We may be biased, but we think that Knoxville is one of the best places to be in the spring. As it starts to get warmer, the city comes alive with events, festivals, and activities that offer fun for the whole family. From arts and music festivals to food festivals and nature activities, Knoxville has something for everyone in spring. Whether you’re a local or you’re here for vacation, here are the can’t-miss spring events and activities in Knoxville.

Dogwood Arts Festival

glass art

This long-standing cultural event has been a Knoxville tradition since 1961. Located on the World’s Fair Park Performance Lawn between downtown Knoxville and the UTK campus, the three-day festival features art vendors who specialize in sculpture, jewelry, painting, photography, pottery, and more. Meander the many vendor booths — in 2021, there were more than 70 — to find a souvenir or stop by one of the festival’s two stages to enjoy some live music from local artists.

Where: Performance Lawn at World’s Fair Park

When: April 22–24, 2022


Southern Skies Music Festival

southern skies music festival poster

2022 marks the first year of this spring music event. Headlined and curated by hometown band The Dirty Guv’nahs, Southern Skies features an eclectic mix of genre-defying bands and singer-songwriters. From pop, indie, and folk to rock-and-roll, soul, and blues, you’ll be treated to a little bit of everything at this one-day festival. 

In addition to eight musical acts, Southern Skies will feature food trucks, a Maker’s Market, and craft drinks. Tickets start at $40, with VIP upgrades available. Be a part of Knoxville music history at the inaugural festival that’s sure to become a local favorite. 

Where: World’s Fair Park

When: May 14, 2022, from 2pm–10pm


Big Ears Festival

big ears performance

Back for the first time since 2019, this iconic and world-renowned festival transforms downtown Knoxville for four days in March. Featuring seasoned and up-and-coming performers across musical genres, Big Ears Festival is perhaps the best way to experience Knoxville’s eclectic artistic scene while exploring the historic downtown. 

With more than 100 musicians, poets, and filmmakers, Big Ears features close to 200 performances at 15 unique locations across downtown Knoxville, including theaters, churches, museums, and galleries. All of the official Big Ears venues are within walking distance of each other, though the festival offers a dedicated trolley service for getting around.

Whether you purchase a weekend or day pass, your Big Ears ticket gives you entry to all venues and performances. While you’re strolling between locations, consider popping into K Brew’s downtown coffee shop location to grab your favorite latte or other espresso drink for festival fuel. 

While passes are sold out online, Big Ears offers last-minute exchanges and purchases via their official resale platform. If you’re not able to secure tickets, don’t worry — you’ll find pop-up events including panels, readings, and performances in cafes, hotels, and restaurants throughout the city that weekend, so you’ll be able to experience the Big Ears atmosphere no matter where you are in Knoxville.

Where: Throughout downtown Knoxville

When: March 24–27, 2022


Chalk Walk 

chalk art of woman with flowers

More than 300 artists take over the sidewalks of Knoxville’s Market Square to showcase their work at the annual spring Chalk Walk. A family-favorite event, Chalk Walk attracts thousands of people each year to admire the artists in action. With cash prizes and ribbons in the twelve competition categories, you or your kids can apply to participate. For more casual chalk artists, the event features a Kid’s Fun Zone with free chalk and open space for you to leave your mark. 

Where: Market Square in downtown Knoxville

When: April 2, 2022


Rossini Festival

rossini festival

Put on every year by the Knoxville Opera Company, this free outdoor fair brings music to the streets with performances in opera, classical, jazz, ballet, and more on five stages downtown. In addition to music, the Rossini Festival features more than 75 craft and food vendors. 

Where: The Gay St., Market St., & Market Square area of downtown

When: April 30, 2022


Old City Market

old city market

Held on the second Sunday of every month on West Jackson Avenue in the Old City area of Knoxville, the Old City Market returns beginning in April. Browse a variety of local vendors offering everything from jewelry, ceramics, and candles to baked goods and fresh produce. 

Where: West Jackson Avenue in Old City Knoxville

When: 2nd Sunday of every month, April–December 


First Friday ArtWalks

art display in knoxville

Spend an evening exploring art in downtown Knoxville on the first Friday of every month at the ArtWalk events and exhibits. The event features galleries, demonstrations, live music, art classes, and more at venues throughout downtown. Events change monthly; check the calendar for an up-to-date list of exhibits and experiences. 

Where: Throughout downtown Knoxville

When: Year-round on the first Friday of every month


Market Square Farmers’ Market

market square farmer's market

Held on Wednesdays from May to November and Saturdays beginning in July, the Market Square Farmers’ Market is host to East Tennessee vendors selling baked goods, coffee, fresh produce, eggs, meat, honey, and more. The market also features food trucks vendors and a variety of events throughout the season, so it’s a great place for the whole family to spend a morning. 

Where: Market Square in downtown Knoxville

When: Wednesdays from 10am – 1pm May – November; Saturdays from 9am – 1pm July – November


Outdoor Fun

ijam's nature center hiking trail

As the weather warms up, spring is the perfect time to explore all the outdoor activities that the Knoxville area has to offer. Whether you’re into biking, hiking, or watersports, you’re sure to find a way to enjoy nature nearby. Visit the Ijams Nature Center to explore 10 miles of hiking trails or rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard to explore Mead’s Quarry Lake. Explore the many parks and natural areas on foot or by bike. For a natural thrill in the treetops, try ziplining on one of the six courses at the Navitat Canopy Adventure park. Whatever your interests, the Knoxville area offers a way for you to explore the outdoors. 


Whether you’re a music and arts festival enthusiast or a relaxing day in nature is more your speed, you’re sure to find an event or activity to your taste to do in Knoxville this spring. Don’t forget to swing by one of K Brew’s four locations to grab a coffee to fuel your spring Knoxville adventures!