Knoxville will be extra Irish this weekend as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations including a parade, a family-friendly fair, live music on the Market Square stage and two different charity runs dominate downtown. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday at the State Street, Locust Street, Market Square, Walnut Street or Dwight Kessel garages.


The inaugural Knox Shamrock Fest includes the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the 2017 Lucky Kidney Run & Irish Festival, presented by Fresenius Kidney Care.


Irish Festival

Friday, March 17, 3 – 10 p.m.

Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Market Square


This two-day family fair includes live music, inflatable bounce houses, slides and an obstacle course, mini carousel, face painting, games and activities, popcorn, cotton candy, vendors and other activities. Tickets will be sold for $1 each to pay for children’s activities, games and snacks, for which prices vary. Knoxville cover band Way Sneaky Eddie will perform 8 – 10 p.m. Friday on the Market Square stage, and Celtic band The Get Reels performs 3 – 6 p.m. Saturday.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Friday, March 17, 7 p.m.
Gay Street


More than 30 years since its last appearance on Gay Street, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade tradition resumes Friday. Knoxville residents Chandle Turbyville, Josh Turbyville, and Christy Watkins have revived the custom to acknowledge the role Irish immigrants and their families have played in Knoxville’s history. Proceeds from the parade and the Irish Festival will benefit Catholic Charities of East Tennessee and East Tennessee Kidney Foundation.


The parade will step off at 6:45 p.m. from Howard Baker Jr Blvd and continue down Church Avenue, turn right up Gay Street, turn right on Jackson Avenue, and end at Patton under the Hall of Fame Drive overpass.


During the parade, the following road closures and temporary no-parking zones will be in effect:


  • Eastbound lanes of Howard H. Baker Jr. Avenue between Hill Avenue and Hall of Fame Drive will be closed from 4:45-8 p.m. Friday.
  • Roads will be closed along the parade route, 6:50 – 8 p.m. Friday, including Gay Street between Cumberland and Depot avenues. Streets will reopen as soon as the parade has completed its route.
  • There will be a temporary no-parking zone on Gay Street between Church and Jackson avenues, including Jackson Avenue to Patton, starting at 4 p.m. Friday.
  • Market Street between Union and Clinch avenues and Clinch Avenue between Walnut and Gay streets also will be closed 6:50 – 8 p.m., and temporary no-parking zones will be in effect starting at 4 p.m


Rolling street closures along the routes of both runs will allow traffic at intersections to go through during gaps in the groups of runners.

Lucky Kidney Run
Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m.
Market Square

The 6K course begins in Market Square and proceeds north on Gay Street and through the Historic Fourth and Gill neighborhood and back to Market Square. The 2K course follows a similar, but shorter, route. An awards ceremony will be held in Market Square at approximately 10:45 a.m.
During the run, these road closures and temporary no-parking zones will be in effect:

  • Wall Ave between Walnut and Gay will be closed 9 a.m. – 11 a.m
  • Temporary no parking on Saturday begins at 7 a.m. for Wall Ave and 8 a.m. for Gay Street between Wall Ave and Summit Hill.

Fifth Anniversary Barley’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K
benefitting Emily’s Power For A Cure
Sunday, March 19, 2-4 p.m.
Barley’s Knoxville, 200 East Jackson Avenue

This 5K starts at Barley’s on Jackson Avenue, heads east on Jackson to East Kentucky Street, right onto Willow, right on Central through the heart of the Old City, left onto West Jackson Avenue to Gay, up North Gay Street across the viaduct, and through Emory Place, across Central to E 4th Ave, turn left on 3rd at Fourth and Gill Park, reconnect with E 4th via a left turn on Lamar, cross back over Central to Emory to North Gay, take a left on Jackson and continue to the finish line at Barley’s.