KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Thousands of people attended Knoxville Opera’s 17th-annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair in Downtown Knoxville. This celebration of the arts is the largest community outreach event of Knoxville Opera’s season.
Learn more: Guide to the 2018 Rossini Festival
Proclaimed a legacy event by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, the Rossini Festival is the only event that closes Downtown Knoxville’s Gay Street in addition to several intersecting streets and nearby parking lots in order to accommodate tens of thousands of attendees – free of charge– in a European-style pedestrian street mall appropriate for the entire family.
The public will enjoy 11 consecutive hours of live entertainment on five outdoor stages (opera, jazz, ethnic music, gospel, modern and ethnic dance, ballet, vocal and instrumental ensembles) and the YMCA FunZone while shopping at exhibits of more than 150 prominent artisans and exhibits while enjoying cuisine from dozens of food vendors.
“There is something for everyone at Rossini,” said Knoxville Opera Executive Director and Conductor Brian Salesky. “From live performances to shopping to demonstrations to a children’s fun zone to a beer garden, Rossini is East Tennessee’s unique cultural festival and celebration. It is so massive that more than 200 volunteers are needed to help produce this fantastic event. In fact, over the past sixteen years, well over 500,000 people have come out to experience the Opera’s inspiring celebration of the arts.”
Five stages located in various locations throughout the event footprint will provide simultaneous entertainment by more than 1,000 performers:
· Choral Music Stage (Gay Street near Wall Avenue)
· Dance Stage (Market Square)
· South Instrumental Music Stage (Bijou Theatre Parking Lot)
· West Instrumental Music Stage (Clinch Avenue near Market Street)
· Opera Stage (Krutch Park Extension)
For the younger set, the YMCA FunZone located in Market Square will include the Dance Stage and activities to promote “Healthy Kids Day.” This year’s exciting features include a garden area where kids can plant a seed to take home to grow, Beyblade Stadiums for kids to bring their Beyblades for tournaments, a sample of the YMCA Power Up Fitness for Kids program at the top of every hour, bounce houses, bungee trampoline jump, toddler carousels, bubbles, side walk chalk and many more activities for healthy, active kids.
The Casual Pint will once again sponsor Brewtopia!, the widely popular space including a giant tent with tables and chairs serving over a dozen regional favorites, many of which are on tap, in the Bijou Theatre Parking Lot sponsored by Pilot Flying J. Also in this area is the Artisans Row, where multiple demonstration artists will show off their crafts, and an Instrumental Music Stage.
New to the Festival this year is the Garza Law Smart-Ride pick up and drop off zones brought to you by WATE 6 On Your Side Traffic. Attendees may utilize taxis or app-based transportation including Uber and Lyft to get to and from ancillary parking areas for enhanced convenience from four convenient designated sites.
The ever popular Ruby Knox Band will close the 17th Rossini Festival by performing on the Opera Stage in Krutch Park Extension across from Regal Cinemas from 8 to 10 p.m.
For more information including the Entertainment Schedule, map of vendors and exhibitors, and short videos illustrating the entertainment, art, food, and beverages of Knoxville Opera’s annual iconic Rossini Festival, visit RossiniFestival.org.
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