Rossini Festival takes over downtown Knoxville for 18th year

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A new look for one of Knoxville’s biggest parties. That’s what folks at the Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival are getting treated to Saturday. 

Six On Your Side’s Elizabeth Kuebel takes us downtown for this festival’s 18th year.

“You just can’t beat it. You have to be here to see it. The dancers, the stuff for the children. They put on so much,” said attendees Bob and Rose Brooks.

PHOTOS: Scenes from the 18th annual Rossini Festival

“I live in Maryville and never tried it. And we just happened to see it, she had forgotten about it, and so we said let’s do it,” said Judy Bustin and Diane Williams.

The long-running street fair attracts thousands for its international flavor and fun.

“The Rossini Festival is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the amazing talent and cultural richness right here in East Tennessee,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.

“The heart of any municipal, any metropolitan area is a vibrant downtown, so it’s great to see all of you here and so many people enjoying downtown,” Knox County mayor Glenn Jacobs said.

You may notice something a little different about this year’s festival – it’s not on Gay Street.

“We had our dogs out here earlier and walked around and everyone is just so friendly, and there’s live music, which is really cool too. The music is phenomenal,” said Paula Letiecq.

A lot of the people we met today, taking in the festival for the first time and sharing with us their favorite parts.

“I like the fighting,” Waylon Bush said. 

“Food. But I’ve seen some beautiful jewelry too,” said Judy Bustin and Diane Williams.

“Definitely the people. They’re really awesome, really nice, and great food and music. It’s just a lot of fun,” Brian Letiecq said.

“Very enjoyable and looking forward to coming again for next year,” said Bob Brooks.

Rossini Festival lasts until 9 p.m. Saturday.

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