Knoxville Opera’s 18th annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair is Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Knoxville.
This year’s festival performance stages and vendors will be located on Market Square, Krutch Park, Krutch Park Extension, Market Street, Church Avenue, Union Avenue, Clinch Avenue, and the Republic Parking lot bounded by Gay and Market streets and Cumberland Avenue.
The following streets will close at 11 p.m. Friday, April 12, and reopen at 6 a.m. Sunday, April 14:
- Market Street, between Cumberland and Union avenues;
- Union Avenue, between Walnut and Gay streets;
- Clinch Avenue, between Walnut and Gay streets;
- Church Street, between Walnut and Gay streets.
In addition, Wall Avenue will be closed between Gay Street and Market Square from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 13.
Street parking will be prohibited on related sections of Market, Clinch, Union and Church, as well as the west side of Gay Street between Cumberland and Union avenues, between 8 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Sunday.
This year’s Rossini Festival is especially exciting, because it will have a new look, spanning several blocks of downtown where the festival has not previously been staged. The introduction of new hotels, businesses and residences in downtown in recent years have made closing Gay Street for an all-day festival no longer viable. The City’s Office of Special Events staff helped Rossini, as it does for organizers of other downtown festivals, develop a new site and street-closure plan that accommodates vendors and large crowd sizes as well as safety and security needs, access to businesses, and access by first responder fire and ambulance crews.
“The 18th annual Knoxville Opera Rossini Festival will be bigger and better than ever in its new location,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “Knoxville Opera will have plenty of room to spread out its multiple stages and nearly 1,000 performers in addition to the 100+ artisans and food vendors.
“We appreciate Knoxville Opera’s unique gift to our community each year by producing and funding this free-admission festival of the performing arts which is enjoyed annually by up to 75,000 people.”
During Rossini, free parking is available in City-owned garages, including Market Square, Locust Street, Main Street and the City County Building. Additional parking is available at the Dwight Kessel and Civic Coliseum garages, which are serviced by free KAT trolleys.
Knoxville Area Transit offers convenient bus service into downtown, and its free trolley runs three downtown routes 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays. Visit www.katbus.com for additional information.