Knoxville, Tennessee – The City of Knoxville will celebrate its 225th anniversary on October 3, 2016. Starting in January, Visit Knoxville will collaborate with numerous art, historical, and cultural organizations to highlight Knoxville’s unique past.

“All cities and towns began somewhere, but Knoxville’s birth was more deliberate, and more significant, than most,” according to Jack Neely, executive director of the Knoxville History Project. “Though probably not much to look at, Knoxville at its birth in 1791 was the capital of the Southwest Territory, and therefore one of only 17 capital cities in the new United States. It soon hosted one of the first American newspapers, and one of the first American colleges, west of the Appalachians. And just four years after its birth, Knoxville hosted the effort to found a state called Tennessee. Although it has been almost 200 years since Knoxville has served its original purpose, as a capital of government, Knoxville has grown in different and unexpected ways, politically, industrially, culturally, educationally, to become an emblematic American city, and central to the story of a nation that was new when Knoxville was founded.”

Knoxville’s history is preserved and marvelously told by its historic homes and museums. Upcoming events like Knoxville Stomp will join a long list of signature events that are unique to Knoxville. Annual festivals including Dogwood Arts, Big Ears, Rossini, and the East Tennessee History Fair exhibit the many ways in which Knoxville is culturally diverse and historically significant. Next year will allow many organizations to tell their own story through the lens of the 225th Anniversary.

“Our city has a rich and vibrant history, from pioneer days through the industrial revolution and into the digital age,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “We will be spotlighting many strands of Knoxville’s story throughout the 225th anniversary year. I hope everyone will join in this civic celebration!”

The 2016 Knoxville Visitors and Relocation Guide will have a heavy focus on the 225th Anniversary, offering current residents, newcomers, and out-of-town guests the opportunity to explore and actively engage in our history and culture.

On behalf of the City of Knoxville, Visit Knoxville is coordinating all events and information regarding the 225th Anniversary. For more information, go to or call (800) 727-8045.


Calvin Chappelle
Heritage Tourism Coordinator