Sunflower Festival returns to Knoxville for third year

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s a picture-taking hot spot right here in Knoxville. The Sunflower Festival was back Saturday.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which owns the Forks of the River Wildlife Area where the sunflowers are planted, partnered with Legacy Parks to put this on for the third time.

“It’s expansive. It goes beyond comparison to what I was told,” said Wayne Range.

“It looks like a mile and beyond of just sunflowers going away from you and then just surrounding you,” said James Stanley.

Spanning about 70 acres at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, this is a sight unlike any other.

“It’s phenomenal. We didn’t know that in an urban setting they could have such a large natural setting,” said Terry Ferweda.

And judging by the views, it’s no surprise cameras and cell phones were out in full force.

“We’re out here taking pictures of the sunflowers because they’re such beautiful flowers and just seeing the fields of them is so pretty,” said Sarah Stanley.

“Taking pictures of ourselves, putting them on social media,” said Tim Czencz.

But if you ask the TWRA, this festival is about more than what meets the eye.

“If we didn’t have pollinators, two-thirds of all the food that we eat would be gone. It’s important that we have places like this that bees can reproduce,” said Bill Smith, TWRA’s manager of the Wildlife Management Area.

TWRA only plants these flowers every other year. It’s why some visitors are encouraging people to check it out while they can.

“It’s a wonderful family event, bring everybody out. Come see it. You’re missing a beautiful site,” Czencz said.

Even though the festival was Saturday, TWRA says you still have a little time left to check out the sunflowers. They’ll be in bloom for at least another week and a half. It is open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.

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