KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s a busy week in Knoxville with an even busier weekend on the way.

Right now, the University of Tennessee is hosting the National Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship. Plus, it was announced on Sunday that the Lady Vols will be hosting the first two rounds of the Women’s NCAA Regional Basketball Tournament.

On top of that Saint Patrick’s Day is Friday. WATE is a sponsor for the big parade happening downtown that night. The Knox Shamrock Fest and Lucky Kidney Run are also taking place on Sunday.

With everything going on businesses downtown are preparing for the busy week. 

“This is a great week for our city, it’s a great week for us, and it’s really a great representation of our city coming together and working as a unit,” said Paul Jordan, who has been the general manager of the Hilton in Downtown Knoxville for the past 12 years.

He’s also the President of the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association which works to better the hospitality and tourism industry in the area.

“For the last almost three years now we just feel like there’s been a constant climb. Almost every month is a step forward and it’s just a positive outlook for the month and there’s still more to come,” added Jordan.

Irving Brea, the general manager of Not Watson’s Kitchen and Bar in Market Square, says he’s glad events like these are coming back to the area after having to endure several hard years with the pandemic.

“Our regular weekends, there’s no way to predict resident business but I have to say when we started reopening again after COVID, it’s kind of like a nonstop. So even when we have something going on in town or not, it’s always been very busy,” said Brea.

He says even though they’re not a sports bar, people still come in to watch the games which means they’re also grabbing a bite to eat.

“We sell more, everybody’s happy,” Brea said. “Anytime we have people, we have a lot of to-go orders, big reservations, and so, of course, it’s a good impact.”

The National Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship will be held March 15-18 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center at UT.

The Knox Saint Patrick’s Parade is at 7 p.m. this Friday. The march starts on Hall of Fame Boulevard, moves on to Church and Gay Streets., and down to West Magnolia Avenue.

Then the first game at Thompson Bowling Arena for the Women’s NCAA Regional Basketball Tournament will be this Saturday at 1 p.m.