Summer readiness projects, concerts and library news

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

Knox County is again hosting its Second Saturday Concert Series this summer as the Parks & Recreation Department will oversee live music at The Cove and Clayton Park. The free concerts are held from 6-8 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.

The dates and bands for summer 2021 are:

  • June 12: Mystic Rhythm Tribe (The Cove) and Crawdaddy Jones (Clayton Park)
  • July 10: Wild Blue Yonder (The Cove) and Jay Dee (Clayton Park)
  • August 14: Leftfoot Dave and the Magic Hats (The Cove) and Davis Mitchell (Clayton Park)

“We are happy to once again host one of the biggest events of the summer and excited that live music is back in our parks,” Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said. “Folks from here and across the region love the events, and it’s a good chance to listen to music, have a picnic and check out our parks, which are some of the nicest places in the area.”

The Cove, located at 11808 S. Northshore Drive, is the county’s most visited park. It features several summertime amenities, including a beach, playground, sand volleyball court, walking trail and fishing areas. River Sports also rents canoes and kayaks on-site.

Clayton Park, located at 7347 Norris Freeway, includes a pavilion, grills, walking trail and playground. If any concert must 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.

The county will release more information about each band during the week or so prior to each Second Saturday event.

That’s not all, though! The county’s parks and recreation department has been doing all sorts of things this past week!

We’ve had crews working on a number of playgrounds, removing the surfaces at Mascot Park and Tank Strickland Park in order to install new ones. In fact, we will have a crew at Maloney Road Park and French Memorial Park next week to pour curbs for the playgrounds – one of the last things needed in order to put the final touches on the new surfaces.

Our carpenters spent some time at East Knox Park, continuing their work on the pavilion roof. And, our one-man machine, Frank Christian, has been re-striping a bunch parking lots, including Maloney Park, East Knox Park and some of the tee-ball fields at Concord Park. These little things really do make a difference.

Speaking of Frank, he asked me to give a big shout out to J.D. McDaniels and his crew of Mark Adams, Frank Brown and Arthur McMillan for their “mowing and going” jobs, particularly at Clayton Park. Frank said a lot of visitors to the park have commented on what a great job they do!

Speaking of great jobs, Alan Simms and his crew did outstanding work at Tarleton Park. Field No. 1 in particular looks amazing and – as Alan said – “the kids are gonna love it.”

And of course, we have folks in Beaver Creek, working on the 44-mile long Knox County Water Trail!

On the Recreation side, softball sign-up for youth fastpitch runs from July 1 to Aug. 8 at Nichols Ballpark. Games begin Sept. 7. For more information, call 865-215-6600. Also, we are always on the lookout for umpires, so if you’re interested, please call 865-215-6600 and ask for Jennifer.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention all the great work the Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department did this past week. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Lexington Drive – Cross drain repair
  • Detention Center – Sinkhole repair
  • Arborbrook – Asphalt repair along curb line
Knox County Public Library

On Tuesday – right after local, state and federal leaders recognized Tennessee’s 225th Statehood Day with a small march from James White’s Fort (where Knoxville was born) to Blount Mansion (where Tennessee was born) – the library held an event absolutely fitting for the day.

Knox County Public Library celebrated the renaming of the Booker-Neely Microfilm Room at the East Tennessee History Center in honor of local historians and authors Robert J. Booker and Jack Neely for their efforts to preserve and promote our community’s history. The Robert J. Booker Papers are part of the Knox County Public Library‘s Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection. Neely is the executive director of The Knoxville History Project. Booker and Neely each called the room their “second home” due to the countless hours they spend in there, digging into our past at the McClung Historical Collection.

Check out the amazing video Jim Matheny put together: here.

In other Library news, Lawson McGhee Library on Church Avenue is set to celebrate 50 years. Yes, five decades ago, community leaders cut the ribbon on the “new” Lawson McGhee Library, providing a much-needed anchor to the Knox County Public Library system. The innovative building has echoes all over town. Bruce McCarty was a champion of modernist architecture, and he changed the cityscape forever. From Clarence Brown Theatre and the Cumberland Avenue pedestrian bridge to TVA Towers and the City County Building, McCarty’s work represents some of the most iconic places in Knoxville.

Join MHM architects Doug McCarty and Nathan Honeycutt for examination of the impact and evolution of Bruce McCarty’s designs on Monday, June 14, at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The event is free to the public, but advanced registration is required. Register now here.

Enjoy this carousel of photos of work across the county:

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government

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