Downtown Knoxville events expected to draw big crowds

Downtown Knoxville events expected to draw big crowds this weekend

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Crews set up equipment for the Rhythm and Blooms Festival in Market Square. Crews set up equipment for the Rhythm and Blooms Festival in Market Square.
"Really between the three different exhibits we have opening downtown for First Friday, our Rhythm and Blooms festival this weekend, and the chalk walk, we are estimating more than 20,000 people," explained Dogwood Arts Festival spokesperson Erin Slocum. "Really between the three different exhibits we have opening downtown for First Friday, our Rhythm and Blooms festival this weekend, and the chalk walk, we are estimating more than 20,000 people," explained Dogwood Arts Festival spokesperson Erin Slocum.
At the downtown Marriott Friday, runners with the Color Me Rad 5K were picking up their bibs. At the downtown Marriott Friday, runners with the Color Me Rad 5K were picking up their bibs.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - This weekend's beautiful weather could not have come at a more perfect time.

Several large events in Knoxville are bringing thousands to the area.

Friday kicks off events for the Dogwood Arts Festival. On Saturday, 9,000 runners will participate in the Color Me Rad 5K. Then on Sunday, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon will bring more than 6,000 runners to World's Fair Park.

Downtown businesses are already feeling an impact. The Crowne Plaza and downtown Marriott are already full this weekend.

Restaurant owners in Market Square are also expecting large crowds.

"Really between the three different exhibits we have opening downtown for First Friday, our Rhythm and Blooms festival this weekend, and the chalk walk, we are estimating more than 20,000 people," explained Dogwood Arts Festival spokesperson Erin Slocum.

Event organizers say this weekend's perfect weather is key for large crowds. Visitors have already started to arrive.

Dianna Harris came in from Fort Knox, Kentucky.

"I'm really excited," said Harris, "Love live music."

Many visitors have been planning this weekend for quite awhile.

"We have been full for several weeks," said Crowne Plaza General Manager Ken Knight.

Restaurants have also been preparing for the extra customers.

"We do have more people on staff," said Rita's owner Nancy Langkamer, "Making more ice."

The large events Saturday and Sunday are bringing people in from all around world.

At the downtown Marriott Friday, runners with the Color Me Rad 5K were picking up their bibs.

Pam Yount, from Morristown, plans to spend a lot of money in Knoxville.

"Oh yeah, we'll go out to eat, probably see a lot of friends from Morristown." said Yount. "We are going to spend the day."

Tourism officials say all of the events will bring millions of dollars into the local economy.

The organizers of the Dogwood Arts Festival say they are very happy there are two large races happening this weekend because it brings even more people to their events.

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