Final Second Saturday concerts this weekend

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

We got a couple big shout-outs to kick off the weekly update!

The first one goes out to the latest organization to participate in the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department’s Adopt-A-Park program. Thanks to Adrian Hall Mortgage Team for adopting U.S. Cellular Field! The Adopt-A-Park program is a volunteer opportunity that recruits and trains residents to assist in the general care, supervision and maintenance of neighborhood parks and greenways. Sponsors for years have provided a significant impact on the quality of life in our community. For more information about the program, please go here.

Second, I’d like to acknowledge the awesome work the John Tarleton Park crew performed last weekend during the annual National Youth Football Kick-Off Classic, which ran Aug. 7-8. Did anyone see it? That place was packed! Attendance looked like something right out of the Tennessee Valley Fair! Haha. Folks were everywhere!

Our crews worked diligently throughout the weekend, emptying the trash tots several times a day and hauling off whatever people threw on the ground (and there was a lot of that). On Saturday, the crew wrapped up well after midnight (technically Sunday morning) and were back the next day to work until 9 p.m. By Monday morning, though, everything was looking good. Again, we can’t say enough about their hard work.

Don’t forget that this Saturday, we will wrap up the Second Saturday Concert Series with Leftfoot Dave and the Magic Hats playing at The Cove and Davis Mitchell taking the stage at Clayton Park. The free concerts are held from 6 to 8 p.m. June through August on the second Saturday of each month. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets, lawn chairs and food. However, no alcohol is allowed.

Leftfoot Dave and the Magic Hats plays a brand of blues and original material that spans seven decades from Chicago, the Muddy Ole Mississippi Delta, Texas, and a bit of Cajun spice. You can find more information about the band here. Davis Mitchell is a Knoxville-based singer-songwriter, performer, worship leader and recording artist. He’s been a band leader for many of the region’s most popular bands over the last 20 years including Bonnaroo vets Dishwater Blonde and a psychedelifunk outfit called Mister Skinny in the late 90’s. You can find more information about him here and here.

The Cove, located at 11808 S. Northshore Drive, is the county’s most visited park. It features a number of summertime amenities, including a beach, playground, sand volleyball court, walking trail, and fishing areas. River Sports also rents canoes and kayaks. Clayton Park, located at 7347 Norris Freeway, includes a pavilion, grills, walking trail, and playground. If any concert has to be canceled because of the weather, the county will post a notification to the Parks and Rec Facebook page and the Park’s Twitter page.

In other parks news, we spent a lot of time working in Beaver Creek this week, trying to clear the way for the 44-mile Knox County Water Trail. We also had our electricians at Carter Park, fixing some issues there. As always, we had mowing and trimming crews out everywhere, including Melton Hill and Guinn parks, which we had to close for a few hours earlier this week to get the job done. Our carpenters also had to replace the underpinning on one of the office buildings.

Out west, our Concord Park crew was busy replacing broken or rotten posts and cable around the park and painting over graffiti at the pump house. Additionally, team members wrapped up a pressure washing job on the fences at the park’s Par 3 golf course.

Before I forget: The splash pad at New Harvest Park will be closed for at least a couple of days as we’re waiting on some parts that are on back order. As stated a number of times in the past, this is a problem around the country as parks and recreation departments wait for parts. Even something as simple as replacing a swing on a swing set can take weeks because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also, I want to mention that the department has started a “Team Member in the Spotlight” social media push, so folks can learn a little more about our great team. This week features Deanna Dillon, our recreation coordinator. She has been with the department for 19 years. We have more details on our social media pages.

On the recreation side, we will offer a Women’s Adult Softball League in the fall at the Sportspark on Wednesdays. Fee is $250 for a team to play 6 games and a single elimination tourney at the end if numbers allow. Deadline to sign up is Aug. 20. Email [email protected] for more information and to get registered.

In addition:

  • The 2021 KMYFL Season kickoffs this Saturday with Flag Football from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at John Tarleton
  • AYSO Soccer has a Jamboree at U.S. Cellular Soccer Complex today.
  • We still have a few spots left in our 8u girls softball division at Ball Camp Park. If anyone wishes to sign up, please contact Jeff Kincaid at [email protected]
  • Woody Smith Youth Softball this weekend at SportsPark
  • Adult Soccer at Tommy Schumpert Park

Enjoy this photo carousel of work around the parks:

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

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