Dog parks, Holiday Festival of Lights and more

Mike DonilaFun Outdoors

With the wet weather and folks taking vacation for the holidays, our crews are still performing fall cleanup.

However, our carpenters did finish the sled for the Holiday Festival of Lights at the Cove. That means we’ll be able to physical distance Santa Claus from the children, so everyone stays as safe as possible. The Festival of Lights is free and open to the public and will from Dec. 2 through Jan. 3 from 6-9 p.m. Mayor Glenn Jacobs also will be handing out candy “Kanes” and meeting with folks on opening night. The event, which is in its 22nd year and is also sponsored by the Knox County Mayor’s Office and B97.5, accepts non-perishable food items for the Love Kitchen and last year we raised a record $7,677.42 and 12 barrels of donated food.  We hope to do more this year!

Additionally, our folks have remained in contact with Harrison Forbes, who is overseeing the $250,000 grant from the Boyd Family Foundation that will help build new dog parks at New Harvest Park, Beverly Park, the SportsPark in Karns, Powell Station Park and Clayton Park. Forbes, who met a crew at the SportsPark and Beverly Park on Monday and Tuesday, said they calculated the layout, fencing requirements, ADA compliant entries, concrete yards and the rest of the stuff that will get the new dog parks up and running. Now they need to put together some renderings and maybe have a groundbreaking early next year. Unfortunately, building dog parks isn’t as simple as just finding a field, putting a fence around it, and installing some benches and drinking fountains.

Before I forget, we’re also about ready to have crews in Beaver Creek, working on the new Knox County Water Trail, a 44-mile stretch of navigable water across five communities between Clayton Park in Halls and Melton Hill in Hardin Valley.

On the recreation side, youth football wrapped up last week, but the Josh Jones Battle in Rocky Top kicks off this Friday and runs through Sunday. The event, which is held throughout the county, is a major economic generator for the area. Basketball registration also is currently underway. At this point, games are expected to be played in January, although that could change because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to register, go to the sports section at and email the commissioner who oversees your community league.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the work the Knox County Public Works and Engineering Department performed this past week:

  • Trout Road – Dirty Lot crew structure teardown
  • Western Road – Dual cross drain replacement and drainage swale installation
  • Multiple tree removals and cleanup as a result of strong winds earlier this week
  • Mont Cove Blvd – Sidewalk repairs

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

Enjoy this carousel of photos of work across the county:


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