Spring Events 2023
You're in store for lots of festivals and events in Downtown Knoxville this spring. Invite your family and friends to enjoy a variety of good times, from worldwide music events and international street fairs to more intimate gatherings and exciting adventures. Scroll on to see what awaits you in Spring 2023!
☘️ St. Patrick's Parade | March 17
💚☘️ Let's celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style! Join us for a Night Parade on Friday, March 17 at 7pm on Gay Street. Hometown sweetheart and comedian, Leanne Morgan will be the Grand Marshal. 🌈💰🍺 The celebration continues with Shamrock Fest on Sunday, March 19 — a family-friendly celebration with more live music, activities for kids, Irish cultural events and Irish treats!
🐟 Bassmaster Classic | March 24-26
This prestigious championship bass tournament — widely known as the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” — pits 55 of the world’s best bass anglers against one another for the title of Bassmaster Classic Champion. The fan-favorite Outdoor Expo will be Friday through Sunday, March 24-26 at the Knoxville Convention Center. And get up early for the daily takeoffs from Volunteer Landing.
🎶 Big Ears Festival | March 30 — April 2
Big Ears Festival is an incredible musical weekend that unfolds each spring in Knoxville, Tennessee. The event might be the most open-minded music gathering in the country, and they are celebrating 10 years in 2023! The New York Times called it, "One of the world's greatest music bashes!" And it's right here in our backyard, March 30—April 2.
🎨 Make. Art. Music. | March 30 — April 2
Dozens of downtown businesses will be hosting free events showcasing local artists, makers, and musicians throughout Big Ears' weekend to add to the festival experience. Enjoy art exhibitions, demonstrations, and music performances at a variety of venues. Plus experience dozens of free Big Ears events including a Saturday afternoon parade, author talks, concerts, and pop-up events. No pass needed.
✨ Chalk Walk | April 1
A beloved event every year, Chalk Walk 2023 is sure to keep the fun going! The street painting festival turns Market Square's sidewalks into a seemingly infinite canvas for the region’s most talented professional and student artists. Thousands of art lovers head downtown each year to experience this live art competition in Market Square.
🏃 Knoxville Marathon | April 2
Thousands of runners race through the streets of Downtown Knoxville for the Knoxville Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay Races, Kids Fun Run, and more. Even if you're not participating, it's fun to watch. Grab a patio on Gay Street and cheer the racers on to victory!
🥙 Arab Fest | April 15
For the first time ever, Arab Fest will be in Downtown Knoxville's Market Square. Join us for a celebration of Middle Eastern food, dance, fashion, music, merchandise, and an overall good time. See you guys on April 15!
🌼 Old City Market | April 16
Old City Market transforms historic Jackson Ave into a curated, outdoor market that's going to be even bigger this year! Markets are happening on both Sunday afternoons and Thursday nights with makers, artists, bakers, and more! Kick off the market with opening day on April 16 from 11am to 4pm.
🎭 Rossini Festival | April 22
The Rossini Festival is one of East Tennessee’s most popular events! It combines a vibrant International Street Fair with world class opera performances and art exhibitions...for FREE! Over the course of 11 hours, witness non-stop entertainment on four outdoor stages showcasing opera, classical, jazz, gospel, and ethnic music; ballet, modern, and ethnic dance. Taste street food from many vendors and peruse more than 75 artisan booths. See y'all April 22 from 10am to 9pm!
🌸 Dogwood Arts Festival | April 28-30
The famous Dogwood Arts Festival is fun for the entire family! It's a weekend full of regional artists selling unique creations including mixed media, pottery, painting, photography, glass, jewelry, and sculpture. Held on the World’s Fair Park's Performance Lawn, you'll finde over 100 fine art vendors, live music, entertainment, children's activities, food and beverage vendors, and more.
🎷 Concerts on the Square | May 2
Spend a relaxing evening in the heart of Knoxville enjoying Concerts on the Square. They're free! The concert series kicks off on May 2 and occurs every Tuesday at 7pm through June 28. Plus monthly 3rd Thursday concerts start on May 18 and run through September. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, or grab dinner on a Market Square patio, and listen to talented musicians fill the Square!
🍅 Market Square Farmers' Market | May 3
Kick off the 20th season of the Market Square Farmers' Market on Wednesday, May 3. Everything at this open-air market is grown locally or made by a vendor in the East Tennessee region. Produce and products vary season-to-season and include vegetables, fruit, eggs, honey, herbs, pasture-raised meats, breads, baked goods, salsas, coffee, artisan crafts, and much more. Every Wednesday and Saturday, May through November, rain or shine!
📚 Children's Festival of Reading | May 20
Kick off summer with a full day of music, storytelling, arts, crafts, science exploration, food, and fun designed for kids—but a unique experience for all. The 2023 Children’s Festival of Reading is Saturday, May 20 at World's Fair Park from 10 am–3 pm. Be sure to check out the music and storytelling tents featuring a variety of performances, from live animals to poetry, singing, yoga, children's dance, and theatre! Best of all: it's free!
🎤 Southern Skies Music Festival | May 20-21
A fairly new music festival in World's Fair Park that's quickly become a can't-miss spring event! Southern Skies is curated by hometown favorites The Dirty Guv’nahs. The event—this year expanded to two-days—features musical acts across multiple stages, food trucks, craft beer, wine, specialty cocktails, a Maker Market, and more. Let's sing and dance the weekend away!
🎻 Our Common Nature With Yo-Yo Ma & Friends | May 25-27
Common Nature: An Appalachian Celebration was conceived and curated by Yo-Yo Ma, the famous cellist, in partnership with Knoxville-based arts nonprofit Big Ears. The event includes fabulous regional cuisines, arts & crafts, puppetry, storytelling, square dancing and—of course—music-making!
🦋 Rhinestone Fest | June 2-4
A weekend full of celebrating Dolly Parton, our queen of East Tennessee! The 3rd annual Dolly-themed festival is expanding to encompass all artists, musicians, and do-gooders that Dolly has inspired throughout her rhinestone-studded career. Rhinestone Fest will take place on June 2-4, 2023 at various locations in and around the Old City. Rhinestone Fest is a family friendly event and is free to attend. 😎💃🌈
🐶 Bike Boat Brew & Bark | June 3
Bike Boat Brew & Bark celebrates the outdoor adventurer, the dog lover, and the craft beer enthusiast. This annual event has become popular with visitors and locals alike—it’s a place where you can ride your bike, bring your dog, and get a taste of Knoxville's booming beer scene. The day will be filled with many activities that appeal to all ages and activity levels.
Stay tuned for more!
Check the calendar for more events and festivals coming to Downtown Knox throughout the spring, summer, and fall!