Knox County will cut the ribbon on the 22nd annual Holiday Festival of Lights at The Cove at Concord Park (11808 S. Northshore Drive) at a family-friendly event starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec 3 with Mayor Glenn Jacobs greeting guests and passing out candy “Kanes.”


The Festival itself will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Sunday, January 3, excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It is free and open to the public though visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for The Love Kitchen, which provides meals, clothing and emergency food packages for the homebound, homeless and unemployed.


Santa Claus will visit on Fridays and Saturdays and as available other nights throughout the week.


“The Festival of Lights is one of our most popular events county-wide,” said Mayor Jacobs. “I am pleased Knox County can continue this tradition and offer a bit of normalcy this holiday season with this incredible outdoor event.”


During the Festival, The Cove’s three-quarter-mile greenway trail is illuminated by a sparkling light display coordinated to music. The Knox County Parks and Recreation Department staff does all the decorating, which includes placing displays and thousands of lights. Watch a video of their work here.


An onsite vendor—found inside the River Sports Outfitters facility—will have hot drinks available for purchase most nights. The Cove has several fire pits available for guests to warm up or roast s’mores. Santa Claus will visit on Fridays, Saturdays and as available on other nights throughout the week. All attendees are encouraged to observe the Five Core Actions. Pets on leashes are welcome.


This is the second time ever the Festival will operate for the whole month of December. Last year was the first and visitors helped set records for monetary and non-perishable donations.


The 2020 Holiday Festival of Lights is sponsored by B97.5, the Knox County Mayor’s Office and Knox County Parks and Recreation.