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(WBIR) Downtown Knoxville is about to be filled with music and food, enticing thousands of people to pack into Gay Street for the Rossini Festival and International Street Fair this weekend.

Officials will shut down Gay Street starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the popular festival will continue until 9 p.m.

The free festival started in 2001, and it's grown larger every year. The street fair typically includes four outdoor entertainment stages, a children's fun zone, and more than 100 booths.

And here's a fun fact - one of the lead roles in Knoxville Opera's production of Bellini's "Norma" is a former NFL star. Ta'u Pupu'a played for the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens as defensive end. He will take the stage Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

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