What’s Blooming This Spring In Knox?


      Knoxville is bustling with festivities this spring, with arts and creativity on display around every corner. One of the most popular events is the Dogwood Arts Festival Chalk Walk. Every year in April, thousands of people come to see professional and student artists create massive art pieces on the sidewalk in Market Square. These creations take hours to make, and artists come to set up their spaces as early as 7 am, some of them working until 4 in the afternoon. It is a grueling process, as some of the artists blend the chalk into the concrete with their bare hands. This rubs the skin off their fingers and causes injury if they’re not careful. It is rewarding, however; the public enjoys talking to the artists and there is a reward ceremony after all the works are judged. The bustle and excitement is a wonderful reminder that the appreciation for artistic expression is far from over in Knoxville.

      This year is Mary Ward’s first time entering the Chalk Walk.

      “I’ve seen a lot of inspiring artists in my class grow from this experience, so I was intrigued and wanted to try it out. My expectations are high. I know many good artists around here that compete and constantly win it, so I’m a little intimidated. [The biggest challenge for me will be] getting set up and managing my time from this and prom,” said Ward.

      During the Chalk Walk is the Sidewalk Sideshow, an event that features performers of all backgrounds and skills. There are jugglers, stilt walkers, musicians, and all types of live performers. This whimsical sight is only a few blocks from the Chalk Walk, on Gay Street, so it makes for an easy way to have a spectacular time in downtown Knoxville, all in one day.

      April 27th is Volapalooza, the largest student-organized event in Knoxville. It showcases music from two stages, food trucks, and art at the World’s Fair Park. Volapalooza is an end of year celebration that gets everyone outside and enjoying the Tennessee weather.

      At the end of April there is the Dogwood Arts Festival on Market Square. From April 27th through the 29th, come experience craft vendors and all their unique creations. It is free for all, and contains more than a hundred craftspeople and art vendors, with creations like paintings, sculptures, glassblowing, weaving, and more. Live performances take place during this event and there will be flower markets filled with blooming flowers, herbs, and trees.

      Knoxville has much in store for Tennesseans this spring. Keep watch for upcoming events; you may be surprised at how much you’ve been missing!