Spring in Downtown Knoxville.

Swipe right to spending springtime in Downtown Knoxville. Dogwood blooms create tree canopies of pink and white, rooftop bars embrace the sunshine, and newly-opened businesses offer special cocktails, sweet treats, and fresh, new dining experiences. Experience Knoxville’s special vibe with our Spring Bucket List!

Organizers of each downtown event are continually in discussion with health officials regarding COVID-19, and are making decisions on events as appropriate.

Photo Credit: Dogwood Arts

New Music Festivals

Southern Skies, curated by Knoxville’s hometown favorites The Dirty Guv’nahs, is a brand new music festival bringing in top names like Ben Rector. The one-day event in mid-May will feature seven musical acts, a Makers Market, and food trucks at World’s Fair Park.

With 3 stages of music, jive your way down West Jackson during Jazzfest. This special festival will celebrate local businesses that have been affected by the West Jackson ramp closure with food, music, shopping…and jazz!

What makes the music scene in Downtown Knoxville exceptional is more than these festivals. It’s the music events that happen every night of the week, like four nights of live jazz at Bistro at the Bijou, regular jam sessions at Boyd’s Jig & Reel, nightly music at Preservation Pub and Scruffy City Hall, and the daily live radio show, WDVX Blue Plate Special.

Photo Credit: Big Ears - Nathan Zucker, Rolling Stone

April's Outdoor Art Events

There’s no better month for art events than when the city blooms with dogwoods. A fan-favorite for locals and visitors of all ages, Chalk Walk kicks off the month bringing color, energy, and talent to center stage – the sidewalks and streets of downtown! Then, experience Dogwood Arts Festival, a fine art market with live music, arts in action, and children’s creation stations set against a background of beautifully blooming trees. Next, what do you get when you combine an International Street Fair with world class opera performances and a hundred artisans? The Rossini Festival! Along with these yearly events, the opening of Old City Market, an on-going artisan fair, kicks off. And don’t forget the monthly First Friday ArtWalks!

Photo Credit: Chalk Walk - Bruce McCamish

Market Square Farmers' Market

Visit the #MSFMKnox when it opens in May for beautiful fresh flowers, veggies, fruits, and artisan goods, all from East Tennessee. The lively open-air market has been recognized as one of the “Top 20 Farmers’ Markets in the USA” by the American Farmland Trust, and it was listed as the #2 place to shop in Knoxville by USA Today. Talk about street cred! You can see what the hype is all about on Saturday and Wednesday mornings, with a total of 62 markets each year. Whether you live, work, or visit downtown, remember both days! The market is also perfect for a family outing, as you’ll find educational events like Tomato Tasting and cooking demos. Plus, everything is locally sourced, coming from a 150-mile radius to be sold in Downtown Knoxville. A great conversation starter with your kids. With food trucks, crafters, farmers, locals and visitors mingling, the Market Square Farmers’ Market has a lot going for it. May through December. Join us?  

Photo Credit: Nourish Knoxville

Up Your Instagram Game

Downtown is filled with places to take your ‘gram to the next level with its historic architecture, cozy alleys, and brunch plates to drool over. And, there are a few places you have to know about for a unique Spring photo shoot. First, there’s the new Dogwood Arts’ “Art in Public Places” exhibit installed in late March, where bigger-than-life sculptures hit the parks of downtown, including a huge laser cut aluminum 3-D heart so cute it will make you melt. Next, during the Jackson Avenue ramp closure, you’ll find life-size illustrations along the main construction fences you can pose with, like a bike you can “ride”, a puppy you can “walk” on a leash, and balloons you can “fly” away with. Take some pics and drop in to support the local businesses on the block. If you haven’t been to the crazy cool bicycle arch at the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center, now is the time! And of course, you have the always gorgeous Strong Alley with new murals popping up every season, and "Cassiopiea" reflecting colorful faces of Knoxville on the side of Market Square Garage. Get out and explore...and don’t forget your camera!

Photo Credit: Bicycle Arch - @sarahjm14 (Instagram)

Good Weather for (Even Better) Food & Views

When the weather becomes pleasant, the first thing we rush to do is eat and drink outside. We recommend: people-watching over a plate of truffle fries from Cafe 4, gawking at Knoxville’s skyline with a ramblin’ rose cocktail in hand at the brand new Radius Rooftop Lounge, sharing happy hour appetizers with your friends under the Downtown Grill & Brewery awning, salivating over BBQ and the Tennessee River at Calhoun’s, toasting to the great weather over cold ones at PostModern Spirits & Pour Taproom’s shared patio. We could keep going, but there’s a character limit! Cheers to springtime!

Photo Credit: Radius Rooftop - @joeconsumo (Instagram)

Try Something New

Downtown Knoxville’s brimming with all kinds of new businesses to put on your list. The newly reopened Knox Mason continues to wow their guests with southern comfort food favorites, like pork rinds and deviled eggs, while Southern Grit serves up better-than-your-mama's fried chicken and lowcountry inspired fare. Knoxville-favorite Petro’s Chili & Chips opened a new location on the corner of Market Square, with always satisfying lunchtime bowls of chili and chips. After all that good food, get lost in paradise at the Tern Club, a new neighborhood oasis for tropical cocktails. For relaxation, try Wake Foot Sanctuary, where you submerge your feet into an indulgent foot soak. Explore more here.

Photo Credit: Southern Grit - @erronious (Instagram)

Get Out and Play

Outdoor living is a way of life downtown with the amount of green spaces, outdoor markets, and festivals. World’s Fair Park, most known for being home to the Sunsphere, is also a sprawling landscape of over 15 acres with kids playing in the splash pads and playground, families relaxing on the lawn with a picnic, and music and drink events on the performance lawn. Volunteer Landing is a special part of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness stretching along the Tennessee River, where you can go for a bike ride, morning jog, afternoon stroll, and even adventurous water activities. All of downtown is pet-friendly (we mean it, everyone loves animals!). There’s even a PetSafe Dog Park where dogs can run around care-free. Spring is a wonderful time to take advantage of all the green spaces downtown, as they come to life with blooms, markets, festivals, and fun.

Photo Credit: Knoxville Adventure Collective (previously Billy Lush)

Make Downtown Your Home

We like to say, “It’s not just a place you live; it’s a place you’re a part of.” And we believe that. We also believe living downtown offers the best of both worlds: the right amount of city-life mixed with neighborhood charm. Downtown buzzes with excitement every day with something to do, somewhere to eat, and a new place to explore, all within walking distance. You’re sure to run into your neighbors, have friendly conversations with local business owners, and enjoy your community as a place you live, work, and play.

Get a glimpse of living downtown at the City People Home Tour in May - a weekend to experience downtown for yourself – and visit our new web page to discover historic buildings with condos and apartments, watch our video that captures the essence of living downtown, and explore more! 

Photo Credit: Segundo Properties

If we haven’t convinced you to explore downtown this Spring, just take our next words for it – you won’t regret it! In fact, it will probably be the most fun you’ve had all year.