Early risers are in for treats this weekend

Carol EvansOur Town Outdoors

If you can get up early enough, this weekend will be full of hummingbirds.

The 9th Annual Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Ijams Nature Center, with banding demonstrations from 8 to 11:30 a.m. led by Mark Armstrong, a certified master bander.

Attendees at the demonstrations will have a chance to win a Perky Pet hummingbird feeder – just what you need to get up close and personal with hummingbirds at home!

In addition to banding, there’ll be talks about nature and demonstrations about wildlife.

The demos and talks are free. But what’s a festival without food? Food and drink vendors will be on hand, and you can also buy plants, garden items, arts and crafts, and bird feeders and supplies.

Mark Armstrong measures a hummingbird at the 4th Annual Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival.

Armstrong and volunteers from the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society will head east to Seven Islands State Birding Park on Sunday for more hummingbird banding, starting at 7 a.m. Apparently, the early bird catches the worm and the band!

There’ll be a tour guided by Ranger Stephanie Mueller. Admission is $15, but kids 16 and younger are free when attending with a registered adult.

Seven Islands is busy this weekend, with a community river float starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. The float on the French Broad River will head from Seven Islands to Cruze Landing.

Also on Saturday is the inaugural Tour de Blühen, kicking off at 11 a.m. at DreamBikes. The bike ride will make stops at Hi-Wire Brewing, Island Home Park and Blühen Botanicals, ending at Sunset on Central, a free music festival at Central Filling Station.

Details on all these events can be found on the Outdoor Knoxville calendar.

Stay active, my friends!

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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