World’s Fair Park is the place to be for family fun and patriotic music during this Fourth of July holiday.
From 4-10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, the City of Knoxville’s Festival on the Fourth presents live music, food vendors, activities and other summertime diversions. The festivities lead up to the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s 34th Annual Free Pilot Flying J Independence Day Concert, beginning at 8 p.m. and culminating with City’s largest annual fireworks display.
The free event, sponsored by the City of Knoxville, has developed over the years into a festival with a diverse array of entertainment for all ages.
“Traditionally, the Fourth of July holiday is a chance for families to spend time together,” says Special Events Director Judith Foltz. “We like to offer some surprising and different ways to do that and make the most of a mid-week holiday.”
Newly appointed Poet Laureate Marilyn Kallet will present a new poem prior to the symphony’s performance.
New activities this year in the Regal Kids Zone is a climbing wall and a Eurobungy trampoline, which uses giant rubber bands to vault participants into the sky and right back to Earth. Families can also enjoy face painting, balloon animals, mini-golf, a water balloon game, Legos by Bricks 4 Kids, and more. Plus, take a paddle boat ride in the “lazy river” that flows around the park.
Live entertainment begins at 4 p.m. at the Home Federal Bank Family Fun Stage inside the Tennessee Amphitheater:
- Asian Festival Lion Dancers, 4-4:45 p.m.
- Zoo Knoxville presents Einstein and Friends, 5:15-5:35 p.m.
- Children’s musician Dre Helton, 6-6:45 p.m.
- Tim Pressley and The Amazing Magic Show, 7-7:45 p.m.
Over on the north end of the park’s Festival Lawn Stage, Bary Jolly’s Pirates on the Patio plays Jimmy Buffett songs from 4:15-5:45 p.m. Pianist Kendall Ray performs 6:15-7:30 p.m.
The warm-up for the main event begins with the Stoney Point Bluegrass Band, 5-5:45 p.m. on the Performance Lawn Stage, followed by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s 34th Annual Free Pilot Flying J Independence Day Concert featuring KSO’s Music Director Aram Demirjian at 8 p.m.
The KSO will perform patriotic tunes such as “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Armed Forces Salute,” Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” as well as a tribute to American composer Leonard Bernstein, with selections from “West Side Story” and “Candide,” which the KSO will perform with the Clarence Brown Theatre in the fall. The full symphony program will be listed at KnoxvilleSymphony.com.
The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra performance and fireworks display will be broadcast live on WBIR-TV Channel 10 and WBIR.com from 8-10 p.m.
Free parking is available in the 11th Street, Locust Street, Walnut Street, State Street and Market Square garages, as well as the City’s Blackstock lots on Grand Avenue. ADA parking is available at the Fort Kid parking lot on World’s Fair Park Drive.
Bring your own chairs and blankets, but no alcohol, pop-up tents, canopies or pets will be allowed.
Be advised of the following festival-related road closures:
- World’s Fair Park Drive between Clinch and Grand avenues will be closed from 3-11 p.m. Wednesday;
- Clinch Avenue between Henley and 11th streets will be closed from 2-11 p.m. Wednesday; and
- The Henley Bridge between Hill and Blount avenues will be closed from 4-11 p.m. Wednesday.
This annual event happens rain or shine. Visit http://www.knoxvilletn.gov/4th for additional information.
Trash and recycling pick-ups set for Wednesday will continue as scheduled; however, City offices, recreation centers and indoor pools will be closed Wednesday. Additional recreation center closures:
- Deane Hill Recreation and Larry Cox Senior centers – Closed Thursday and Friday
• Lonsdale Recreation Center – Closed Monday (today) and Thursday
• Richard Leake Recreation Center – Closed Monday (today) and Tuesday
• West Haven and Cumberland Estates recreation centers – closed all week
KAT buses and trolleys will not run Wednesday, and the customer service counter at the Knoxville Station will be closed. Normal service will resume Thursday, July 5.