Calendar of Events

Saturday, May 21, 2022

40th Anniversary of the 1982 World’s Fair

  • May 21, 2022 — June 29, 2022

Category: Culinary arts, food, Exhibitions, visual art, Festivals, special events, History, heritage, Kids, family and Music

On May 21, the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the 1982 World’s Fair kicks off with a variety of events across the city. To add to the festivities, we're planning to promote ALL THINGS 80s in Downtown Knoxville. Starting Saturday, May 21 and running for 40 days (through June 29), enjoy 80s-themed menus, music, merchandise, and events. Details coming soon!

6th annual Tennessee Pirate Fest

  • May 21, 2022 — May 30, 2022

Category: Comedy, Culinary arts, food, Dance, movement, Festivals, special events, Kids, family and Music

The sixth annual Tennessee Pirate Fest invites you to go back in time to the Age of Piracy. This outdoor daytime entertainment-oriented festival will be held the last two weekends in May plus Memorial Day at the Tennessee Medieval Faire site in Harriman--just 30 miles west of Turkey Creek. Patrons will be transported to the pirate haven of Barataria, Louisiana, circa 1814.

“Get Yer Pirate On! with pirate Captain Jean Lafitte before the Battle of New Orleans. Enjoy his French hospitality as he entertains British Red Coats, New Orleans’ socialites, pirates of Barataria, and even supernaturals. Escape on a pirate adventure for the whole family,” said Barrie Paulson, VP/Director.

Rotating on several stages will be professional touring and local talent. Pirate music will be brought to you by Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, The CrossJacks, Ship Shape (May 21-22), and Kris Colt (May 28-29-30). Interactive danger shows will be performed by The Flaming Ginger and The Lords of Adventure. For the young at heart, there will be the slapstick puppet show, Punch and Judy; Pirattitude by Roane Children’s Theatre; and classical youth musicians with Bravura Music Academy on Saturdays. Interactive costumed street characters will seek to entertain in Kombat Kroquet, Lafitte’s Follies, Secrets of Barataria, and Throw Me A Line. For those who like slightly spooky entertainment, Captain Davy Jones and Calypso will guide those willing on the Trail of Doom (PG)--a pirate version of A Christmas Carol. Entertainment schedules will be available online and at the entrance.

Patrons are encouraged to dress in pirate or Regency era costumes and enter the Costume Contest. All can learn to be a pirate in Pirate School and compete in yard games in Pirate Olympics. Patrons are encouraged to share their talents on stage in the Gong Shows and play characters in classic Fairytales. All are invited to be part of the mid-day parade, where the Bucketeers will be featured on Saturdays. Other free activities will include corn hole, volleyball, the stocks, giant chess, and steel drum. There will also be games to play for a fee, including Sword Master’s Challenge and Adventures by Torchlight. Donations will be encouraged for photos with the mermaids; Captain Redbeard and his pyRAT, Chumley; and goats in the petting zoo.

The merchants of Barataria will be selling their custom wares such as costumes, leather pouches, chainmaille, drinking horns, goat soaps, blacksmith items, gaming accessories, custom wooden signs, and unique jewelry. A variety of food will be available, including Caribbean-styled BBQ, grilled chicken wraps and salads, seafood skewers and sandwiches, sweet baked goods, and shaved ice. Beverages will also be available, including water, soda, sweet tea, and beer. Vendors are independent entities and accept cash and credit; and a list of vendors and their wares can be found at

The Tennessee Pirate Fest will be open rain or shine on May 21-22, 28-29-30, from 11am-6pm ET. The festival is located at 550 Fiske Road, Harriman, TN. Free parking is provided in rough-cut fields, and handicap parking is available. Entrance tickets can be purchased online now at and will be available for purchase on festival days at the ticket house for cash or credit. Entrance ticket prices include all taxes and fees and are $19 for ages 13+, $9 for ages 5 to 12; and admission is free for ages 4 and under. Festival beverage tickets (in $1 increments) are available online, will be available at the gate, or patrons can use exact change. There will be no ATM onsite, so patrons are encouraged to bring cash for purchases, tips, and convenience.

Festival rules include the following: costumes and behavior should be family-friendly, footwear is required, no loaded or sharp weapons, bladed weapons must be sheathed, all weapons must be peace/zip-tied, service animals only, no outside food or drink, enter at your own risk. Festival grounds are primarily grass with small hills. Portable benches will be available at the stages and patrons can bring their own seating. To purchase beer, one must be 21+ years of age with valid photo ID. There will be no onsite public camping; however, motel discounts are available at the Baymont Inn and Travelodge in Harriman (call 865-882-5340 with promo code LKDE). For more information, please visit, “like” and “follow” the Tennessee Medieval Faire | Tennessee Pirate Fest on Facebook, or call 865-376-0319.

Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival & Games

  • May 21, 2022 — May 22, 2022

Category: Culinary arts, food, Dance, movement, Festivals, special events, History, heritage, Kids, family and Music

Welcome to East Tennessee’s premier celebration of Scottish culture and history, the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games. East Tennessee’s celebration of Scottish culture returns May 21-22, 2022, and features the beloved clans, games and athletes from years past. The event moves to a new location at the Townsend Visitor Center (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.) in Townsend, Tennessee.

The event feature clans, vendors and local and national performers. The property at the visitor center provides a scenic destination for the festival with views of the nearby mountains and is just minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cades Cove. The 30-plus acres at the center includes adjacent parking.

Festival attendees will be treated to vibrant cultural and educational presentations, while Scotch tasting seminars will feature a bit of history and humor, and the Border Collie demonstrations will showcase their herding abilities.

Competitions include the hammer throw or caber toss, a medley of bands including bagpipes and drummers, and clan challenges like the kilted mile run or the battle axe competition.

You don’t have to be Scottish in order to enjoy this unique Festival! Our location in the foothills of The Great Smoky Mountains is the perfect backdrop for you and your family to get a wee glimpse of Scotland and to discover and appreciate the rich traditions and history of the Scottish and Scots-Irish settlers of our area.

2022 Children's Festival of Reading

  • May 21, 2022

Category: Festivals, special events, Free event, Kids, family and Literature, reading, writing

Knox County Public Library is pleased to announce the return of the Children’s Festival of Reading on May 21, 2022, to World’s Fair Park with extended hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In its 16th year, the Festival is partnering with the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the 1982 World’s Fair with world-class authors and illustrators, science demonstrations, arts and crafts, music, and more. Plus, kids can try their hand at building their own version of the Sunsphere out of books. Attendees will have a chance to meet storybook characters from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", "Dragon Loves Tacos", and "Rainbow Fish". Kids of all ages will want to see Cookie Monster and Big Bird who be on hand at the East Tennessee PBS tent. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs will lead the Parade of Books, which steps off at 2:00, and everyone is invited to join the procession. The event is free and open to the public.

The Festival kicks off a summer of reading and provides a chance to sign up for Mayor Jacobs’s Read City summer challenge: Dive In Deep. Mayor Jacobs created Read City USA to help encourage families to make reading a priority and to support the schools in elevating the third grade reading rate.

Headlining the day are:
• Erin Entrada Kelly, a 2018 Newbery Medalist and author of “Hello Universe” and “We Dream of Space”
• Kwame Mbalia, New York Times bestselling author of the “Tristan Strong” series and “Black Boy Joy”
• Tad Hills, author/illustrator known for his “Duck and Goose” series and “How Rocket Learned to Read” for which he won the Irma Simonton Black and James H Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature.
• Jeffrey Brown, New York Times bestselling cartoonist and author of the popular middle-grade “Jedi Academy” series. His humorous parodies include Star Wars adventures and Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series.
• Laurel Snyder is author of six novels for children including “Bigger than a Bread Box” and “Penny Dreadful”. Her picture books include “Charlie and Mouse”, “The Forever Garden”, “Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova”, “Nosh, Schlep, Schluff”, and “The Longest Night.”
• Daniel Wiseman, a Knoxville-based illustrator with 16 books under his belt.

Musicians, storytellers, and all-day activities:
• WDVX’s Kid Stuff Live hosted by Sean McCollough
• Faye Wooden, storyteller
• Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, musical storytellers
• Miss Lynn, musician and storyteller
• Jodie Manross, musician
• Sarah Pirkle, musician
• Science demonstrations by Dr. Al Hazari
• Meet Storybook Characters
• Parade of Books led by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs
• Miss Libby’s Arts & Crafts Tent
• Toddler Town – a preschool play area
• Circus in a Suitcase by One World Circus
• Build a Sunsphere out of books
• The Molar Express by East Tennessee Pediatric Dentistry
• Dozens of community groups and organizations with fun activities

"The Children's Festival of Reading is a great way to kick off the summer," commented Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. "Our community is embracing reading, and that will make a huge difference in our children's lives. We started the Read City initiative to help all children, regardless of their socio-economic background, learn to read. This Festival is a great way to celebrate our achievements and to keep the momentum going."

The event is free to the public. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

World’s Fair 40th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration

  • May 21, 2022

Category: Culinary arts, food, Exhibitions, visual art, Festivals, special events, Free event, History, heritage, Kids, family and Music

Visit Knoxville is pleased to announce a World’s Fair 40th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration to take place on May 21, 2022, from 10am – 9pm at World’s Fair Park. This event is free to the public and follows the reopening of the Sunsphere’s 4th Floor Observation Deck to the public on February 22, 2022. Activities are still being added, but to-date includes the following:

• Cultural exhibits on the World’s Fair Performance Lawn and performances at the World’s Fair Amphitheater presented by TVA
• Technology and Maker demonstrations and vendors
• A memorabilia collectors meet up/swap meet
• A Ferris wheel & energy exhibits
• Food trucks and beer
• 40th Anniversary merchandise
• The evening will close with a brief fireworks display programmed to ‘80s music

For exact times for these activities and more events to be added throughout October 2022, please visit A closing event in October will be announced later in the year.

The May 21st event and others taking place through October 2022 are being coordinated by Visit Knoxville, the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and several community partners that make up the 40th Anniversary Committee. The Sunsphere’s 4th Floor Observation deck will also be open, tickets can be purchased at

Simultaneously, the 16th Annual Children's Festival of Reading will celebrate 1982 and the 40th anniversary of the World's Fair in Knoxville with authors, illustrators, storytellers, arts & crafts, toddler town, and more at the Festival Lawn in World’s Fair Park from 10am – 5pm. To learn more about this event, please visit

Knoxville Arts & Fine Crafts Center: Succulent Planters with Image Transfer

  • May 21, 2022

Category: Classes, workshops and Fine Crafts

Whimsical lil' planter!
1-Day Workshop
Saturday, May 21
Instructor: Amanda Humphreys
Registration Deadline: May 18th

Want to make an adorable little home for your favorite succulents? Well, this is the workshop for you! Join Amanda as she teaches the simple techniques it takes to make a unique planter that is deserving of your plants! Not only do you get to make a planter, but you will be able to decorate it with a surface design method called underglaze image transfers. Planters will be clear-glazed, fired and ready to pick-up at a later date. Beginners welcome! All materials provided.

Barrelhouse by Gypsy Circus: Second Annual Spring Fling

  • May 21, 2022

Category: Culinary arts, food, Festivals, special events, Fine Crafts, Free event and Music

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2022 AT 11:30 AM

It's Spring Fling time, y'all!
Local vendors to shop, live music, raffle for gift cards and more, food and drink specials, the Barrelhouse Spring Fling has it all!

621 Lamar Street Knoxville, TN 37917

Town of Farragut: Movies at McGill

  • May 21, 2022

Category: Festivals, special events, Film, Free event and Kids, family

7:00PM - 10:30PM

Ralph McGill Plaza, 101 N Campbell Station Road, Farragut, TN 37934

This family-friendly evening will include games and a movie on a giant outdoor screen. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and the entire family. Concessions will be available for purchase on-site. This event benefits the local non-profit, Send Senior Citizens Love. Learn more at

Knoxville History Project: You’ve Got to Be There?

Category: Festivals, special events, Free event, History, heritage and Lecture, discussion, panel

Saturday May 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at World’s Fair Park

Likely the biggest and noisiest World’s Fair event of this 40th anniversary year will be on Saturday, May 21, a fair after the fair planned by Visit Knoxville. We’ve got to be there, too, and Knoxville History Project will have a booth with some free material, including a new game pack for kids assembled by our own Nicole Stahl. Jack Neely will be there, and pulling from his recent research and his memories as a World’s Fair crowd-control thug, will give talks and lead a tour or two. Learn more about the festival and related exhibitions at

Knoxville History Project: 865-300-4559,

NAMIWalks Your Way Tennessee

  • May 21, 2022

Category: Festivals, special events, Free event, Health, wellness and Kids, family

Saturday May 21st, 2022, 10:00am-2:00pm
Lakeshore Park Knoxville

On your feet, participants! Join us as we step into NAMIWalks Your Way 2022, which promises to be our most meaningful event ever. It’s a new day for mental health and we will embrace it together on Saturday, May 21.

You won’t want to miss it — a vibrant gathering where inspiration can shine on all of us.

This year, we are hosting three regional Walks simultaneously in Knoxville, Franklin, and Jackson. All Walks will be followed with a family picnic event where all are welcome-those who want to learn about NAMI in their community, those who have been involved with NAMI in the past, those who want to come out and celebrate the fight for mental health awareness, and more. We need your support and hope to see you there! Even if you aren't participating in the Walk or fundraising, come on out!

We’ll cheer each other on while raising our voices to be heard, united in our commitment to raise awareness of our cause, funds to drive NAMI’s free, top-rated programs, and build community in every sense of the word.

NAMIWalks Your Way will be here before you know it, so register today! Let's open up doors for everyone from every walk of life to have access to the mental health resources and community they deserve.

Contact Information: Victoria Rutledge,, 615-361-6608

Knoxville Botanical Garden: Guided Nature Walk – Moss

  • May 21, 2022

Category: Health, wellness and Science, nature

May 21, 10-11:30 AM

Join Eric Shershen for an interactive walk around the Garden centered around mosses. Oftentimes we walk right past mosses without so much a second glance, but in this guided walk you will learn just where and what to look out for! You will become familiar with the various species of mosses found throughout the Gardens and learn the key characteristics to identify them. On our walk, we will also talk about the adaptations these plants have to survive an ever-changing world. As a sort of follow up to our Mysterious Mosses lecture, this walk will be led by Eric Shershen, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Jessica Budke’s lab from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Cost: $5 Members, $10 Non-members, $5 Neighbors

Ijams Nature Center: Morning and Evening Paddles

Category: Health, wellness and Science, nature

(Ages 16+) If you're looking for a water adventure, join Ijams for a beautiful morning or evening kayak trip on the Tennessee River and learn about animals, history and scenery! These are small-group programs, so don't wait to save your spot.

Register for May 21, 9-11 a.m.
Register for June 4, 9-11 a.m.
Register for June 17, 6-8 p.m.
Register for Jun 18, 9-11 a.m.
Register for June 24, 6-8 p.m.
Register for June 25, 9-11 a.m.

Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920. Visitor Center open daily 10-6; grounds and trails open daily from 8 AM - dusk. Information: 865-577-4717,

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