KNOXVILE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Rossini Festival is returning to Knoxville on Saturday, April 22, for its 20th year. Here’s everything you need to know about the annual festival held on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville.

What’s the Rossini Festival?

The Rossini Festival is presented by Knoxville Opera and it is an annual one-day International Street Fair that celebrates the global impact on the music, food, art, and culture of East Tennessee. With more than 75 artisans all day, it provides a great opportunity for the over half a million people who live in Knox County and the surrounding area to purchase food and enjoy free entertainment, Knoxville Opera says.

Event Details

The Rossini Festival will be in Downtown Knoxville on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Areas with performances and vendors will be set up lining the roads in the area of Gay Street and Market Street between Wall Avenue to Cumberland Avenue.

Downtown Knoxville lists several options for parking that are usually free on nights and weekends, including:

  • City-County Building Garage – 400 Main Street
  • Dwight Kessel Garage – 900 State Street
  • State Street Garage – 500 State Street
  • Langley Garage – 407 Walnut Street
  • Locust Street Garage – 540 Locust Street
  • Main Street Garage – 550 West Main Street
  • Market Square Garage – 406 Walnut Street

Who will be there?

Knoxville Opera have shared what festival goers can expect. Throughout the day, there will be performers providing non-stop opera, jazz, instrumental, gospel, and ethnic music; ballet, modern and ethnic dance performances on four stages for 11 hours. Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is the headline performance of the night.

Knoxville Opera shares that there will be scores of food vendors and more than 75 artisans throughout the day. Some notable food vendors include Kooky Cookies, CJ’s Tacos and Ice Oasis, Kona Shaved Ice, Grillbilly Smoke and Myrtle’s Bakehouse. While there are many artisans there, some on the list are Mountain Artisans, Honey Badger Craft Honey, SoKno Woodworking, 865 LIfe, and TN Tea Jars.

On Artisans’ Row, there will also be artist demonstrations showing wood carving, leather working, and weaving, Knoxville Opera says. Artists expected to be holding demonstrations include:

  • Art by Jackie
  • Aviary Broom Co.
  • Bakery by Renee Shop
  • Barony of Thor’s Mountain
  • Blue Wave Bead Jewelry
  • Hunny Hush
  • Jewelry by Renee Shop
  • Knoxville Academy of the Blade
  • Lattice Bracelets by Lanois
  • Michael Robinson Pottery
  • Mountain Artisans
  • Pouncy’s Perfect Beardz
  • Redhead Bead Jewelry
  • Silver Lining Design
  • Til Ragnatok Axe Throwing
  • TN Valley Handspinners
  • Tracye Burnett Sowders Art
  • Watson Stained Glass
  • Wild Pony Studio

Just for kids, there will also be The Y Fun Zone, and Journey Around the World, where kids can follow a virtual map to find flags from various countries from around Downtown Knoxville, according to Knoxville Opera.

Knoxville Opera explains that because the Rossini Festival is free, it is heavily dependent on sponsor support. WATE 6 On Your Side is a sponsor, alongside Visit Knoxville, the YMCA, the Downtown Knoxville Alliance and others.