Knoxville's 11th annual Tour de Lights bicycle parade is set for Friday, Dec. 15.

Every year, riders dressed in colorful costumes and decked out bikes join the parade, which starts and ends in Market Square.

Anyone who'd like to be judged for the decorating contest should check in at the photo booth in Market Square at 5:30 p.m. They will give out awards for Best Costume (Adult and Child), Best Bicycle and/or Trailer, Best Helmet, Best Group with Theme, and Best All Around.

Experienced bicyclists will line up on Wall Avenue between Gay Street and the alley behind Blue Coast Grill and Bar, and be the first to depart at 7 p.m. Groups in themed costumes will gather on the east side of the Market Square stage and leave next. Beginner bicyclists and families with young kids will gather on the west side of the stage and leave last. Volunteers will be on hand to help participants find the correct gathering areas.

At the end of the parade in Market Square, Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market will provide hot cocoa and cookies for participants.

The route will include Gay Street, Broadway, and others. You can see the entire route here. There will be some street closures for the event, so drivers should be aware. KPD officers will be on hand to direct traffic and keep everyone safe.

  • Wall Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 6 p.m, however traffic from Market Square Garage will be allowed to exit to Walnut; alternate access to the garage is available via Walnut Street.
  • A rolling roadblock will be in effect along the parade route between 7 and 8 p.m., with occasional delays at major intersections, including Summit Hill Drive and Gay Street, Fifth Avenue and Gay, Central Street and Fourth Avenue, Wells Avenue at Broadway, and Glenwood Avenue at Broadway.
  • Patience from neighbors along the route is requested, and access to driveways will be allowed by officers when there are gaps in the parade.