THE LEGEND – The Indians believed that the land was sacred…
Formed by a great eagle sent from heaven to dry the soft earth by beating its giant wings. As it flew over the land of the Cherokees, the great eagle dipped so low that the massive wings struck the earth creating steep ridges and deep valleys that are now known as ” The Appalachians.”
THE HISTORY – Late in the 18th century, hardy frontiersmen crossed the Appalachians into the valley of ” The Tennessee.” At the junction of the Holston and French Broad rivers, General James White established James White’s Fort; later renamed for George Washington’s Secretary of War, Henry Knox. In 1792, the first frame house west of the Appalachians, Blount Mansion, was built to accommodate the governor of the vast territory south of the river Ohio. Both White’s Fort and Blount Mansion remain amid the central business district; allowing us to share a bit of the past.
In 1796, when the territory of the United States south of the River Ohio became the State of Tennessee; Knoxville became the first capital of Tennessee…and remained so until 1812. Knoxville’s John Sevier was the first governor of Tennessee, serving six terms in all. Elected in 1816, Tom Emmerson served as the first mayor of Knoxville. The first official census, taken in 1850, showed a population of 2,076.
The war between the states found Knoxville sympathies of the inhabitants divided. Being a strategic point for both the Union and Confederated forces, a major battle took place on November 29, 1863 at Fort Sanders. The battle was an important victory for the federal forces.
A landmark event that was to have a profound effect on the area took place in the 1930’s.
A newly formed federal agency, the Tennessee Valley Authority, began its massively scaled plans to transform the entire valley with flood control and power generating dams on the Tennessee River. Knoxville was never to be the same again with the influx of new people, new ideas and the economic opportunities opened by the availability of low cost electric power.
Another event of great significance for the area came with World War II. Just 20 miles west of Knoxville, the village of Oak Ridge was chosen as the site of modern history’s most closely guarded secret…”The Manhattan Project “…Knoxville again became the metropolitan seat of power generation. This time…nuclear power.
For the people of the Knoxville area, the pattern of the future was growing clear. A location that once meant partial isolation came to be of singular strategic value with the coming of air transport and the advent of great highways. Diversified new industries took root and prospered, while those already existing expanded. As growth and progress became synonymous with prosperity, the atmosphere within leadership circles became charged with an optimism that still prevails.
In the continuing saga of growth and expansion, aggressive business leaders and government officials started in 1976 to plan the 1982 World’s Fair. Twenty-two countries and more than 90 corporations participated in the exposition, which attracted more than 11 million visitors.
Knoxville, the most centrally located city in the Eastern United States, was poised for unlimited growth and development as we entered the 21st century.
The area retains the charm of a small southern town with the amenities of a big city making Knoxville unique and endearing in the hearts of its’ citizens, who proudly call this wonderful city “our home”.
The pride and accomplishments of Knoxville give birth to unlimited growth and development; supported by the diverse base of education, business and industry.
Places Rated Almanac – Millennium Edition rates Knoxville as ” The Number One Best Place to Live” for cities under one million population.
AUTO TAGS – Newcomers must obtain Tennessee license plates for their motor vehicles within 30 days after establishing residency. To purchase a license plate, a Tennessee title must be obtained. Both may be purchased at the County Clerk’s office. It is advisable to call ahead to secure the proper information on what papers to bring. For additional information – call  966-5205.
BANKING – Several major banks and savings and loan associations offer full financial services from many convenient branches.
There are seven full-service brokerage houses offering financial services.
BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU – For information on Knoxville businesses, contact the Better Business Bureau at  692-1600.
KNOXVILLE AREA CHAMBER PARTNERSHIP – The Chamber partnership is largest volunteer organization in East Tennessee. It conducts research, gathers statistics, and provides updated community data to interested parties. Call [ 865 ] 637-4550.
CLIMATE – Knoxville is one of the hardest sections of the country in which to predict the weather. There is a reason — the mountains!! They shelter the Tennessee valley, providing an annual average temperature of 56 degrees. Knoxville experiences all four seasons with vivid colors in the Spring and Fall. Extended periods of extreme heat or cold are rare.
Knoxville and vicinity, at approximately 936 feet elevation, lies between the Cumberland plateau ( 3,000 feet high) and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park (6,642 feet at the highest point). This terrain helps the climate be diverse and interesting. Knoxville’s latitude of 36.0 enables the area to enjoy the four seasons. Winter in the Valley is primarily from January to Mid February with occasional snowfall of 1 to 3 inches. Springs arrives in March and is usually rainy and chilly. Afternoons warm into the 60’s and 70’s with blooming flowers during April. Summers are fairly typical with highs in the upper 80’s and low 90’s. Scattered afternoon thunderstorms are normal during June, July and August. September bring beginning of Fall and, of course, football season.
The average annual rainfall is 47.29 inches and 12 inches of snow. The average length of the growing season is 214 days. The annual average first killing frost in Autumn is November 2, and the last killing frost in the Spring is April 2.
CURRENT WEATHER FORECAST AND CONDITIONS
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS – Civic and professional clubs are a vital part of Knoxville’s growth and development. The Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership maintains a current list of these organizations. Call [ 865 ] 637-4550.
CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU – Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation promoting visitor activity, soliciting and servicing conventions. Visitors can obtain maps, brochures or specific information by calling [ 800 ] 727-8045.
COST OF LIVING – Knoxville is below the national average for cost of living.
National Average [100.0] – Atlanta, GA [95.6] – Knoxville [ 89.4]
DAY CARE – Important elements of Knoxville’s services to the young include numerous operating day-care centers and group day-care homes. These are licensed through the local Department of Human Services, which provides information helping parents find the right program for their children. Knox county centers charge a wide range of fees – an average price for preschool care is $120 to $140 per week and infant care averages $125 to $175 per week (with a credit for more than one child from a family).
Department of Human Services office is located: 2700 Middlebrook Pike, Suite 100, Knoxville, TN. – Main office – [ 865 ] 594-6151
DRIVERS LICENSES – Newcomers have 30 days after establishing permanent residency to change their out-of-state driver’s license to a valid Tennessee license. All applicants must have 2 proofs of Tennessee residence, proof of citizenship or legal presence, and Social Security number. If you have a valid license from another state, only a vision test is required. The cost ranges from $12.50 to $26.50. For additional information – call  215-2695.
GARBAGE PICK-UP – The city supplies residential garbage collection inside the city. There is no government collection of garbage outside the city. The county government maintains five large refuse collection points in various areas of the county.
GOVERNMENT-CITY – Knoxville is run by a mayor and a nine member council all elected to four-year terms. The council meets the first and third Tuesday of the month. The current mayor is Madeline Rogero, City-County Building, Knoxville. Information number is [ 865 ] 215-2005.
GOVERNMENT-COUNTY – Knox County is headed by a County Executive, a eleven-member County Commission as the legislative body, and three directors who operate under the County Executive. The Commission meets on the third Monday of each month. The current County Mayor is Tim Burchett, City-County Building, Knoxville. Information number is [ 865 ] 215-2005.
GOVERNMENT-FEDERAL – Knoxville is the regional headquarters for more than twenty-five federal agencies. Check the blue pages of the telephone book under the heading of U.S. Government.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R)
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 (R) [ 202 ] 224-4944 Office
[ 202 ] 228-3398 Fax
Senator Bob Corker ( R )
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 [ 202 ] 224-3344 Office
[ 202 ] 228-1264 Fax
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. ( R )
800 Market Street, Suite 110
Knoxville, TN 37902 [ 202 ] 225-5435 Office
[ 202 ] 225-6440 Fax
Rep. Chuck Fleishmann ( R )
900 Georgia Avenue,
Chattanooga, TN 37402 [ 202 ] 225-3271 Office
[ 202 ] 225-3494 Fax
GOVERNMENT-STATE – The State of Tennessee maintains numerous offices within the Knoxville area. Information may be obtained by consulting the blue pages of the telephone book.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK – Evidence exists that as long as 15,000 years ago, Indians might have inhabited the Great Smoky Mountains. The highly civilized Cherokee Indians were hunting, farming and living in the foothills when the first Europeans arrived in the late 1500’s. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the first of it’s kind, was authorized in 1934 and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. The park has since grown to it’s current size; 510,030 acres of beautiful ridges, hollows, river gorges, and coves. Some of the richest and most diversified plant life in the United States, as well as the largest stand of virgin timber east of the Mississippi, are incorporated within it’s scenic beauty. This most visited national park hosts more than 8.45 million visitors annually and is only 45 minutes from Knoxville.
CADES COVE – The quiet beauty of this famous cove provides the best wildlife viewing within the park area. The visitor today can view the landmarks of this early settlement from the 11-mile loop road that circles the western boundaries of the cove. The first settlers arrived in 1819 and by 1850, 132 families inhabited the cove. Today, evidence of these early settlers can be seen in the log structures, churches and church cemeteries that they left behind. Movie watchers will remember cove scenes from “Walk in the Spring Rain” , “Christy” and “The Dollmaker”.
LEGAL SERVICE – The Knoxville Bar Association sponsors a legal referral service. Contact [ 865 ] 522-6522.
LIBRARY SYSTEM – Knoxville’s beautiful Lawson-McGhee Library, and its seventeen branches, loan books, magazines, films, record, and audio-visual equipment to card holders. The library card is free to Knox county residents or property owners. This card provides for a three week loan period with renewal privileges for most material.
The main library of Knoxville and Knox County is housed in its new $2 million building on Clinch avenue. The Lawson-McGhee library has a collection of over 10,000 rare and out-of-print books on microfiche. Also available for public use is an excellent up-to-date investment and corporate collection, as well as over 500 current magazines. A new addition to the library is a fine arts section specializing in audio-visual materials.
Of special interest is the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection of documents, manuscripts and photos of people and landmarks from the days of the old southwest territory when Knoxville was its capital. This collection of over 4,000 volumes is recognized as one of the finest in the nation.
The library also has a children’s services department providing reading and story-telling services to children. Lawson-McGhee Library is located downtown at 500 West Clinch Avenue – Phone 215-8750
LOCATION AND CHARACTERISTICS – Knoxville lies in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cumberland Mountains. The mountains provide Knoxvillians with beautiful national and state parks that have an abundance of recreational activities to choose from.
Knoxville is centrally located in the eastern United States. Knoxville is the hub for three major interstates, I-40 from North Carolina to California, I-75 from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and I-81 from Canada to Knoxville. More than 60 million Americans are within a day’s drive of Knoxville.
Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport is served by both major and regional air carriers; American, United, Delta, Frontier, Continental, USAir, and Allegiant. Cherokee Aviation and Knox Air are the fixed base operators offering private and charter services. Additional air service information is available from the Airport Authority, phone [ 865 ] 342-3000.
Adjacent to the Knoxville Airport is the McGhee Tyson Airbase with the 134th Air Refueling Group and elements of the Tennessee Air National Guard. The airbase offers two runways of more than 9,000 feet and additional support facilities. Downtown Knoxville is served by the downtown Island Airport, adjacent to the business district. Stevens Aviation Services private aircraft using its facilities and the 3500 foot runway.
The French Broad and the Holston Rivers converge in Knoxville to form the headwaters of the Tennessee River which begins the 650 mile River Navigational Channel.
MAIL SERVICES – The Knoxville area is served by the regional Postal Distribution Center on Middlebrook Pike, and more than 12 branches. General information concerning ZIP codes, claims, rates, passports, and permits should be obtained by calling [ 865 ] 558-4644.
NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS – Neighborhood and community associations and their interaction are an important influence on both inner-city and suburban growth. To find out about these organizations, contact the Community Development Office at [ 865 ] 403-1100.
NEWSPAPERS – The morning Knoxville News-Sentinel, of the Scripps-Howard chain, provide complete news coverage. Circulation department number is 865-521-8181.
PETS – Care and treatment of our pets is important to each family. Within the city, there is a leash law, where an animal not on their property may be picked up. Owners should be sure that pets have their shots and wear an identification tag. Complete care facilities are available by contacting:
UT Veterinary Hospital [ 865 ] 974-8387
Humane Society Animal Shelter [ 865 ] 573-9675
Pet Emergency Clinic [ 865 ] 637-0114
POPULATION – Knoxville has been designated as a rapid growth area within the new south. The U.S. Census Bureau data offers a more complete source of information. The diverse industrial and service base assures a bright future.
Knox County 250,500  392,995  436,929 
Knoxville MSA 368,000  712,366  800,335 
TAXES – There is no state income tax on wages and salaries in Tennessee. However, the Hall Income Tax defines certain dividends and interests which are taxed. The sales tax [deductible in Tennessee] is 9.25% (8.25% on food). Other specific taxes in the area include those on gasoline, cigarettes, liquor, auto licenses and amusement.
Property taxes are paid by all property owners. Residential real estate is assessed at 25% of value, while commercial and industrial is a rate of 40%. City residents pay both city and county taxes. The Knox County Commission has set the property tax rate of $2.32 per $100.00 of assessed value. The City of Knoxville property tax is set at $2.46. For information, contact the finance department at [ 865 ] 215-2084.
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY – T.V.A. electric rates are among the lowest in the country for both residential and industrial customers. T.V.A. provides power for most of Tennessee and portions of six other states. The agency operates 3 nuclear plants (one additional plants are in the licensing stage), 11 fossil plants, 29 hydro-electric facilities, 6 combustion-turbine facilities, 1 pumped storage plant, 16 solar sites, 1 wind-energy site, and 1 methane gas facility. TVA Library [ 865 ] 632-3464
T.V.A., In addition to power generation, is involved in economic and community development, conservation and controlled use of natural resources, navigational and flood control, improvement of agricultural techniques and national research and development of fertilizers.
T.V.A., which is the largest federal agency in Knoxville, has about 12,600 employees throughout the valley and 1,400 in Knoxville. T.V.A. maintains other major offices in Nashville, Chattanooga and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
UTILITIES – Properties within the city limits are serviced by Knoxville Utility Board. Property owners in the county will obtain service from the utility district serving in their area.
VOTER REGISTRATION – New residents may register with the Knox County Election Commission. For eligibility, you must be a U.S. Citizen, have reached the age of 18 by the next election, and be a resident of Tennessee for at least 20 days. For more information contact: [ 865 ] 215-2480.
PUBLIC EDUCATION – A progressive, innovative school system responds to the public educational needs of over 56,000 students in Knoxville and Knox county. The Knoxville area gives top priority to the education of it’s young citizens and focuses on their development into responsible, contributing adults.
The organization of the public school system reflects commitment to students (kindergarten through twelfth grade):Kindergarten through fifth grade: Elementary Program – Sixth grade through eighth grade: Middle School Program – Ninth grade through twelfth grade: High School Program
The scope and depth of the educational programs offered by the Knox County School System reveals the basic belief in individualized learning. Advanced academic programs for the gifted, as well as special programs suited to the academically disadvantaged and physically handicapped are offered. The system is devoted to the comprehensive high school concept, including advanced placement programs providing college placement credits and a full range of vocational and technical courses for the vocationally talented. Outstanding high school students, in math and science, may participate in the Governor’s School at the University of Tennessee. All high schools in the system are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Public adult education courses for those desiring study toward acquisition of a high school diploma are provided in day and evening classes, as well as summer programs. Opportunity for adult technical training also exits.
Commitment to the state of Tennessee’s excellence in education program initiated by Governor Lamar Alexander is a vital element in Knoxville’s renewed spirit in education. Emphasis on recruitment and training of dedicated educators is expanding the ranks of Knoxville’s capable and professional staff of teachers.
TENNESSEE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF – A state supported residential school (kindergarten through twelfth grade) serves students with severe hearing loss. The school was organized in 1844 and has been at its historic Island Home location since 1924.
SPECIAL EDUCATION – Bearden Adaptive Learning Center is available for EMR, SMR, and physically handicapped children (kindergarten through twelfth grade). Bus and van service with lifts and special equipment are also available.
PRIVATE EDUCATION – Complementing the public school system are several excellent, accredited private and parochial schools in Knoxville. Some of these include:
Knoxville Montessori School Grades Pre-5 [ 865 ] 525-6042
Montessori International Grades 3 – 6 [ 865 ] 675-0545
Laurel High School Grade 9 – 12 [ 865 ] 525-3885
Thackston School Grades Kind – 6 [ 865 ] 522-6053
Tate’s School of Discovery Grades Pre – 5 [ 865 ] 690-4255
Webb School Grades 5 – 12 [ 865 ] 693-0011
Knoxville’s denominational schools are operated by Catholic, Christian, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran and Seventh-Day Adventist religions. Some of these include:
Berean Christian School Grades Kind – 8 [ 865 ] 521-6054
St. Joseph School Grades 1 – 8 [ 865 ] 689-3424
Knoxville Catholic High Grades 9 – 12 [ 865 ] 560-0313
Episcopal School of Knoxville Grades Kind – 8 [ 865 ] 777-9032
First Lutheran School Grade Kind – 8 [ 865 ] 524-0308
Knoxville Christian School Grades Pre – 10 [ 865 ] 966-7060
Knoxville Baptist Christian Grades Kind – 12 [ 865 ] 524-3211
Temple Baptist Academy Grades Pre – 12 [ 865 ] 938-8180
Christian Academy of Knoxville Grades Pre- K – 12 [ 865 ] 690-4721
The University of Tennessee was the first co-educational institution of higher learning in the state and continues as the hub of higher education today. Chartered in 1794 as Blount College, a land grant institution, the college officially became the University of Tennessee in 1879.
The main campus at Knoxville heads a state-wide university system offering 415 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels. The Knoxville campus recently targeted its enrollment limitations at 27,000 students. The main campus, off Cumberland Avenue, is a 550 acre complex composed of some 220 buildings.
The Knoxville campus offers degree work in agriculture, business administration, communications, education, engineering, home economics, law and liberal arts. Recent campus additions include a new $16 million school of veterinary medicine, an $8 million Walters Life Science building, the $2 million school of nursing, and $8 million art and architecture building. The school of health, physical education and recreation, plus the division of continuing education, are also located on the Knoxville campus. Popular specialized programs include the center for extended learning, non-credit and off-campus programs, workshops and university evening school.
The University of Tennessee is a recognized leader in energy research and development. The University is a partner with the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in promoting joint energy research for the industrial and economic development of the area. The University of Tennessee is also developing a cancer research center.
The University has long been the center for the performing arts in Knoxville, as well as the focal point of its nationally recognized athletic programs.
Campus Information [ 865 ] 974-1000
Undergraduate Admissions [ 865 ] 974-2184
Graduate Admissions [ 865 ] 974-5033
Pellissippi State is a Tennessee Board of Regents college accredited by the Commission of the southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The college has a main campus located on 144 acres in the scenic foothills of West Knoxville. It offers a wide variety of career / technical and college transfer associate degree programs and a comprehensive liberal arts program.
Admissions Office [ 865 ] 694-6570
Colleges – Knox County A number of private and state-funded institutions offer programs ranging from four-year degree to shorter vocational programs.
Knoxville College – one of the south’s oldest and most respected predominately black institutions of higher learning. Founded in 1875, Knoxville college is a four-year undergraduate college.
Johnson University – Education in a christian environment. Founded in 1893, by Ashley S. Johnson, it is the second oldest continuing Bible College in the United States.
Tennessee Technical Center at Knoxville – established in 1966 to promote job training and placement. The campus consists of two buildings on the east side of Liberty Street and one building on the west side. All classrooms and lab facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that is up-dated regularly to meet the rapidly changing needs of business and industry.
South College – offers the Associate of Business degree in many business related fields. Originally known as Knoxville Business College, the college has been part of Knoxville’s business community since 1882.
Colleges – Other Within a 100-mile radius of Knoxville are some of the state’s oldest institutions – rich in heritage and tradition:
East Tennessee State University Johnson City
Tusculum College Greenville
Maryville College Maryville
Carson-Newman College Jefferson City
King College Bristol
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate
Tennessee Wesleyan College Athens
Tennessee Technological University Cookeville
Within the same area are four junior colleges offering a wide range of two-year programs:
Roane State Community College Rockwood
Walter State Community College Morristown
Cleveland State Community College Cleveland
Hiwassee College Madisonville
MEDICAL AND RELATED SERVICES
HOSPITALS – Knoxville has become an important center for health care, medical education and research. Knoxville’s eight major medical facilities are extending their services and expanding their facilities.
Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee and St. Mary’s health systems have merged as Tennova Healthcare. The Tennova Healthcare organization represents six acute care hospitals and several outpatient centers, as well as centers for cancer treatment, women’s health, fitness, surgery, rehabilitation, hospice and home care. The acute care hospitals include: Physicians Regional Medical Center, Turkey Creek Medical Center, North Knoxville Medical Center, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Lafollette Medical, and Newport Medical Center.
Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center (575 beds) includes not only the Presbyterian hospital facility, but the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center. The complex is also a pioneer in community fitness programs through its Center for Community Health, providing programs to business and industry which include health-risk appraisal and lifestyle analysis. The Thompson Cancer Survival Center is adjacent to the main facility; and an outpatient center is currently being built in West Knoxville.
Park West Medical Center is affiliated with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Its services include a psychiatric unit and the state’s first lithotripter, an electronic kidney stone crusher. The full service, general acute care facility is located in the middle of fast growing West Knoxville.
The University of Tennessee Memorial Research Center (602 beds) is nationally recognized for its research programs in heart disease, cancer, birth defects and mental retardation. A pediatric center, intensive-care newborn nursery, and organ transplant center are among the most recent additions to the expanding services. University hospital is the only teaching hospital in the area providing continuing education for physicians. The University of Tennessee Memorial Research Center is also a general hospital facility.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital meets the special needs of the young. The hospital (122 beds) has received well earned national recognition for it’s patient-education program.
EMERGENCY SERVICES – The enhanced 911 Emergency Response System links all city and county telephones with emergency assistance that notifies emergency medical services and law enforcement departments. The system gives the caller’s phone number, address, nearest intersecting streets, and closest emergency response facilities.
Paramedics and advanced life-support systems are carried by the ambulances and helicopters operating in Knox and Blount counties. Rescue service and back-up ambulance service are provided by the Volunteer Rescue Squad. The University of Tennessee Hospital “Lifestar” helicopters are equipped with the most advanced medical technology and they respond to the most urgent medical needs.
In major disasters, the Knoxville emergency management agency coordinates all agencies in Knox county and the surrounding 16 counties.
HANDICAPPED SERVICES – A variety of agencies provide services to the handicapped in the Knoxville area. These include the East Tennessee Easter Seal Society, East Tennessee Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Sertoma Learning Center, Knoxville Area Communication Center for the Deaf, and the Knoxville Association for the Blind. These agencies provide job skills, recreational activities, speech and occupational therapy, as well as transportation.
A special office provides information on services available to the disabled, handicapped and elderly. Contact policy development, Mayor’s office at [ 865 ] 215-2029.
A marvelous surprise is in store for newcomers to the Tennessee Valley in the depth and breath of native artistic talent, and the opportunity to enjoy the many and varied cultural activities offered in the Knoxville area.
The cultural atmosphere of Knoxville is characterized by high levels of professional achievement, excellent facilities, great variety, community support, and pride in it’s performing arts programs. The presence of a great university always provides the cultural stimulus in the surrounding area.
The Ula Love Doughty Carousel Theatre (U.T. Campus) presents theater in the round; offering musicals, comedy, drama and dance by professional and university players.
Clarence Brown Theater (U.T. Campus) is a profession repertory company in residence on the campus. The facility houses a large stage for the Clarence Brown professional and university acting companies, visiting troupes, and a laboratory theater for experimental drama. The company produces four plays a year and attracts many theatrical stars.
University of Tennessee Musical Arts Series and University Opera Theater (U.T. Music Hall) attracts audiences for afternoon chamber music concerts, student and faculty recitals; while the opera theater produces complete operas and scenes during the school year.
The U.T. Children’s Theater productions are presented annually for local and regional school groups with about 6,000 viewing productions each spring.
The New Repertory Dance Company of the University of Tennessee includes ballet as well as a special contemporary ensemble dance unit. Students are provided an opportunity to perform on stage; instructors find the opportunity to choreograph original pieces.
U.T. Symphony Orchestra presents several major concerts each year and performs with the U.T. Opera company.
U.T. Choral programs are varied and include a concert choir, chamber singers and the “ever popular” U.T. Singers.
While the University assumes leadership for local cultural endeavors; by no means is it relied upon exclusively for the surprisingly rich and varied cultural milieu of Knoxville. When discussing serious music in the Knoxville area, we must begin with:
The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (formed in 1935) has grown to more than 100 musicians, conducted under the baton of a foremost conductor, is known as one of the best in the Southeast. Each year, nationally and internationally known guest artists perform at the concerts presented at the Tennessee Theater. Season tickets are offered at very reasonable prices, as are tickets for individual performances.
Other cultural activities available are:
The Knoxville Opera Company performances are offered at the Tennessee Theater. Nationally and internationally known stars, such as native born Mary Costa, perform in it’s major productions each year. Noted directors and conductors are also invited to lend their professional talents to these events.
The Appalachian Opera Company takes opera to children in regional school systems.
The Appalachian Ballet Company incorporates the Maryville/Alcoa civic ballet, and offers a broad range of programs. Under the direction of Cheryl Van Metre, the company will tour various cities and Europe this year. Each year a performance of The Nutcracker is presented at the Christmas season.
The Civic Center Series includes most of the elaborate Broadway shows touring the south. Recent performances have included: The Sunshine Boys, Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line, Sugar Babies, Oklahoma, Cats and Sing.
The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum features ice shows, circus shows, concerts and a professional ice hockey team. more.
The Tennessee Theatre recently underwent a $24.5 million dollar renovation. This indepth restoration restored this historical beauty to its original grandeur. Originally open in 1928, “The South’s Most Beautiful Theatre” drew generations of families to downtown Knoxville. New sound, lighting, seating and other updates make this a wonderful venue for enjoying the performing arts.
The Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble is believed to be the world’s only children’s dance ensemble. Performing in Knoxville, Salt Lake City and Washington,D.C.; They have also performed as far away as Japan and London.
The Nativity Pageant is one of the country’s most lavish religious presentation and features a cast of 85 volunteers. So prestigious is the program that would-be performers must wait at least two years to take part in the pageant. Parents enter their children on a waiting list at birth; once in the cast they usually remain.
The Dogwood Arts Festival is an area-wide celebration of spring; and offers over 350 events including arts and crafts shows, sporting events and entertainment. The 17-day festival, in April, showcases 500 miles of Dogwood trails and adjoining gardens. This Spring Festival is one of the largest of it’s kind in the country.
The Beck Cultural Exchange Center displays the history and contributions of Knoxville’s black citizens. Educational opportunities for minorities and disadvantaged citizens are provided.
The Greek Festival, held in May, features church tours, Greek food and pastry, and cultural exhibits.
The 1982 World’s Fair Site is now the center of varied festive events, including the annual Fourth of July celebration and Riverfeast.
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame – the world’s most interactive Hall of Fame. Watch a riveting video of the games’ history, hang out in a modern locker room as some of the country’s top coaches get in your face with the behind-the-scenes video, and shoot some hoops. This is not just another museum. It’s an all-out, one of a kind, bigger than life experience.
The Knoxville Museum of Art is located at the World’s Fair Site and features special exhibits during the year, as well as exhibits of locally prominent artists. Each year the museum sponsors a fair, where works of art and crafts, donated by local artists and craftsmen, may be purchased.
The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge offers entertainment for children of all ages in a multi-faceted cultural center focusing on arts, sciences, and history – with a major emphasis on Appalachian culture.
The Arts Council of Greater Knoxville encourages participation in the arts with programs such as: Artists in the Schools, Art Displays in public places, and a Registry of Artists.
Museums in the area which should not be missed are:
Knoxville Museum of Art in the World’s Fair Park
Frank H. McClung Museum
American Museum of Science and Energy in nearby Oak Ridge
Students Museum with it’s planetarium
Museum of Art Science
Museum of Appalachia in nearby Norris
Blount Mansion (built in 1792 – Knoxville was capital of the southwest territory)
James White Fort located in downtown Knoxville
Armstrong Lockett House (contains a beautiful collection of early silver work)
Fort Loudoun State Historical Area on Tellico Lake
The Knoxville Zoological Park is located on about 120 acres off Magnolia avenue and has more than 1200 animals. It is one of the 71 zoos, out of 470 in the U.S. and Canada, accredited by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. The animals, wherever possible, live in open and natural environments. The Knoxville Zoological Park’s breeding program produced the first African elephant to be born in captivity in the western hemisphere. Other firsts include the hatching of a hingeback tortoise and the mating of two papuan pythons. Known for it’s collection of large cats, the zoo is an active participant in 11 of the 37 species survival plans. The petting zoo is a particular favorite of the children; there one can find African pygmy goats, llamas, baby elephants, sicilian donkeys, and other more common species.
In this area the old and the new blend in beautiful union. The area is also rich in native heritage and is enriched by the cultural diversity added by our adopted citizens who have come from other parts of the country, and the world, to call Knoxville “home”.
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is within a short drive of Knoxville. Pigeon Forge, Dollywood and Gatlinburg are located adjacent to the park. In this area artists are found working at their crafts of weaving, furniture construction, pottery, painting, basket weaving, quilt making, etc.
RECREATION AND ENTERTAINMENT
Part of the good life, enjoyed by the people of the Knoxville area, stems from the abundant recreational and leisure opportunities afforded by the geographic setting. Located in the heart of the Tennessee Valley, we are in the midst of one of the most scenic areas of the Eastern United States. Surrounded by TVA lakes and the Great Smoky Mountains, one can easily spend a day on the lake, or in the mountains, and be home by evening.
THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS PARK… area offers an incredible array of events, activities and attractions:
Hiking: Nearly 900 miles of well maintained trails wait to be hiked through rugged, wooded mountains graced with wildflowers in the spring and vivid foliage in the fall.
Fishing: Mountain streams offering the best in trout fishing include more than 300 miles of streams with some 70 species of fish.
Camping: Permits may be obtained from park headquarters or ranger stations for camping in the park’s back country. With 101 campsites, the Smokies are a treat for the backpacker.
LeConte Lodge: Five trails lead to the 6,000 foot elevation where the lodge is nestled above the clouds. Reservations are made well in advance for the 40 accommodations at the primitive lodge. Llamas are used to bring fresh foodstuffs for delicious hot breakfasts and dinner meals for the guests.
Gatlinburg: This prime resort caters to the approximately 9 million visitors annually. They come to view the scenery, enjoy the family-oriented atmosphere, visit exclusive shops and dine at popular restaurants.
Skiing: The mountains of Southern Appalachia are among the favored skiing areas of the east. Ober Gatlinburg has several trails, an ice-skating rink and year round fun on the alpine slide. Nearby Beech and Sugar Mountain Resort offers great facilities during the winter months.
Pigeon Forge: This resort area lays adjacent to the park boundary and is sometimes referred to as the playground of the Smokies. Thirty-six major amusement attractions offer everything from the “Dollywood”, “The Great Smoky Mountains Circus”, “Splash Country”, “Smokey Mountain Jubilee”, and the “Belz Factory Outlet Mall”.
RECREATION ON THE AREA LAKES -Initially the T.V.A. System was designed for navigation, flood control, generation of electricity, and reforesting. Now, a wide range of recreational activities is an additional facet of resource management. Five of the “Great Lakes of the South” are within 30 miles of Knoxville. Fort Loudon Lake is a feature of Knoxville with homes along both the north and south shorelines.
The more than 15 reservoirs within an easy drive offer the best in sport fishing. Muskie and hybrid stripped bass are the heavy-weights. Bass fishing is superb in both the Spring and Fall. Crappie and perch dominate the summer fun. Many of the lakes and streams are known for fine trout fishing.
Area lakes provide over 3,000 miles of shoreline for a wide variety of recreational activities; including picnicking, sail and power boating, swimming and camping. The great thrill of whitewater rafting is available for the skilled or the amateur on the Nolichucky, French Broad and Ocoee rivers. Within a few hours of Knoxville, there are a number of rated whitewater rivers.
Volunteer Landing, on the downtown waterfront, offers one-mile of paved riverwalk, fishing piers, boat docks, picnic facilities, roofed towers with observation decks, interpretive historical markers.
Land Between The Lakes National Recreational Area is a stunning area of outdoor events, recreation, camping, wildlife, and visually panoramic hiking trails.
LEISURE TIME RECREATION – Golf: Over a dozen courses in the immediate Knoxville area provide the week-end golfer with excellent golfing facilities.Numerous other courses are within easy driving distance of Knoxville, including several scenic mountain courses along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. State PGA members promote and supervise local and area tournaments, including the City Men’s, City Women’s, Knoxville Open, and the Chet Atkin Tournament. Junior golf, featuring several rated juniors, is very popular.
Tennis: Thousands play regularly at several private clubs and city/county owned courses. Several tournaments are scheduled each year; including the Dogwood Tennis Tournament, the City Tournament for all ages, and the USTA Seniors. Several world-rated pros call Knoxville their home.
Swimming: Many public and private pools, as well as the University of Tennessee student aquatic center, afford cool relief from the summer heat. Most pools are open from mid-may through labor day. There are two competitive swimming clubs in Knoxville, along with the nationally ranked University of Tennessee swim team.
SPORTS – “It’s football time in Tennessee” is the cry as 102,000 fans gather at Neyland Stadium; or local supporters cheer Knoxville Interscholastic high school teams; or one of many city/county recreational teams. Knoxville’s enthusiasm for sports is year round.
The second largest crowd in the nation gathers to watch the University of Tennessee play some of the finest teams in America. It is a crisp fall day, Neyland Stadium is a magnificent setting with “The Vol Navy”, a flotilla of private power boats docked adjacent to the stadium…fans arrive in every conceivable way, boats, train, van and RV’s to enjoy picnics, exciting football, and an evening of entertainment.
Tennessee basketball plays in the $30 million dollar, 25,000 seat arena. The arena has the second largest seating capacity of any campus basketball facility in the country. The basketball program for both men and women has provided many exciting season schedules, as well as post-season trips to major tournaments. The “Lady VOLS” have finished as 1987, 1989 , 1991 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, and 2008 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champions. Coach Cuonzo Martin’s Volunteers offer exciting men’s basketball and a demanding schedule.
The Tom Black Track on the university campus ranks as one of the finest in the nation and hosts high school, college and invitational track meets. The track “VOLS” have dominated the conference for the last twenty years and consistently compete for the NCAA title.
Professional sports are also a part of the Knoxville scene. The Tennessee Smokies, affiliated with the Chicago Cubs, is Knoxville’s baseball entry in the Class AA Southern League.
East Tennesseans can watch some of the best automobile racing in the country. NASCAR drivers appear twice yearly at Bristol International Raceway. The International Hotrod Association and the National Dirt Racing Association also actively promote competition.
CITY / COUNTY RECREATION COMMISSION – Some nineteen Knoxville interscholastic high school teams compete in football, basketball, track, baseball, and softball.
Fourteen commissions operate within the city bureau’s recreational programs. More than 20,000 participants are engaged in baseball, softball, football, basketball, ice hockey and golf programs each year. Knox county’s recreation department has ten community athletic commissions offering programs for more than 7,000 participants. Both city and county recreation departments maintain baseball, softball and football fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, neighborhood playgrounds, community parks, and swimming pools.
Sports enthusiasts of all ages, active participants and spectators, will find quality and quantity in Knoxville’s sports family.