Rain doesn't dampen 12th Annual Rossini Festival

8:00 PM, Apr 27, 2013   |    comments
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Hundreds carry umbrellas on Gay Street during the 12th Annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair.

The 12th Annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair went on as planned despite the rain.

This year's festival started at 11 p.m. and ended at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Organized by Knoxville Opera, the Rossini Festival includes more than 190 booths showcasing art, dance, food, and opera.

A steady amount of rain came down during the morning and afternoon.

"Working in the rain I need an umbrella," said Chamise Wayne with Cox Concessions.

He went on to say, "No rain can keep us away. It's going to work out."

It is Wayne's first year working the festival.

Linda Frank with Tennessee Valley Handspinners Guild has held a booth at the festival for the past seven years and remembers it raining at least four of those times.

"Well to be honest it's kind of more the norm for the Rossini Fest than it is the exception to the rule. It seems pretty much that if they pick a date, there's going to be rain," Frank said.

Last year the festival drew more than 100,000 people.

This year, Rossini Festival Spokesperson Cindy Hatcher estimates around 75,000 people will attend.

"Last year we were lucky we had great weather but we've had rain in the past and we've always had 70,000 to 80,000 people, even with inclement weather," Hatcher said.

A sea of umbrellas covered Gay Street.

"There was nothing that was going to keep me from going to it since they only do it once a year," Roscoe Phillips said.

According to Hatcher, this is the last year the festival will take place on Gay Street and Market Square.

It will move to Henley Street next year to accommodate for the larger crowd.

Knoxville Opera's production of Rossini's Cinderella will be held at the Tennessee Theater on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

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