On Saturday, tens of thousands of people are expected to march in Knoxville as part of the Women’s March.
It is the third year marchers will hit the streets in Knoxville, and the movement has been growing every year.
It all started in 2017 as a national movement with women at the helm marching through cities to put issues they are passionate about at the forefront.
“I think the greatest thing about the women’s march is that there were people that were feeling this way sitting in their homes or at work and they thought they were alone,” said Kimberly Peterson with the Women’s March Coalition of East Tennessee.
In Knoxville, about 5,000 people marched in 2017. That number grew to 14,000 last year. This year, organizers are expecting upwards of 20,000 people to march.
“If you care about women’s issues, or if you care about children’s issues or immigrant issues, we have organizations there that are desperate for your time and need volunteers,” Peterson said.
The movement takes on the shape of the marchers. Wherever they want to see change is where the focus lies.
“If we’re scattered an our attention is split, so to speak, it can be overwhelming, but when we get together and we pool those resources and we do that action collectively it’s so much stronger and it’s more effecient,” Peterson said.
As the organizers prepare for what is expected to be a big turnout, they are hopeful positive change for everyone will come out of it.
“What we saw that we do really well is we get people out. So what do we do afterwards? What we would like to do is just make sure that they carry on that momentum with one action. Just one action. Make one phone call to your legislator about an issue that’s important to you, volunteer with one of our local organizations,” Peterson said.
This year, the Women’s March in Knoxville has been moved from downtown to the midway at Chilhowee Park to better accomodate the large number of people expected. Chilhowee Park is located by Zoo Knoxville at 3301 E Magnolia Ave, Knoxville, TN 37914.
The city of Knoxville has a web page dedicated to its current and scheduled road closures for events.
Gates will open at 11:00 a.m.
There will be a security checkpoint everyone has to go through before getting to food vendors and organization tables.
Guest speakers will hold a rally at 2:30 p.m., with the march beginning at 3:00 p.m.