Knoxville Festivals and Events Bring Community Together
Located in East Tennessee, Knoxville offers a mountain town atmosphere paired with exciting attractions. While college football’s UT Vols, craft beer and outdoor recreation are the main draws, visitors also enjoy attending events. Keep reading to find the best Knoxville festivals and how to enjoy a more local experience.
Best Knoxville Festivals for Food, Fun and Music
Big Ears Festival
Big Ears is for arts lovers. This festival celebrates music and film with dozens of venues within walking distance from one another. Visitors will see a variety of musicians, live theatrical performances, dance, speakers, visual displays, exhibits and interactive activities.
This weekend-long event occurs in March. It has been featured by major media outlets such as NPR and New York Times, both of which praise Knoxville’s theaters, industrial spaces, churches and clubs.
Dogwood Arts Festival
Tennessee has blooming dogwoods throughout the state. However, in Knoxville nature’s beauty and art come together at Dogwood Arts Festival. For more than 40 years, the festival has showcased 75-plus artists in multiple medias. Examples include pottery, painting, photography, glass and sculpture.
Dogwood Arts Festival is free to attend and takes place for a weekend in April. The event is family-friendly and has live music and kid’s activities.
Festival on the 4th
Those who love fireworks can’t miss Festival on the 4th at World’s Fair Park. During the festival, Air National Guard bands perform showcasing talented musicians. All concerts are family-friendly, and attendees are welcome to bring chairs, blankets, and picnic dinners. Then guests enjoy a vibrant firework show.
Ranked among the best Knoxville festivals for beer, this event features local and internationally known crafters. More than 40 breweries set up to offer samples and share secrets about the brewing process. In addition, net profits benefit local charities.
Knoxville Brewfest is for guests 21 and older. Children and pets are not allowed. General admission includes tastings, a commemorative glass and map of festival vendors.
Tennessee Valley Fair
Tennessee Valley Fair is one of the best Knoxville festivals and largest fairs in Tennessee. The event has showcased East Tennessee agriculture, art and heritage for more than 100 years. Visitors of all ages enjoy rides, live music, competitions, food, sports and family fun.
Festivities kick off in September and last a full weekend. For the full experience, attend local competitions that showcase livestock, pets, pageants, STEM, cornhole, cheer and dance, and youth talent.
Foothills Craft Guild Fall Show
In November, Foothills Craft Guild Fall Show features the best fine arts in the state. The event promotes handmade items crafted in clay, fiber, glass, leather, wood and other medias. Just head to the Knoxville Expo Center to browse dozens of local artisans. Visitors also enjoy shopping for wall art, home décor, jewelry, rugs, pottery and special treasures.
Christmas in the City
Each December, Knoxville celebrates the holiday season with Christmas in the City. Neighborhoods show off twinkling lights and decorations, and the city has a 42-foot tree perfect for photos. The Peppermint trail welcomes guests to support local businesses in downtown, as they serve special peppermint items throughout the season. Or shop Market Square, which has vendors and crafters selling gifts and goodies.
Knoxville Festivals for International Flair
In addition to these Knoxville events, the city spotlights international cultures as well. Most occur from August through October, providing fun fall vacation ideas and new ways to play. Examples include Germanfest, Hola Festival, Greek Fest and Rossini Festival.