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Summer Events 2023

Outdoor Summer

Summertime in Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee promises lots of festivals, events, and things to do. Check out this list of summer events to enjoy with your family and friends, from month-long scavenger hunts to beer festivals and more. Scroll on to see what awaits in Summer 2023!


🦋 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 (including the opening of Jolene's, a Dolly-themed pop up bar at Brother Wolf). 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.

🏠 Downtown Home Tour | June 10

Ever wanted to peek inside beautifully decorated homes in Downtown Knoxville? Now's your chance! The popular Downtown Home Tour—a 30-year tradition—is now hosted by the East Tennessee Historical Society. Come see what urban living has to offer! ✨

🎊 Knoxville's Largest Kids' Party | June 10

A huge party for families to kick off summer! This year’s event will be packed full of fun and excitement with Party Boys DJ Show, Little Ponderosa Zoo, Dollywood, and lots of other vendors. A portion of the proceeds from Knoxville’s Largest Kids’ Party will benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley and Childhelp TN to aid in their mission of caring for the children of East Tennessee. Tickets available at the gate.

🚴 USA Cycling National Championships | June 22-25

Come watch some of the best cyclists in the world race through the streets of Downtown Knoxville! The USA Cycling National Championship has been a Knoxville tradition for seven years, and this summer will be the last time our city hosts – at least for a while. So don't miss it!

Photo Credit: USA Cycling

🍺 Brewfest | June 24

Calling all beer fanatics – Brewfest is for you! Spend a summer afternoon sampling fresh beers of all colors, styles and flavors from regional breweries. Some of the best, newest, and most unique brews to try!

Photo Credit: Eli Johnson Photography

🔍 Waldo Scavenger Hunt | July 1-31

Waldo is back in more than 3 dozen locations in Downtown Knoxville from July 1–31, 2023. Kids and adults alike have a blast searching for the guy in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs. Pick up your Waldo Passport at any of the participating locations, collect a store stamp at each sighting, and enter our photo contest!

🎆 Festival on the 4th | July 4

Festival on the 4th is a family-friendly celebration with live music, fireworks, food options, and more at World's Fair Park. From 5-8pm, the Festival Lawn will be filled with activities, like miniature golf and paddle boats. Live music from Mikki Norwood Band, followed by the musical finale by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Fireworks start at 9:35pm!

🥁 Kuumba Festival | July 28

Be a part of Kuumba Festival—the largest cultural heritage and music festival in East Tennessee that celebrates African Culture. The Kuumba Marketplace will open the day's event with food and merchandise vendors from all over the world. Relish in the cultural spirit of the African Marketplace with traditional crafts, clothing, and foods, followed by West African Drum and Dance Community Circle - everyone is welcome to participate!

🥘 International Food Fest | Aug 19

If you like trying new foods, this festival is for you! The 20th annual International Food Fest celebrates food, culture, and community with over 25 countries represented with restaurant vendors, plus fun activities like henna tattooing, bounce houses, balloon animals, on-stage performances, and a day full of fun for the entire family.

🪕 History Hootenanny | Aug 19

Hootenanny (n.): 1. An informal gathering where folk music is played in a party-like atmosphere (1950-60s). Visit the East Tennessee History Center for History Hootenanny—an all-day celebration of East Tennessee history with music, activities, genealogy workshops, local history authors showcase, walking tours, shuttles to historic museums, and more. A FREE family-friendly event!

🐲 Knox Asian Festival | Aug 26

The 10th annual Knox Asian Festival is sure to be spectacular! The Asian Cultural Parade starts at 11am at World's Fair Park's splash pad and will follow a route to the amphitheatre, where there will be ongoing cultural performances. Lots of food vendors representing a dozen countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and more. In the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall, there will be FREE Sumo demonstrations and photo opportunities!

🍗 Big Kahuna Wing Festival | Sep 3

This year, the 10th annual Big Kahuna Wing Festival celebrates the creation of the “Buffalo Wing”, which has become a national food icon. The festival promises some of the best wings in the south, a wing eating competition, wing cooking competition, live music, kid's corner, fireworks, and over 20,000 lbs of wings. All for the love of the “Buffalo Wing” and to raise money for charity.

Stay tuned for more!

Check the calendar for year-round events in Downtown Knoxville – and more festivals coming this fall!