Gerdau helps warm the holidays

KNOXVILLE, TN – In a tradition dating back to December 2000, Gerdau helped “warm up” the holidays and the cold winter months for 401 Lonsdale Elementary School students at its 18th Annual Mitten Tree held Dec. 4, 2017. Through the event, Gerdau provides hats, mittens, holiday treats and a visit from Santa for each child at the school. The gathering is a highlight for both Gerdau employees and Lonsdale staff and students.

“The Mitten Tree is something our students look forward to and truly appreciate,” Lonsdale Principal Wendy Hansard said. “Gerdau brings in the perfect hats and mittens, and we enjoy seeing our kids wearing them as they walk to school each day and pull them back out again to enjoy the playground.

“It’s fun to see the children’s faces light up as they talk with Santa before selecting their mittens. We appreciate the men and women at Gerdau for bringing this celebration to our school year after year.”

Gerdau Knoxville Vice President and General Manager John Miller (center) is joined by, from left, Lonsdale Elementary School kindergarten students Mare’Anna McCord and Ana Juan Pascual after the children made their selections at the steel recycling company’s annual Mitten Tree event at the school Dec. 4. Gerdau has provided hats, mittens, holiday treats and a visit from Santa to the school’s students each year since 2000. Photo submitted.

Gerdau enjoys celebrating with the students who live in the community near the steel recycler.

“The Mitten Tree provides a meaningful way to celebrate the holidays by supporting and spending time with the students in our own backyard,” Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller said. “I particularly enjoy the kids’ smiles as they tell their wishes to Santa.”

Gerdau has a robust social responsibility program that focuses on providing community support in the locations where it operates.


Santa visits Knoxville Zoo

Knoxville, Tenn. – Santa Claus is coming to Zoo Knoxville and will be in residence at Santa’s Village this Thursday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. daily. Santa Claus will be listening to Christmas wishes and available for photos in the festively decorated Santa’s Village, located in the zoo’s Kids Cove area. Guests will have the option to purchase portraits taken by a professional photographer and can take their own photos.

Complimentary event activities included with general admission are a visit with Santa Claus, reindeer games, holiday crafts and a story time each day at 12:30 p.m. Kids can also write a letter to Santa and they will receive a personal reply from Santa himself in the mail after their visit. For an additional ticket, rides will be available on the “Polar Express” train and kids can opt for a face-painting session for some holiday flair.

All activities take place in the enclosed and heated Kids Cove tent for guests’ comfort. Now through February 28, 2018, zoo admission tickets are $5 off during Kroger Discount Days.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Visit

IJAMS receives $10k donation

Knoxville, TN – The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois, has donated $10,000 to Ijams Nature Center, Inc., in support of the nonprofit nature center’s new Nature Preschool, which is scheduled to open August 2018. The preschool will focus on helping children to develop a solid foundation for lifelong learning, while cultivating a love of nature that will serve as the basis for a conservation ethic later in life.

“This grant will allow Ijams to prepare the Miller Building and its grounds on the Ijams family’s original home site to become a place for children ages 3-5 to explore and learn about nature,” said Amber Parker, Ijams Executive Director. “Our goal is for these preschoolers to spend 80 percent of their time outdoors. Part of this grant will be used to purchase desks, chairs and supplies, but the majority will go toward funding a nature play area and renovating the building’s deck to provide a space for outdoor education activities. We are extremely grateful to The Grainger Foundation for its generosity.”

The new Nature Preschool will offer a morning and an afternoon session five days a week for up to 18 children per session. Ijams also plans to offer a morning-only Nature Preschool Summer Camp prior to the school’s fall opening to allow younger children to experience an age-appropriate version of its Nature Adventure Day Camp.

Ijams will host open houses Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, and Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. for individuals interested in learning more about the new Nature Preschool, 2018 summer camps and other activities at the nature center.

This donation was recommended by Renee Trexler, Operations Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s, Knoxville location. Grainger has been a part of the Knoxville business community for more than 60 years as the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products. “We are proud to recommend the Nature Preschool program at Ijams Nature Center,” Trexler said. “We understand the need to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people of all ages to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences.”

The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities, and walks of life. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking, and more. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8:00 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit or call 865-577-4717.

Ijams Nature Center received $10,000 from The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation, in support of the nonprofit nature center’s new Nature Preschool, which is scheduled to open in Fall 2018. This donation was recommended by Renee Trexler, Operations Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s Knoxville location. Pictured from left are W.W. Grainger, Inc. Operations Manager Renee Trexler, Ijams Education Director Jennifer Roder, W.W. Grainger, Inc. Sales Specialist Jeff Stewart and Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker. Photo submitted.

Ebenezer Scrooge returns to CBT

Clarence Brown’s performance of “A Christmas Carol,” returns to the mainstage November 22 through December 17, 2017. In the play, Ebenezer Scrooge is forced to face the true cost of his mistreatment of others in a series of supernatural visits from ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future.

At each performance, patrons can enhance the experience by enjoying holiday treats at the concession stand and taking pictures with “Scrooge and Tiny Tim” in a specially designed photo experience which will be stationed in the main lobby. The $10 children’s tickets can only be purchased by calling or stopping by the Box Office at 865-974-5161. Groups of 8 and more see the 7:30 pm show for $15 on Sunday, Nov 26, Sunday, Dec. 2 and Tuesday, Dec. 5.

A Pay What You Wish Preview performance, where patrons can name their own price, will be held Wednesday, November 22 from 4 pm to 7 pm at the theatre. A Talk Back with the actors will take place Sunday, December 3 following the matinee. Deaf Night @ the Theatre, where all patron interactions including the performance is interpreted in American Sign Language, will take place Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30 pm. On Wednesday, December 6 at the CBT Family Feast, families can attend dinner at 6:00 pm and then see the show for only $10. The Open Captioned performance is Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 pm.

Free and convenient parking is available in the McClung Tower Garage on Volunteer Boulevard.

For more information or tickets, call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit us online at


Knoxville hosts talent search

Knoxville, Tennessee – Have you got talent? The YMCA of East Tennessee and Knoxville’s Got Talent are teaming up for a community-wide talent search that will highlight the gifts of local artists and performers starting on 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Knoxville Marriott, 501 East Hill Ave. Auditions are open to groups and individuals of all ages and talents. Selected performers from the audition round will compete for a Knoxville’s Got Talent grand prize of $1,000 at a 2018 event at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Proceeds will benefit the Y’s youth programs.

“The Y’s cause is to strengthen the community,” said Rebekah Grace, senior program director at the West Side Family Y. “That’s what we do and why we’re here. This is a real chance for us to give youth more opportunity and to help them explore what they’re passionate about.”

The YMCA of East Tennessee’s many programs for youth include swimming and other sports, child care, after-school care, summer day camps, mentoring, gardening and many additional activities.

Pre-register for Knoxville’s Got Talent by Nov. 15. Secure your audition spot by calling 865-237-6968.

Kid’s play area added at IJAMS

Grayson Subaru has added 13.4 acres to permanently protected lands at IJAMS Nature Center in downtown Knoxville. The property will be a play area for children as well as a site for citizen science and environmental education programs.

“We have worked with Ijams on several events and projects in years past, said Randy Carter, Grayson Subaru sales manager. “Grayson has been waiting for the perfect project to come along to help Ijams in a big way, while giving Grayson a permanent presence at the center. We are excited that this new addition will offer generations of kids new outdoor educational opportunities, while bolstering Ijams footprint.”

Located just past the Mead’s Quarry entrance on the right side of Island Home Avenue between McClure Lane and Harold Lane. It features riparian wetlands along two creeks as well as upland habitat that includes a small cedar glade and secondary growth forest.

“This site has great potential and brings additional diversity to the Ijams landscape, and what we create will serve as a model for nature play areas across the country,” said Amber Parker, executive director of Ijams Nature Center. “Our goal is to have a space that allows parents to give their children a bit more freedom to roam, as many of us did when we were kids, but with the oversight and safety considerations required by modern parents.”

The Grayson Subaru Preserve will take shape over the next year. Parker said the staff plans to assess the needs for nonnative plant removal, stream restoration, trail planning and building this winter, host a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the late spring of 2018 and then continue to create the elements needed. Parker said there will be many volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups to help prepare the site.

Ijams staff will be able to use the Grayson Subaru Preserve for students in the center’s new nature preschool, which will open in summer 2018. Nature preschoolers spend 80 percent or more of their time outdoors, and the nature play opportunities at the Grayson Subaru Preserve will be perfect for these young learners.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually, from school field trips and off-site programs to on-site outdoor and classroom education programs that focus on topics from birding and wildflowers to yoga hikes, cooking classes and art programs. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 865-577-4717.

Monsters at Museum is Oct 28

KNOXVILLE, TN – The East Tennessee Historical Society is hosting “Monsters in the Museum,” an event highlighting superstitions that have called East Tennessee home over the years, on October 28, 2017, from 11am to 2pm. From the wampus cat to eerie Victorian mourning traditions, museum staff will delve into the region’s history of sightings and folklore. The event will feature a variety of Halloween themed children’s games, crafts, and storytelling. Children will Trick or Treat to various stops around the East Tennessee History Center. Costume contests will take place on the hour with prizes for most creative, funniest, and scariest costume.

Museum admission is free during the Monsters at the Museum event. Exhibits currently on view include the feature exhibition, Stories in Stitches: Quilts from the East Tennessee Historical Society’s Permanent Collection, an East Tennessee Streetscape and Corner Drug Store, and Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee, a look at 300 years of history, from the Cherokee to the 1982 World’s Fair.

The Museum of East Tennessee is located at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville.

For more information, call 865-215-8824 or visit

Beardsley celebrates fall harvest

KNOXVILLE, TN – Visit Beardsley Community Farm for a free, family-friendly community event on Sunday, October 22, 2017 from 1pm to 5pm. The Harvest Festival will celebrate the farm, the community, and all things fall. Enjoy free food, children’s activities, live music, and tours of the farm. Parking will be available in front of the Education Center, at the Wesley House, Mobile Meals, and the Ed Cothren Pool. Come dressed in your Halloween costumes.

Enjoy free chili with Flour Head Bakery Bread. The chili will be created by our friends at KARM, and the greens and ice cream will be prepared by UT Culinary School. Much of the produce in the chili, greens, and ice cream is sourced directly from CAC Beardsley Community Farm.

This event is perfect for kids! Children’s activities will include paper hats, face painting, ring toss, and nature crafts. There’s something fun for every child to enjoy. Don’t forget that Halloween costumes are encouraged. Carve your own pumpkin and bring the finished jack o’ lantern to Harvest Festival. The Beardsley Farm crew will be judging the winner based on originality and carving skills.

The music lineup includes:

1:00-1:45 Travis Bigwood

2:00-2:35 Badd Hattrs

2:45-2:55 Miss Take (Hip Hop Dance)

3:00-3:45 The Pinklets

4:00-4:45 Paul Lee Kupfer

In case of inclement weather, this event will be canceled. Call 865-546-8446 or email with questions.

Foundation to honor fathers

The contributions of four Knoxville area men will be celebrated at the 2nd Annual Scholarship Luncheon being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Father’s Day, June 18, 2017. The event begins at 2:00 PM. The four honorees and four scholarship recipients were selected by the Beta Theta Boulé Foundation of Knoxville.

Each honoree has demonstrated strong “Fathering” skills and have modeled leadership, a commitment to educational achievement, and civic responsibility. According to Foundation President Harold Hicks, our Foundation believes these fathers and mentors strive to teach youth about equality, mutual respect for others, and a devotion to democratic traditions.

Among this years honorees are: Elder Christopher Battle, Pastor Tabernacle Baptist Church; Reginald Jenkins, Executive Director of UUNIK Academy, Inc. and Lecturer; Adriel McCord, Vice-President at First Tennessee Bank and co-chair, Blount County MLK, Jr Celebration Committee; and Willie G. Wilson, Founder and Chief Sensei at the Karate Five Association.

The $2,000 Zaevion Dobson Scholarship will be awarded to K’nori T. Bone, a student at Austin East High School. The other scholarship awardees are Moriah J. Brown, a student at Hardin Valley High School; Nisrine J. Hilizah, a student at West High School; and Chelsey B. Jordan, a student at the Webb School of Knoxville.

The Beta Theta Boulé Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The Foundation is affiliated with the Beta Theta Boulé, which is the Knoxville Chapter of the African American professional fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. The Knoxville Chapter, was organized twenty-one years ago and has an impressive record of community service. The proceeds from this event will be used to fund scholarships for meritorious high school students in the Knoxville area.

Tickets to the event may be obtained from Nathaniel Foster, telephone number 865 386-4067, or by email at Tickets to the luncheon are available for a donation of $55.

Family Fun Day at McClung Museum

KNOXVILLE—The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host a free family fun day on Saturday, May 6, 2017, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The “Day of Clay” on May 6 will highlight the museum’s collection of ceramics by featuring clay objects from different cultures and time periods. Visitors will have the opportunity to work with clay and bring home their own work of art.

All materials will be provided and reservations are not necessary.

The McClung Museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sundays. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking kiosk at the entrance to Circle Park Drive during the week. Free parking is available on the weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Bike To Work Day is May 19

May is National Bike Month and there are all kinds of rides and events happening in Knoxville, Tennessee to celebrate. Here are a few opportunities to get you connected:

Bike to Work Day
Fri, May 19
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Stop by Market Square as you ride your bike to work and grab coffee donated by Trio and a treat.

Meet at one of these locations to join a guided ride:

6:45 a.m., Halls. Meet at Ace Hardware in Halls Center. 6950 Maynardville Pike.
7:15 a.m., North Knoxville. Meet at Office Depot/Food City parking lot on Broadway, 4212 N Broadway.
7:15 a.m., East Knoxville. Meet at Holston River Park, 3300 Holston Hills Road (top parking lot by pavilion).
7:15 a.m., Bearden. Meet at Third Creek Greenway trailhead, 130 Forest Park Blvd.
7:30 a.m., South Knoxville. Meet at 3701 Sevierville Pike (southeast corner of Sevierville Pk and Lancaster).

Here are other options for a reward for biking to work on Friday, May 19, 2017:

Makers Donuts – free donut
Old City Java – free cup of coffee
Wild Love Bakehouse – free cup of coffee
Three Rivers Market – free drink (under $2)

I Bike KNX Bike Month Discounts
Have you taken the I BIKE KNX safe bicycling pledge? If so, you should have received your free I Bike KNX helmet sticker. Many local businesses show their support for bicycling by offering discounts or freebies when you bike there and show your I Bike KNX helmet sticker to the cashier during May.

Spring bike class sessions
The free 30-min classes are customized just for you! We can help you learn how to: start biking again, ride safely in traffic, ride a bike, ride without training wheels, or use your gears to make riding easier and more fun. Classes will be held at the new Suttree Landing Park, 701 Langford Ave (near Island Home).

Sign up here for sessions on April 29 and May 6. After the free session, if you or your child need more instruction, we offer classes at your convenience: $10 for 30-min or $15 for 1 hour (shorter classes are best for younger kids). Just email to request a class.


Sheep Shearing Day at Museum

NORRIS, Tenn. –This Friday, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., the Museum will host its second and final Sheep Shearing Day of the year. Students and families are invited to join the Museum as they welcome the warmth of spring by trimming the winter’s heavy growth of wool from their flock of sheep.

Last Friday, more than 1,000 students, parents, and teachers visited the Museum to celebrate a pioneer tradition.

Museum President, Elaine Meyer, said that this is the first year that the Museum is hosting two Sheep Shearing Days. Meyer said, “adding a second Sheep Shearing Day affords us the opportunity to share Appalachian history and culture with an even greater number of young people than ever before.”

The event will feature demonstrations of shearing, carding, spinning, weaving, and other ways that pioneers turned fleece into woven goods. Guests will also enjoy sheep herding, Appalachian music, an animal meet & greet, storytelling, and several historic demonstrations, including soap carving, beekeeping, sawmilling, blacksmithing, pioneer gardening, and dulcimer lessons.

Admission includes a tour of the Museum mountain farm and village, which contains some three-dozen historic log structures, exhibit halls filled with thousands of Appalachian artifacts, gardens, and free-range farm animals. For rates, go here:

School groups, homeschools, families, and individuals are all welcome to attend. Special student and group rates are available, and the event is free for Museum members. Groups of 20 or more, please call 865-494-7680 to make a reservation.

The Museum is located 16 miles north of Knoxville, one mile east of I-75, at Exit 122.


Knoxville Marathon draws 8,938

The 2017 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, which took place April 1-2, 2017 in Knoxville, drew a record-setting 8,938 participants.

Gina Rouse of Knoxville won the women’s marathon for the second year in a row with a time of 2:52:06, beating her 2016 winning time of 2:53:16. Dylan Belles of Flagstaff, Arizona, won the men’s marathon with a time of 2:25:15.

“On behalf of Covenant Health, congratulations to all the winners and participants who completed a race this weekend,” Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg said. “Whether you crossed the finish line at age 4 or 94, ran a marathon or jogged a 5K, raced for the first time or the 10 th time, you should be proud of your accomplishment and for doing something good for your health.”

Race officials have verified the results in various categories, and the winners are as follows:

Men’s full marathon:

1. Dylan Belles of Flagstaff, Arizona, at 2:25:15

2. Peter Limo of Morristown, New Jersey, at 2:28:37

3. Peter Kemboi Chemaoy of Morristown, New Jersey, at 2:43:04
Women’s full marathon:

1. Gina Rouse of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 2:52:06

2. Lynn Baione of Sevierville, Tennessee, at 3:10:01

3. Eden Slater of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 3:16:08
Men’s half marathon:

1. Julius Koskei of Morristown, New Jersey, at 1:07:24

2. Austin Whitelaw of Johnson City, Tennessee, at 1:07:43

3. Teferi Regasa of Morristown, New Jersey, at 1:08:13
Women’s half marathon:

1. Firegent Ayalew of Morristown, New Jersey, at 1:22:47

2. Evan Adams of Johnson City, Tennessee, at 1:23:14

3. Amanda Martin of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 1:23:18
Men’s 5K:

1. Andrew Ogle of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 16:44

2. Aidan Delfuoco of Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 17:27

3. Douglas Cross of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 17:46
Women’s 5K:

1. Kelsey Kane of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 20:16

2. Allison Wilson of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 21:19

3. Tommi Buford of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 22:17
The race also included several handcyclists and wheelchair competitors. Winners in the

handcyclist category for the full marathon are as follows:
Men’s Handcycle Marathon:

1. Kevin Siebarth of Monroe, Michigan, at 2:03:48

2. Dennis Clark of Oliver Springs, Tennessee, at 2:06:18

3. Ronald Malik of Tremont, Illinois, at 2:08:26
Women’s Handcycle Marathon:

1. Carly Pearson of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 2:29:42

In addition to individual participants, the race also included a two- and four-person marathon relay. The men’s and women’s 5K run and one-mile Covenant Kids Run were held Saturday, April 1.
The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is a premier event organized by the Knoxville Track Club, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the encouragement of physical well being through running, jogging, competitive road racing, race-walking, fun runs, cross-country and track and field.

Circus comes to Knoxville

KNOXVILLE – The Garden Brothers Circus brings motorcycle stunts, acrobats and aerialists, clowns and live animals for a family-friendly show at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The Gardens Brothers Circus originated in Canada and has performed for more than 100 years. The circus is a family-owned business, which is now in its fourth generation of operations.

“We’ve pulled out all the stops for the celebration of our 100 years of entertaining families,” said Jim Davis, director of booking. “We have it all from acrobats and motorcyclists to elephants and llamas. Everyone becomes a kid again at the circus and creates long-lasting family memories.”

The performers include Chinese acrobats, a human slingshot, showgirls, clowns and motorcycle stunt artists. Among its live animals, Garden Brothers Circus is one of the last to showcase elephants in its show, as well as dogs and racing camels.

The show lasts approximately an hour and a half. Beginning an hour prior to the show, pony rides, elephant rides and camel rides will be available.

General admission tickets are on sale now at The first 100 adult tickets purchased online are $9.95.

Ticket costs are: $8 for children, ages 3-12, and $24 for adults in general seating; and $18 for children and $24 for adults in VIP ringside seating. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free unless seated in the VIP section.

Free tickets for children will be distributed in the community at several locations, including elementary schools, day care centers, fast food eateries, convenience stores, community centers, churches and area merchants.

The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum is conveniently located near the junction of Interstates 75 and 40 and sits downtown near the University of Tennessee campus. The facility attracts more than 250,000 people per year through a wide array of events, including Knoxville Ice Bears hockey games and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Pops Series. The facility includes a 6,500-capacity coliseum with 22,000-square- feet of exhibit space; 2,500-capacity auditorium; 10,000-square- foot exhibit hall; 4,800-square- foot ballroom; and a natural lawn amphitheater with a capacity of 10,000.

Knoxville Winter Farmers’ Market begins

KNOXVILLE – Nourish Knoxville will open the Winter Farmers’ Market for its fourth season on January 14, 2017. Patrons can shop from a host of farms selling locally grown produce, meat, eggs, honey, herbs, plants, and more, along with artisan food and craft producers with baked goods, prepared foods, and handcrafted items. Food trucks will be stationed in the parking lot to provide brunch and locally roasted coffee.

As part of opening day, Nourish Knoxville will kick off the Power of Produce (PoP) Club. A nationwide program that actively engages children in healthy eating, PoP Clubs give children the opportunity to become an active part of their local food economy by empowering them to make their own food choices with their PoP Bucks. All children participating in the activity of the day receive PoP Bucks to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables or food producing plants. Any children visiting the WFM are invited to participate in the day’s activity, or join the PoP Club to participate season long, track their progress with their own PoP Passport, and receive prizes for completing multiple activities. With a curriculum created by the Knox County Health Department, PoP Club promises to be a fun and educational child-centered piece of the Winter Farmers’ Market. The PoP Club at the Winter Farmers’ Market is sponsored by OliBea, a restaurant with a commitment to purchasing local ingredients from farms in the East Tennessee region.

The Winter Farmers’ Market will also provide the Fre$h Savings program, a SNAP matching program that allows SNAP recipients to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. For every $20 of SNAP/EBT spent, SNAP customers will receive an additional $20 to use at market on fresh produce. Fre$h Savings is made possible by the AARP Foundation and Wholesome Wave Foundation, and is available at farmers’ markets across Tennessee.

The Winter Farmers’ Market happens every other Saturday, January through April. Along with invaluable programs like PoP Club and Fre$h Savings, the WFM will offer special events throughout the season, such as monthly cooking classes with nutrition cooking master Katie Dodson. These classes will cover topics like meal planning, quick dinners from healthy ingredients, and tweaking healthy diets to maximize pleasurable eating. For more information about these and other events, visit our website at

Nourish Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to cultivate and support relationships between farmers, artisanal producers, and the community through outreach, education, and advocacy, and to build healthy communities through connections to local food. NK operates the Market Square Farmers’ Market, Market Square Holiday Market, and Winter Farmers’ Market in Knoxville, Tennessee, and publishes the annual East Tennessee Local Food Guide, a free publication connecting the East Tennessee community to local food.

Zoo Knoxville breaks attendance record

Zoo Knoxville had a record attendance in 2016, surpassing the 2015 record of 440,115 by more than 30,000 visitors. The 2015 record was officially broken on Nov. 11, 2016 during the zoo’s popular Dollar Days event.

“It’s been a very successful year, so we thought it only fitting to finish in the spirit of the fun and sometimes unexpected experiences we’ve offered our guests in 2016 to celebrate,” said Lisa New, President and CEO of Zoo Knoxville. The Zoo offered the last visitors of 2016 the chance to win a behind-the- scenes tour of an animal area or an annual pass.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.

Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit

Muse Knoxville hosts NYE event

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Muse Knoxville is hosting its 3rd annual Cheer In the New Year at Noon event from 10 am to 2 pm on New Year’s Eve at 516 N. Beaman Street.

This family friendly celebration offers all the traditions of a New Year’s Eve celebration with a bedtime that is more suitable for kids!  Party goers can get their picture taken in the photo booth, participate in educational activities and crafts throughout the building, enjoy refreshments provided by Kroger in the party room, and countdown to the new year at noon complete with a ball-drop, confetti and balloons!  The event is also sponsored by Baby+Company who will be on-site with an area for nursing mothers.

“We love the easy-going and celebratory pace of this event.  Cheer In The New Year is perfect for families to enjoy the traditions of ringing in the new year together without compromising that important bedtime,” says Ellie Kittrell, Executive Director, The Muse Knoxville.

This special event is open to ticket holders only and tickets are limited.  Tickets are available online at for $12.50 ($10 for members), under 2 FREE.

The Muse Knoxville is a non-profit children’s science museum located in Historical Chilhowee Park at 516 N. Beaman Street.

Baby+Company is a modern birth center run by Certified Nurse-Midwives offering highly personalized well woman, maternity, and labor and birth care as well as wellness, childbirth and early parenting classes. Baby+Company’s evidence based care is focused on women and their families.


Winter Princesses visit Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville is celebrating the holiday break with a unique and magical visit from Neverland and Company’s Snow Queen and Snow Princess. The zoo’s Wonderfully Winter Princesses event will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.


The Snow Queen and the Snow Princess, along with famous friend Beauty, will be greeting visitors in the zoo’s cozy Winter Village, located in the enclosed and heated Kids Cove tent. The regal visitors will be available for photos and to meet their majestic guests, who are encouraged to dress as their favorite fairy tale characters.

The Wonderfully Winter Princesses event is included with general zoo admission and free for Zoo Knoxville members. The zoo is currently offering buy one, get one free tickets during Kroger BOGO Days through Feb. 28, 2017.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.

Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit

Santa visits Chilhowee Park

Santa will be visiting Chilhowee Park this Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, from 6-9 p.m. during Christmas in Chilhowee, sponsored by Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center’s venue management partner SMG, at 3301 E Magnolia Avenue.

After the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree, Santa will greet guests and pose for photos in the park’s historic bandstand, which was built for the 1910 Appalachian Exposition. The Vine Middle Magnet School Choir will set a festive tone with holiday carols.

Families are invited to build gingerbread houses with the Austin-East Culinary Arts Department, enjoy balloon animals and face-painting, and participate in hands-on activities with The Muse Knoxville. Krispy Kreme will serve doughnuts, and All Occasion Catering will provide hot cocoa.


Visitors to Christmas in Chilhowee can tour the park’s 88 lighted trees by riding the train or hopping on a hayride. Through Jan. 1, motorists can drive through the lighted tunnel during park hours. Sunset is around 5:30 p.m., and gates close at 10 p.m. Make sure Santa knows you have been good! Photo by Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center.

Admission is free. All events take place outdoors, so dress for the weather.

Food fest at World’s Fair Park

Annoor Academy of Knoxville, a local pre-k through eighth grade private school, invites the Knoxville community to its fifteenth annual International Food Festival, on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the World’s Fair Park Festival Lawn.

The students of Annoor Academy of Knoxville (AAK) represent a wide array of cultural backgrounds. For 15 years, the staff, parents, and volunteers of AAK have celebrated their diversity and cultural roots through an international food festival. This year, for the first time, AAK is bringing the celebration to the heart of Knoxville by hosting its largest ever International Food Festival at the World’s Fair Park this coming Saturday, October 29, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

As event organizer Ghada Ayesh explained, “This event was really born out of a desire to share our unique cultural diversity with the Knoxville community. And what better way to bond with your neighbors than over food!”

The festival will feature food booths set up by volunteers as well as some local restaurants, representing different countries and regions, with an emphasis on the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa, though other nations will be represented as well. “We will have food ranging from places like Indonesia to Jamaica!” Ayesh explains. In addition to food vendors, there will be a shopping bazaar and a “kids’ corner,” where kids can enjoy bouncing on inflatables, crafts and receive a passport to have stamped as they travel around the country booths. There also will be a rotating schedule of entertainment along with cooking demonstrations throughout the day.

Admission to the event is free of charge. Food tickets can be purchased on site for $1 each, and each vendor will have listed prices (in tickets) for each food item. Children wishing to participate in the “kids’ corner” can have unlimited play time in the inflatables, crafts and a kids’ passport for $5. All profits for the event go toward AAK school operations.

Annoor Academy of Knoxville is a private school serving the Muslim community in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. It was founded in 1998 and currently operates as an accredited preschool through 8th grade school located in West Knoxville. The purpose of the school is to provide children of the Knoxville Community with an excellent education in a safe, secure, religiously sensitive environment. AAK is dedicated to creating a learning environment which encourages all students to become outstanding citizens.

For more information, visit

Tennessee Theatre hosts costume party

Families will enjoy Looney Tunes classic cartoons on the Tennessee’s screen, Mighty Wurlitzer organ music, self-guided dressing room tours, face painting and old-fashioned candy provided by Mast General Store. The Tennessee Theatre open house series is sponsored by McCarty Holsaple McCarty.

“At last year’s event, many of the children who came through our doors were experiencing the grandeur of the Tennessee Theatre for the first time,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock said. “This daytime event is a great way to introduce the next generation to our beautiful venue, as well as honor our theater’s long tradition of daytime children’s clubs. I am excited to be able to open our doors for Halloween family fun this fall.”


During the open house, a short reel of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons will be shown at intervals between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each screening will be introduced with organ music played by house organist Bill Snyder on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

In between screenings, the dressing room areas will be open to the public for self-guided tours, and face painting and Mast General Store will be handing out old-fashioned candy at stations throughout the lobby and foyers. Popcorn, soda, candy and other basic concessions will be available for purchase, as well as gift shop items, with all proceeds going to the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation.

Children ages 12 and under are invited to come dressed in festive Halloween costumes. The Theatre requests that costumes be family-friendly and not scary. Toy weapons will not be permitted.

During the Tennessee Theatre’s history, Saturday mornings often were dedicated to children’s programming with several memorable clubs over the decades that welcomed children to the theater.

In the late 1930s and 1940s, the Popeye Club offered Saturday activities with cartoons, a movie serial, and amateur stage show with house organist Billy Barnes, all for 10 cents. The Chipmunk Club of the 1960s and 1970s offered cartoons and movies for the admission price of empty bags of Tom’s potato chips and featured a performance from Bobo the Clown.