LivingTravelKnoxville Gay Pride 2016

Knoxville Gay Pride 2016

While much smaller than Nashville and Memphis, the city of Knoxville is nonetheless the third-largest city in Tennessee, with a population of approximately 180,000, and is also home to the main campus of the University of Tennessee, and is one of the closest cities. (with Asheville, North Carolina as the other) to the most visited property among US national parks, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has a large gay population that has become increasingly visible in recent years, and the city hosts a major Gay Pride celebration, Knoxville Pridefest, every June at the World’s Fair Park, located downtown, on the date of This year it’s June 18, 2016.

The events that make up Knoxville Pride include a series of parties, fundraisers and other events that take place during the weeks in advance; here’s a full party and get-together schedule, including a series of “Eat Out With Pride” charity parties in a popular community -Restaurant services in town, like Cocoa Moon, Big Fatty’s, Abuelo’s, Boyd’s Jig & Reel, Oodles and Melting Pot. Events also include an Art Out in the City event on Thursday, June 2; a performance on Saturday June 4 at the Bijou by the esteemed Knoxville Gay Men’s Choir ; and a Knoxville PrideFest picnic held Sunday, June 5, from 1 pm to 5 pm, in Tyson Park.

Then, the weekend before, the Annual Next 2 Nothing Swimwear and Underwear Show will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11.

Joining this year’s festivities is the ever-popular and talented country singer-songwriter, Chely Wright , who will perform fresh off the release of her heartbreaking new album, Lifted Off the Ground .

Knoxville’s Big Pride Day is Saturday, June 18. There’s the Knoxville Pride Parade, which takes place at 11 a.m. along Downtown Gay Street (yes, that’s the actual name of the street, and it’s a major thoroughfare in Knoxville) and it’s heading to the Fair World. Park, which is the site of the Knoxville Pride Festival, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. and features over 100 vendors, all kinds of great food, and a roster of artists. More than 20,000 attendees are expected this year.

Knoxville Gay Resources

For tips on where to eat and drink around Knoxville while in town, check out the Knoxville Gay Nightlife and Dining guide, which contains a wealth of recommendations for both great food and socializing. A good general LGBT resource on gay culture across the state is Out & About, which while more focused on Nashville does have some resources and information on Knoxville. Knoxville does not have an LGBT community center, but at the University of Tennessee, the OUTReach: LGBT & Ally Resource Center has a helpful website with links to other helpful local resources.

For travel planning tips and other ideas on what to see and do in the city, and where to stay, take a look at the excellent website produced by the city’s official tourism organization, Visit Knoxville.

If you are visiting this area for the first time, or coming from a distance, be aware that one of the most kitsch and fun theme parks in the country is nearby, Dollywood, run by legend and friend of the LGBT community Dolly Parton. The park is located in Pigeon Forge, 35 miles southeast of Knoxville, en route to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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