Rossini Festival takes over Downtown Knoxville this weekend

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Knoxville Opera's 17th annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair has been scheduled for Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. in Downtown Knoxville. The arts celebration is the largest event of the Knoxville Opera's season, and it's the only event that closes Gay Street, along with several intersecting streets and nearby parking lots.

The festival has been planned to feature live entertainment on five outdoor stages, including music in the genres of opera, jazz, ethnic music and gospel, and including dance in the realms of modern and ethnic dance and ballet, as well as instrument and vocal ensembles.

Festival-goers can also shop at exhibits of more than 150 artisans and enjoy food from dozens of vendors.

“There is something for everyone at Rossini,”
said Knoxville Opera Executive Director and Conductor Brian Salesky.
“From live performances to shopping to demonstrations to a children’s fun zone to a beer garden, Rossini is East Tennessee’s unique cultural festival and celebration. It is so massive that more than 200 volunteers are needed to help produce this fantastic event. In fact, over the past sixteen years, well over 500,000 people have come out to experience the Opera’s inspiring celebration of the arts.”

The five stages located throughout Downtown Knoxville for the festival are as follows:

  • Choral Music Stage (located on Gay Street near Wall Avenue)
  • Dance Stage (located in Market Square)
  • South Instrumental Music Stage (located in the Bijou Theatre parking lot)
  • West Instrumental Music Stage (located on Clinch Avenue near Market Street)
  • Opera Stage (located at the Krutch Park Extension)

The YMCA FunZone will be set up in Market Square and will include a dance stage and activities to promote "Healthy Kids Day." This year's area includes a garden area where kids can plant seeds to take home, and a Beyblade stadium for tournaments. Bounce houses, bungee trampoline jump units, toddler carousels, bubbles, side walk chalk and other activities will also be set up.

At this year's festival, the Casual Pint will once again sponsor Brewtopia!, which will serve more than a dozen regional favorite beers, many of which are on tap, at the Bijou Theatre parking lot. The area will also feature Artisans Row, where demonstration artists can show of their crafts, along with the Instrumental Music Stage.

The Ruby Knox band has been scheduled to close the festival at the Opera Stage across from Regal Cinemas in Krutch Park from 8 until 10 p.m.

For more information, including an entertainment schedule and map, visit the Rossini Festival website.