who loves to wander, bring the stroller because it will be easy to get lost in the packed and narrow street!**

Kite Festival
Pearson Springs Park
1467 Montvale Station Rd. Maryville, TN 37803
Sunday, 4/23/17 10:00AM-4:30PM (Rain date will be Sunday, 4/30/17 10:00AM-4:30PM.)
Cost: FREE
Come fly a kite or sit and watch the professionals. Kites will be available for purchase on site or you can bring your favorite kite from home! Entertainment and vendors will also be present. Bring your own chairs and picnic blankets to enjoy the day!

Mayapple Festival
Ijams Nature Center
2915 Island Home Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920
Sunday, 4/23/17 11:00AM-4:00PM
Cost: FREE
Come out to enjoy gardening vendors, local artists and crafters, food, beer, and kid’s activities.

World’s Fair Park
963 Worlds Fair Park Drive, World’s Fair Park, TN
Saturday, 4/28/17 5:30PM-11:00PM
Cost : FREE for UT students. $20 in advance for public. $30 at the gate for public.
Join us for live music, food trucks, vendors, and other entertainment to celebrate the end of the school year.

Southern Tequila and Taco Festival
Gander Mountain, Turkey Creek
11501 Parkside Dr. Knoxville, TN 37934
Friday, 4/28/17 6:00PM-9:00PM
Cost: Advanced tickets are $35, $40 at the gate. Designated driver tickets are $10.
Head out for tequila tasting, margaritas, live music, and tacos all in benefit of Remote Area Medical!

Dogwood Arts Festival
Market Square (Downtown Knoxville)
Knoxville, TN 37902
Friday, 4/28/17 11:00AM-9:00PM, Saturday 4/29/17 10:00AM-9:00PM, Sunday, 4/30/17 11:00AM-5:00PM
Cost: FREE
Several blocks of vendors, arts and crafts booths, culinary artists, and a children’s station for all ages to enjoy!

Strawberry Picking at The Fruit and Berry Patch
The Fruit and Berry Patch
4407 McCloud Rd. Knoxville, TN 37938
(865) 92-BERRY (922-3779)
Beginning early May
Cost: FREE to pick, pay by weight for fruit.
Head out to the u-pick fruit and berry patch for strawberries and many more fruits as summer arrives!

Strawberry Picking at The Fruit & Berry Patch 2016.

Let’s Move Event
Victor Ashe Park
4901 Bradshaw Road, Knoxville, TN 37912
Saturday, 5/06/17 10:00AM-2:00PM
Cost: FREE
Come out to enjoy hands-on activity booths and demos to encourage more physical activity in day to day life, nutritious food sampling, and more.

Spring Pet Fair
Village Veterinary Medical Center
11301 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37934
Saturday, 5/06/17 11:00AM-2:00PM
Cost: FREE
Enjoy face painting, bounce house, police dog demos, tour the hospital, and see what it might be like to be a vet for the day!

Splash Pad Opening Day
Knox County Splash Pads
Saturday, 5/06/17 (open through 9/10/17)
Cost: FREE
Head out to one of your favorite splash pads as they open for the summer season! Need help finding one? Check out our past post with a list of them here!

Candora Arts & Heritage Center
445 Candora Ave. Knoxville, TN 37920
Saturday, 5/13/17 11:00AM-7:00PM
Cost: Donation Suggestion of $5-$10
Vestival is the festival that honors and celebrates the heritage of the South Knoxville community of Vestal. The festival includes music, numerous arts, crafts and food vendors, children’s activities, and history info about Vestal and South Knoxville.

70th Annual Tennessee Strawberry Festival Parade
Dayton, TN
Market Street and 2nd Ave.
Saturday, 5/13/17 1:00PM
Cost: FREE
Drive down to Dayton for a festival you won’t want to miss, complete with the “Strawberries in Candyland” parade! Also enjoy craft and food vendors, live music, a children’s area, and a carnival.

International Biscuit Festival
Market Square (Downtown Knoxville)
Knoxville, TN 37902
Saturday, 5/20/17 9:00AM **NEW** Tickets are already on sale ahead of time as of 3/15/17 at 10:00AM.
Cost: $15 per tasting ticket (includes 5 biscuits).
This event actually lasts Friday through Sunday with the main event as detailed on Saturday. Be sure to check the website for events going on throughout the other days too! Biscuit Boulevard is always a very popular event and the biscuits fly off the tables quickly, so although the event is scheduled for several hours, biscuits are often long gone by the end! **A little tip from personal experience: buy one ticket per two people (unless you REALLY love biscuits!) as these are hefty mini-meals; however if you want to try more, buy a second ticket so you can taste 10 biscuit recipes!**

International Biscuit Festival 2016

Children’s Festival of Reading
Worlds Fair Park
525 Henley St. Knoxville, TN 37902
Saturday, 5/20/17 10:00AM-3:00PM
Cost: FREE
Enjoy arts & crafts, story-telling, games, food, a Book Parade, and so much more, all provided by the Knox County Public Library.

Safety City Knoxville
165 S. Concord St. Knoxville, TN 37919
(865) 215-7103
Open ONLY Mondays and Thursdays starting June 5, 2017 through July 27, 2017 9:00AM-12:00PM and 4:00PM-7:00PM
Cost: FREE
Bring your bikes with helmets, battery-powered cars, non-motorized scooters (no skateboards), doll buggies, or walking shoes for open riding and play through the miniature Knoxville cityscape. There are also two playgrounds and picnic areas to enjoy!

Bike, Boat, Brew, and Bark
Volunteer Landing
Knoxville, TN
Saturday, 6/03/17 10:00AM-5:00PM
Cost: FREE
A place for bikers, boaters, beer-lovers, and dog-lovers to unite outdoors for boating demos, craft beers, and more!

Secret City Festival
Oak Ridge, TN
Friday, 6/09/17 and Saturday, 6/10/17 11:00AM-9:00PM
Cost: TBA
Come out to enjoy local artist and craft vendors, live music, food, and a huge children’s area. More details to come regarding events and concerts.

Safety City 2016.

Lavender Festival
Jackson Square
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Saturday, 6/17/17 8:00AM-3:00PM
Cost: TBA
Come out to celebrate health, herbs, and the environment at this festival complete with live music, a children’s area, artisan vendors, cooking demonstrations, and educational presentations.

Big Kahuna Wing Festival
Worlds Fair Park
525 Henley St. Knoxville, TN 37902
Saturday, 6/17/17 12:00PM-8:00PM
Cost: $15 in advance at Food City or Big Kahuna Wings Bar & Grill or online on sale 4/17/17 or $20 at the gate. Children under 8 are free.
Come out to sample 8,000 pounds of wings until your heart is content, while enjoying the outdoors and live music, all the while benefiting the Empty Stocking Fund, The Butterfly Fund, Big Heads Big Hearts, and the Second Harvest Food Bank!

Bark in the Park
World’s Fair Park
525 Henley St. Knoxville, TN 37902
Saturday, 6/17/17 3:00PM-7:00PM
Cost: TBA
Participate in activities for people and pooches, visit pet businesses and rescue booths while enjoying food and drink from our vendors. Stick around to find out which classy canines will be crowned Mr. & Ms. Bark at the end of the festival.

Knoxville Brewfest
700 block of Gay St. Downtown Knoxville
Entrance at Gay St and Church Ave. next to the old Pryor Brown Garage, Knoxville, TN
Saturday, 6/17/17 4:00PM-8:00PM
Cost: $45 early bird rate. $55 after 5/31/17. Designated driver tickets can be purchased for $20. **Tickets are on sale now and have sold out in previous years!**
If you are looking for something new to try and you love beer or cider, this is a super fun date idea! Breweries, beer and enthusiasts from all over will gather for a summer afternoon sampling fresh beers of all colors, styles and flavors, all to benefit Cure Duchenne. This is another event that has sold out prior to event day in the past, so be sure to get your tickets soon!

Kuumba Festival
Chilhowee Park
3301 E. Magnolia Ave. Knoxville, TN 37914
Thursday, 6/22/17-Sunday, 6/25/17
Cost: TBA
Named for the Swahili word that means “creativity,” event showcases visual arts, folk arts, dance, theater, music, storytelling, games and food.

Blackberry/Peach/Blueberry/Apple Picking at The Fruit and Berry Patch
The Fruit and Berry Patch
4407 McCloud Rd. Knoxville, TN 37938
(865) 92-BERRY (922-3779)
Beginning late June
Cost: FREE to pick, pay by weight for fruit.
Head out to the u-pick fruit and berry patch for all kinds of berries and many more fruits as summer arrives!

Grape Picking at The Fruit and Berry Patch
The Fruit and Berry Patch
4407 McCloud Rd. Knoxville, TN 37938
(865) 92-BERRY (922-3779)
Beginning late July
Cost: FREE to pick, pay by weight for fruit.
Head out to the u-pick fruit and berry patch for grapes and many more fruits as summer arrives!

McFee Park (newly renovated) Splash Pad 2016.

Art in the Park for Kids
Founder’s Park at Campbell Station
Sunday, 9/24/17 3:00PM-5:00PM
Cost: FREE
Come out to the park to enjoy out-of-the-box art for all ages!

The Great Llama Race
World’s Fair Park
525 Henley St. Knoxville, TN 37902
TBA in 2018
Cost: $5/person (5 & under are free)
The event starts at 11AM, the parade at 12:45PM, and the races begin at 1:30PM. In between and during these activities, you can enjoy live music and entertainment, a children’s section, games, and crafts! **Please note no dogs are allowed!**

What are your favorite spring/summer festivals around town?

Have we missed one? Be sure to comment below and let us know!

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4 Responses to Knoxville Festival Fun 2017

  1. Katie April 12, 2017 at 6:42 am #

    Knoxvilles lsrgest kids party June 10th, 11-7

  2. Kelli April 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    And the big Lenoir City Arts and Crafts Festival is the weekend of June 3rd! 🙂

  3. Lori Santoro September 13, 2017 at 9:05 am #

    Hi ! The Great Llama Race is not happening in October this year ! Can you please remove this for this year. We will have the event in 2018 and I will get you a date as soon as we have secured it.

    • Kara September 19, 2017 at 10:49 pm #

      The article has been edited! Thank you!

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