"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers," said Anne Shirley (that's Anne of the "Green Gables" variety, for those of you unfamiliar with the series), and we couldn't agree with her more. We wandered through the blooms of spring and drifted lazily in summer lakes, but there's something about autumn that holds a special place in our hearts. Crisp morning runs, pumpkin everything, beer festivals, and actually having the opportunity to use that zero-degree sleeping bag all make autumn what it is. We've got a few great events and festivals coming this fall, so check out a few of our favorites to ensure a proper welcoming to the cooler months in Knoxville.
Knoxville Film Festival featuring _Wildlike, _September 17-20
If the heat hasn't abated enough by mid-September for a fall camp out, consider spending the weekend in the city enjoying films from near and far at the Knoxville Film Festival .
Formerly the "Secret City Film Festival," Executive Director Keith McDaniel joined forces in 2013 to create "the largest and most complete film festival in the region." Last year, the festival had nearly 3,000 in attendance and 120 films representing 14 states and three countries, with several films produced right here in Tennessee.
This year, the festival will open its 4 day run with a screening of Wildlike, the story of a teenage runaway who tags along with an backpacker in the wilds of the Alaskan frontier. There are a variety of ticketing options available, including a "best value" pass for the entire weekend of screening, workshops, and social gatherings as well as an individual ticket option just for Wildlike.
Oakes Farm, September 19 through October 31
Oakes Farm is an East Tennessee tradition for many, with arguably the regions best corn maze. Families come from all around to navigate the crop-cut corridors, select the perfect pumpkin, and scare themselves senseless on the "Trail of Doom." The attractions start opening up on September 19th and run through the Halloween season.
7 Mile Scary Trail Race, October 9th
The Knoxville Track Club offers a dark spin on their popular " Hann Jivin in the Dark " race, named after the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club's president Brian Hann. Twilight will fall on runners as they navigate an out-and-back section of the Lost Chromosome Trail in the Urban Wilderness , and since the trail will not be illuminated, participants are required to carry flashlights or headlamps along the trail. Race director Andrea Ludwig has promised some spooky, Halloween-themed thrills, so the moans and groans you hear along the way might be coming from ghosts, ghouls, or just people reacting to the hilariously bad pun that composes this race's name.
A one-mile race for kids will precede the adult races right around sunset.
Pilot Cross Knox 15k, October 11
Hop onto the pavement for this point-to-point race featuring Knoxville's beautiful and extensive greenway system. The Pilot Cross Knox 15k will begin at Morningside Park and wind on along the greenway through New McWherther Park, on to the riverside via Volunteer Landing and on west past the University of Tennessee to the finish line just before Bearden Elementary School.
Knoxville Brewer's Jam, October 17
Knoxville is quickly becoming a brewery hotspot, and Brewers' Jam has been a constant refrain through the entire evolution. Brewers' Jam is Knoxville's longest-running beer festival, with great live music and 60+ breweries represented including nationally renowned drafts, regional favorites, and unique home brews of every strength and style. The Jam is hosted in World's Fair Park, with all benefits going to Community Shares. Make sure you get your tickets early. They're expected to sell out fast!
Open Streets Festival, October 25
The premise of Open Streets is as simple as it is compelling: close down a city street to all motorized traffic and open it up to the people. We wrote an entire feature highlighting what we love about the Open Streets Movement, and we think it will be a perfect addition to the city-centric community pride spreading across Knoxville. Check out openstreetsknoxville.com to learn more about how you can help make it great!
AMBC Fall Festival, November 7
Start November off right with a day full of bikes, beer, food, and music at the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club Festival . You're encouraged to hang and camp out the night before with the great folks at AMBC, and you'll wake to a delicious breakfast provided by Tennessee Valley Bicycles. The official festivities start the following morning at 11:30am with an open pump track , and it will end with live music and dancing, with plenty of food and riding in between.