Holiday lights just around the corner

Mike DonilaFun Outdoors

We have started ironing out the details for this year’s Holiday Festival of Lights at the Cove at Concord Park. Yes, it will happen! This is one of the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department’s biggest events, and we’ve hosted it for 21 years straight! Like last year, we expect to hold it through the entire month of December from 6-9  p.m., but we are looking into possibly kicking it off an hour early on the first day with a hot dog grill out.

We should have more details in the next week or two. As always, the festival will be free and open to the public. You can bring your pets, but please keep them on a leash. The event, which is also sponsored by the Knox County Mayor’s Office and B97.5 FM, 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.  The event in 2018 raised $2,700 and four barrels of non-perishable food. We hope to set another record this year!

In the meantime, the parks and rec staff has spent a lot of the past week working on playgrounds, which are open again, and mowing parks (the mowing seasons is almost over). In addition, our crews have begun winterizing most of the restrooms throughout the parks system. We will begin de-winterizing in March.

Knox County EPW truck

In other news, the Engineering and Public Works Department last year purchased a new jet-vac truck, which is designed to expedite the maintenance operations of our stormwater infrastructure. This truck uses high pressure jets to break up the hardened sediment in our drainage pipes and uses an industrial vacuum to suck the material out of the pipe as it goes. The tank mounted on the chassis of the truck collects the sediment for disposal off site, which limits the additional cleanup on citizens’ property thereby saving time and resources. This expedites these projects by eliminating the need for additional equipment and labor to clean up the muck from the flushing process. So far, the truck has worked like a dream!

Engineering and Public Works crews also worked on:

  • Barnard Road – Installation of guardrail and final asphalt surface (only lacking the striping to fully complete)
  • Dry Gap Pike – Cleared sight distance obstructions at Emerald Pointe

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.


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