Burn, baby, burn (those Thanksgiving calories)!

Carol EvansOur Town Outdoors

We came, we saw, we ate.

Welcome to No-Regrets Friday! A big part of Thanksgiving – in addition to being with family – is enjoying food. Don’t beat yourself up if you went a little crazy on mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. It’s a new day and a new opportunity to enjoy one of the main things for which we should be thankful – our great outdoors.

Several of our local and state parks are offering “Gobble Wobbles” and other hikes today. There’s still some fall color out there, folks! You can get moving, see great scenery and maybe even learn a few things about our area from our knowledgeable rangers.

Ever wonder what kind of military maneuvers took place at Fort Sanders? There’s an easy three-mile history hike starting at 1 p.m. today at the Third Creek Greenway. Sounds a lot more fun than standing in Black Friday checkout lines.

As always, our running and cycling communities have plenty of activities lined up. You can be as competitive or contemplative as you want to be.

And family time is far from over. Some of our community’s most beloved outdoor events come around during the holiday season.

Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice returns to Market Square today, continuing through Jan. 5. Rent a pair of skates and get ready to make some moves on the city’s annual temporary ice rink. Remember, every fall builds your confidence once you get back up – or so I’m told. And if it doesn’t, a cup of hot chocolate will make it all feel better.

The annual Light the Park is up and running at Farragut’s Founders Park at Campbell Station. Enjoy thousands of lights as you stroll through the park and let your kids drop off letters to Santa. Enjoy some snacks and look for friends as you begin or renew a beautiful holiday tradition. The light show runs through Jan. 1.

OK, I’ll admit, even I don’t feel compelled to be outside all the time, and something caught my eye that sounds like it could be either horrifying or hilarious. It’s the Wiener Dog Races, Part One, at 7:30 tonight at the Civic Coliseum.

Before the Knoxville Ice Bears take on the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, feisty little dachshunds will take to the ice in a competition that’s definitely gone to the dogs. I just want to know if they run goal to goal or side to side. I’m hoping it’s the short-and-sweet course. Otherwise …

Make this holiday season your season of outdoor adventures. Get the scoop on fun opportunities in the Outdoor Knoxville calendar.

Carol Evans is executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to ensuring that our community enjoys exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces, and that those assets exist for generations to come.


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