Road Closures in Downtown Knoxville this Weekend and Police are Urging for Patience as Several Big Events are Taking Place

Photo courtesy of WVLT

Knoxville Police say this will be an extraordinary busy weekend with several big events going on ranging from festivals to tournaments and concerts.

Some events include The Big Ears Festival, The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, Dogwood Arts’ Chalk Walk, The Eagles concert and the second home match of Knoxville’s new professional soccer team One Knox Sporting Club.

All of these events mean a significant amount of road closures and general traffic concerns including some road closures.

General Information
City-Owned Garages:

Parking in garages and parking lots owned by the city is free on weeknights after 6 p.m. and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Those garages and lots include:

State Street, Locust Street, City County Building and Market Square parking garages
Parking lots on W. Jackson Avenue, between Gay Street and Broadway, and on Magnolia Avenue, between Gay and N. Central streets
Old City parking lot between Patton and E. Jackson, except the staging area of the Big Ears Parade and locations along the route
Dwight Kessel Garage will also provide additional free parking on nights and weekends for the events
For more information, you can find a map of all city-owned lots and garages here, as well as a real-time tracker here.

Knoxville Area Transit:

KAT buses and trolleys will run regular schedules this weekend. You can find routes, maps and schedules here.

Warnings for Drivers:

Knoxville City officials asked for drivers to remain vigilant when driving in and around downtown, UT campus and Fort Sanders areas. Officials also asked drivers to pay attention to signage denoting road closures or extended stops, as well as to keep an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, e-bike and scooter riders.

Big Ears Festival events and concerts will be held all over the Knoxville area, so you can also expect higher-than-average traffic around the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, Bijou Theatre, St. John’s Cathedral, Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville Museum of Art and Jackson Terminal, among other venues and road closures during the festival.

Big Ears Festival Street Party

Closure: Friday, March 31 at 8 a.m. to Saturday, April 1 at 10 p.m.

Depot Avenue between Williams and N. Central streets will be closed due to events at the Southern Railway Station and The Mill & Mine.

Events include a parade featuring festival performers, larger-than-life puppets by Cattywampus Puppet Council and many local community and youth organizations. For the area impacted, you can check the Big Ears Festival website here.

Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk

Closure: Saturday, April 1 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in and around Market Square, with a final award ceremony at 7 p.m. at the main Market Square pavilion. The event features around 300 artists and creative teams creating chalk masterpieces on the grounds of Market Square and nearby sidewalks. The roads going to be shut down are:

Market Street between Union and Church avenues
Union Avenue between Walnut and Gay streets
Clinch Avenue between Walnut and Gay streets

These are the same roads and areas that are closed down for the Knoxville Farmers’ Market that takes place during the warmer months in Market Square.

Big Ears Festival Parade

Closure: Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The festival’s parade will step off from the staging area at Willow and Patton avenues, under James White Parkway at 1 p.m., with roads and on-street parking closed along the parade route.

The New Orleans-style second-line procession will move west on Willow and turn right on N. Central Street, turn left on Jackson Avenue through the Old City, turn right on Gay Street, proceed over the bridge, turn right on Depot and disband into a street party at Depot Avenue and Ogden Street.

Big Ears Festival Parade route.
Big Ears Festival Parade route.(Big Ears Festival)
For more information on the parade, you can check the Big Ears Festival website here.

Covenant Health 5K & Kids’ Run

Closure: Saturday, April 1 from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For most of the weekend, you can expect to see closings at:

Clinch Avenue between Henley Street and World’s Fair Park Drive
World’s Fair Park Drive between Clinch and Grand avenues
The Kids’ Run will start at 5 p.m. on Clinch Avenue. The route then goes north on World’s Fair Park Drive, south on 11th Street and makes a loop on Clinch before circling back to the World’s Fair Park.

The 5K race will begin at 7 p.m. with the route running from World’s Fair Park on Clinch Avenue through the Fort Sanders neighborhood, utilizing mostly White Avenue for the westbound path and Forest and Grand avenues for the return leg of the race. The previously mentioned roads as well as those crossing the race route will be closed to through traffic. This will also include 17th Street, which the race route crosses twice.

Drivers in the area should expect to be stopped at intersections that cross the route. KPD officers positioned at road closures will allow cars to cross when there’s a break between runners.

Covenant Health 5K & Kids’ Run
Covenant Health 5K & Kids’ Run(City of Knoxville)
The Eagles in concert

The Concert begins at 8 p.m.

The concert will overlap with the Covenant Health’s 5K race, beginning at 7 p.m., with road closures including 17th Street. For all roads affected, you can check the course map here.

Parking in the lots and garages nearest Thompson Boling Arena will be $20, with cash as the only payment method accepted.

Free parking is available on the Agriculture campus starting at 4 p.m., with a shuttle that leaves from River Drive heading to the arena beginning at 6:30 p.m. The shuttle is wheelchair accessible.

One Knox Sporting Club

Gates at 5:30 p.m. with kick-off at 7 p.m.

Limited parking is available near the Regal Soccer Stadium, located off Neyland Drive via Joan Cronan Way. Parking on Stephenson Drive near the stadium is available for $5, payable by credit card only.

Alternatively, fans can park for free on the Agriculture campus visitor lot near the intersection of Joe Johnson and E. J. Chapman Drive and ride a shuttle to the stadium.

Men on Boats

Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Men on Boats will also have showings at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and another on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Parking for Clarence Brown Theatre patrons is available in Lot 23 and in the McClung Tower on Volunteer Blvd.

Covenant Health Marathon and Half Marathon

Closure: Sunday, April 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Both the half and full marathons begin on Clinch Avenue at World’s Fair Park, connect to Philip Fulmer Way to Neyland Drive, to Kingston Pike through the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood.

The eastbound route goes along Third Creek Greenway, Tyson Park and through the Fort Sanders neighborhood following along Forest Avenue to World’s Fair Park. The half marathon ends there.

The route for the full marathon continues through the Old City into the Fourth & Gill neighborhood, takes a loop through East Knoxville including East Fifth and Washington Avenues before crossing Magnolia Avenue at North Bertrand. The route continues along Martin Luther King Jr Avenue to East Summit Hill behind downtown to East Hill Avenue and James White Parkway. The route then continues through South Knoxville along Island Home and Sevier avenues before heading back to World’s Fair Park by Gay Street through Market Square.

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