A one-block section of South Gay Street will be closed overnight Tuesday as two cranes hoist a refurbished Tennessee Theatre vertical sign back into position.

The work by a Sycamore Sign Service crew will close Gay Street between Clinch and Church avenues from 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, until 8 a.m. the following morning, Wednesday, Aug. 24. There will be temporary no-parking zones on that block while the project is underway.

To minimize the duration of Gay Street closures, the refurbishment of the vertical sign was done off-site while crews worked to upgrade and repair the marquee, which could be completed on Gay Street without road closures. The street similarly was closed one night in June, when the vertical sign was taken down.

Over 10 weeks, Pattison Sign Group upgraded 5,700 light bulbs to brighter, more energy-efficient LED bulbs and sockets, installed electrical upgrades, repaired cosmetic damage and repainted the 12-year-old sign and marquee, damaged during several hailstorms. The vertical sign is a reproduction of the original sign installed when the theater opened in 1928, but removed in 1956. The current replica was created during the Tennessee Theatre’s $28 million restoration in 2005.

Meanwhile, motorists should anticipate other downtown road closures in the coming week, tied to either infrastructure repair projects or festivals downtown:

Market Square Farmers’ Market – Saturday, Aug. 20

The 13th season of the downtown farmers’ market offers locally grown produce, meat, eggs and plants, as well as locally-made artisan foods and crafts. For details, visit www.marketsquarefarmersmarket.org.

The Market Square Farmers’ Market will connect local growers and buyers from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Market Square and along Union Avenue and Market Street. The following streets will be closed:

  • Market Street, between Clinch and Union avenues – closed from 6:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday;
  • Union Avenue, between Walnut and Gay streets – closed from 6:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday;
  • Temporary no-parking zones on Market Street and Union Avenue will be in effect starting at 5 a.m. Saturday.


East Tennessee History Fair – Saturday, Aug. 20

Join the East Tennessee Historical Society for the ninth annual celebration of the people, places and events that helped make Knoxville and the region what they are today.

Walk the East Tennessee Timeline and engage the re-enactors throughout downtown during the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. History Fair. Enjoy traditional music on the Main Stage, or board a bus and tour Knoxville’s historic homes. There’s also an antiques fair, featuring 20 dealers, on Market Street.Board a bus and tour Knoxville’s historic homes. Sit a spell in front of the Main Stage, listening to traditional music that has long been the soundtrack to our lives.

Street closures:

  • Clinch Avenue, between Gay and Walnut streets – closed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Market Street, between Church and Clinch avenues – closed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Temporary no-parking zones on Market Street, Clinch Avenue and Church Avenue will be in effect starting at 5 a.m. Saturday.


Emory Place Block Party – Saturday, Aug. 20

Emory Place between Central Street and Broadway will be closed from noon to 9:30 p.m. The block party is scheduled from 2-9 p.m.


Hill Avenue Viaduct repair – through Thursday, Oct. 13

The section of Hill Avenue between Hall of Fame Drive and State Street is scheduled to be closed through mid-October to accommodate the City’s repair of the expansion joints on the Hill Avenue Viaduct. Though closed to vehicles, pedestrians will be able to access the sidewalk on one side of the viaduct.


Knoxville Utilities Board infrastructure improvements

  • South Gay Street – The block between Cumberland Avenue and Main Street will be closed from 6-11 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, as work continues on the Downtown Century II Utilities Upgrade project.
  • Church Avenue and Walnut Street – This intersection will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Aug. 20-21, as KUB crews complete work on the natural gas distribution system. Walnut Street will be closed between Church and Union avenues, and eastbound lanes of Church will be closed; the westbound lane of Church will remain open and be used to alternate traffic to surface parking lots.
  • Clinch Avenue – A short section between South Gay and Market streets will be closed from 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22, to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, as work is performed on the electric distribution system.
  • Cumberland Avenue – The curbside, eastbound lane of Cumberland Avenue between Estabrook Road and Poplar Street will be closed from 6 a.m., Monday, Aug. 22, through 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 23, as work continues on the Downtown Century II Utilities Upgrade project. This work was delayed due to weather. One eastbound lane and both westbound lanes will remain open to traffic. Parking access to the UT Staff Parking Lot and the Poplar Street Parking Lot will be maintained.