It’s play time on Sutherland

Carol EvansOur Town Outdoors

If you’re not aiming to be out in nature this weekend, the best place to get out and play is going to be Open Streets Knoxville on Sutherland Avenue.

Scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Sunday, May 19, the free event Open Streets Knoxville will take over Sutherland between Division Street and North Bellemeade Avenue (basically from Young-Williams Animal Center to the Third Creek Greenway parking area).

No motorized traffic will be allowed. Sutherland Avenue will become a place for all ages to walk and ride bikes as they get to know local businesses and participate in fun activities.

Hula hoops, bubbles, dancing and food are beloved staples of Open Streets. Restaurants, booths and food trucks will offer everything from fried chicken, barbecue, pizza, burritos, Thai and Italian-fusion food to beer, coffee, gluten-free pops, shaved ice and sno cones.

Community groups, churches and businesses will have booths with info and interactive amusements. There’ll be make-and-take crafts, competitions, prizes and even free health checks.

Free parking is available at John Tarleton Park, West High School and Pellissippi State Division Street Campus, as well as nearby neighborhood streets. ADA parking is available behind Image Matters, 3017 Sutherland Ave. (at Harry Street).

Presented by Bike Walk Knoxville, Open Streets aims to close off at least a mile-long stretch of roadway to let people from all over town view neighborhoods from a more intimate perspective.

The first Open Streets Knoxville was held in October 2015 in Happy Holler. The event was held in alternating parts of town spring and fall from 2016 through 2018. Beginning this year, Open Streets will be held once a year, so this Sunday is it for 2019!

When the weather cooperates, Open Streets draws thousands of people out to play, dance, eat, drink and hang out with family and friends. The forecast for Sunday is looking good, so head to Sutherland Avenue to see what treasures this busy street holds.

Find other options to enjoy the outdoors 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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