This weekend, thousands of marathon runners, music lovers, families, motorcyclists and others will be enjoying downtown Knoxville.

Signature events like Sunday’s 10th annual Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon and the three-day Big Ears Music Festival showcase the best of Knoxville to visitors, say City officials, who also advise Knoxville motorists of a large number of weekend lane closures due to the special events.

Marathon road-racing events start at 7:25 a.m. Sunday, March 30. The largest competitive road race in East Tennessee will boast a record participation – more than 7,000 runners.

Music lovers will delight in the Big Ears Music Festival, which starts Friday, March 28, and runs through Sunday, March 30. The festival attracts music fans and diverse acts from all over the world. This year, the festival will spotlight musical acts in five venues: Scruffy City Hall and The Square Room on Market Square, the Knoxville Museum of Art on World’s Fair Park Drive, and the Bijou and Tennessee theaters on Gay Street.

More than 6,000 music aficionados are anticipated to take in the downtown performances.

 “We have strong roots in several musical genres here, and this festival will allow us to showcase our area to others who share our love of exciting and diverse musical talents,” said Rick Emmett, Downtown Coordinator for the City of Knoxville.

 In addition to the Marathon and the Big Ears Music Festival, Project Second Life will sponsor a fundraising event in Market Square from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 29. The event features a bike show, a kids’ center, a dog contest and a motorcycle ride, which is a fundraiser to provide a disabled veteran with a service dog through Smoky Mountain Service Dogs.

As part of the Project Second Life event, Wall Avenue between Gay and Walnut streets will be closed from noon to 4 p.m. The Market Square Garage will remain open despite the road closure. Vehicles will be able to exit the garage onto Wall Avenue, but from noon-4 p.m., motorists should enter the garage from Walnut Street,

The Marathon, meanwhile, will prompt a large number of road closures during the Sunday race,

A road closure and temporary No Parking zones will be in effect on Saturday, March 29, and Sunday, March 30, for the Knoxville Marathon and Covenant Health Kids Run in these areas:

  •   Clinch Avenue between Henley and 11th streets will be closed from 2 p.m. Saturday, March 29, to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 30.
  •   Temporary no parking will be in effect in the northbound lane of Gay Street between Hill and Wall Avenue from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30, and on Clinch Avenue between Henley Street and 16th Street from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30.

 Meanwhile, here are other Marathon-related road closures:

  •   World’s Fair Park Drive  ­– closed from start of race until the half marathon passes from 11th Street, then closure is moved to south of the parking lot beside the Museum     of  Art
  •   Clinch Avenue Viaduct – from Henley Street to 11th Street, closed for the duration of the Marathon
  •   Clinch Avenue – closed at the start of the Marathon, 5K and Kids Run from 11th Street to 16th Street
  •   16th Street – closed at the start of the Marathon, 5K and Kids Run from Clinch to Cumberland Avenue
  •   Volunteer Boulevard – eastbound lanes closed for the Marathon and 5K to UT Drive on the west end
  •   Lake Loudon Boulevard – southbound lanes closed from Volunteer Boulevard to Neyland Drive for the Marathon
  •   Neyland Drive – eastbound lanes closed for the Marathon from Lake Loudon to Kingston Pike
  •   Kingston Pike – eastbound lanes closed; traffic will be made two-way in the westbound lanes
  •   Cherokee Boulevard – southbound lane closed
  •   Blows Ferry – right lane (or westbound) lane closed
  •   Alta Vista Way – right lane (or northbound) lane closed
  •   Noelton – right lane of Noelton toward Kingston Pike closed, from Alta Vista Way to Kingston Pike
  •   Kingston Pike – right lane closed on westbound Kingston Pike from Noelton to Forest Park
  •   Forest Park – right lane northbound closed from Kingston Pike to Newcom Avenue
  •   Newcom Avenue  – closed from Forest Park to Lebanon 
  •   Lebanon Street – closed, Sutherland Avenue to Newcom
  •   Tyson Park  – road closed at Kingston Pike entrance
  •   Cumberland Avenue – right westbound curb lane closed from 21st Street to Tyson Park
  •   21st Street – closed from Forest Avenue to Cumberland Avenue
  •   Forest Avenue – closed from 17th Street to 21st Street; from 17th Street east to 13th Street 
  •   Highland Avenue – eastbound lane closed from 11th to 13th streets
  •   World’s Fair Park Drive – closed
  •   Broadway – right lane closed from World’s Fair Park to Central Street
  •   Central Street – southbound right lane closed from Broadway to Third Avenue; northbound right lane closed from Magnolia to Fourth avenues
  •   Winona Street ­– northbound lane closed from Magnolia to Woodbine
  •   Woodbine Avenue – closed on both ends from Winona to Bertrand (local traffic only)
  •   Patton Street – closed signs, both ends between Jackson and Willow
  •   Jackson Avenue – eastbound lane from Patton to Central, cones approximately 6 to 8 feet off the curb to give runners a lane
  •   Central Street – southbound lane closed from Jackson Avenue to Cumberland at South Central
  •   State Street – East curb closed in the right northbound lane (runners have a lane behind the cones)
  •   Hill Avenue – closed, eastbound to James White Parkway southbound entrance ramp, starting at Gay Street
  •   Sevier Avenue – right lane closed from James White Parkway to Island Home Avenue, with cones continued approximately 8 feet from the curb on Sevier Avenue
  •   Island Home Avenue – closed from Sevier to Maplewood; westbound traffic to use Hillwood Drive
  •   Sevier Avenue – cones 6 to 8 feet from the westbound curb
  •   Gay Street Bridge –  runners to use east sidewalk across bridge
  •   Gay Street – from Hill Avenue to Wall Avenue, northbound right lane closed
  •   Market Street – closed from Union to Church avenues
  •   Church Avenue – closed westbound right lane from Market to Locust
  •   Estabrook Road – closed from Cumberland to Gate 25
  •   Cumberland Avenue – eastbound south curb closed from Phillip Fulmer Way to Estabrook


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