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Events postponed and canceled in East Tennessee due to COVID-19 pandemic

Events continue to be postponed or canceled, as officials follow guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep communities healthy.

As health officials started to confirm local coronavirus cases in mid-March, several events announced they were postponing or canceling to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

By late April, local and state officials began to release new social distancing guidelines to keep people stay safe from coronavirus. Most guidelines prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people at once and suggest maintaining at least 6 feet apart from each other.

To follow these guidelines, large gatherings across East Tennessee are being put on hold.

The list below will be updated as more events announce cancellations and postponements:

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Canceled Events

  • Knoxville's Festival on the Fourth (Originally July 4, 2020): City leaders are working on plans for a “modified celebration of July 4th” including a neighborhood challenge that will keep the spirit of the holiday alive and provide a sense of togetherness.
  • Synchronous Firefly Viewing Event at the Smokies: Late-April is normally when the park announces the dates for the week-long viewing event in the historic Elkmont district of the Smokies and holds a lottery for tickets.
  • Tennessee Valley Fair. (Originally scheduled for Sept. 11-20, 2020).

    Instead, the next fair will take place between Sept. 10-19, 2021.

  • Tennessee State Fair (Originally scheduled for Sept. 11-20, 2020) Plans are being made for activities people can still participate in despite concerns of COVID-19.

  • Big Kahuna Wing Festival (Originally scheduled for Sept. 6) has been canceled. Organizers called it a difficult but necessary decision during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • City of Oak Ridge 4th of July Celebration. According to a release, The City of Oak Ridge would like to hold a fireworks celebration at a later date but that is greatly dependent on the impact of COVID-19.

  • Grainger Co. Tomato Festival (originally July 26-28)
  • Anderson County Fair (Originally July 13-18)
  • The City of Kingston's Smokin’ The Water 4th of July celebration. 
  • Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run (originally April 16-18). Organizers originally postponed the popular car show but have now decided to cancel the spring event. The fall event is scheduled for Sept. 17-19.
  • The Summer on Broadway Festival (Originally June 19-20): Officials said that the event will not be rescheduled. Sponsors, crafters, food vendors and entertainers will be contacted to complete cancelation details.
  • Helen Ross McNabb Big BBQ Bash (Originally June 19-20): Officials said that the event will not be rescheduled. Sponsors, crafters, food vendors and entertainers will be contacted to complete cancelation details.
  • Hops in the Hills (Originally June 19-20): Officials said that the event will not be rescheduled. Sponsors, crafters, food vendors and entertainers will be contacted to complete cancelation details. Ticket holders will be refunded within the next 60 days, starting April 30.
  • Fun Fest Festival (Originally July 10 - 18): Officials said that the Fun Fest Festival in Kingsport, Tennessee would be canceled due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
  • Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass Festival (Originally May 15 - 16)
  • Honor Fountain City Day (Originally May 25)
  • The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont has canceled most of its summer camps this year.
  • The Summer Kids in Play Program (SKIPP) at the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center: The YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley has canceled its SKIPP program after reviewing guidance from the CDC, local officials and other summer camp providers.
  • Lakeway International Food Festival in Morristown will be canceled this year
  • Feast with the Beasts, one of Zoo Knoxville's biggest fundraisers of the year, has been canceled
  • Fantasy of Trees, largest fundraiser of the year for East Tennessee Children's Hospital, has been canceled
  • Tennessee Medieval Fair was originally postponed until October in Harriman, but it has now been canceled for 2020.

Postponed Events

  • Greek Fest (originally Sept. 11-13) has been postponed, according to its Facebook page.
  • GermanFest Knoxville (originally Aug. 29, 2020): First Lutheran Church and School announced it is not holding the festival for now, saying they are hoping to reschedule it for a different date instead of canceling it outright.
  • The Jerry Seinfeld Performance (Originally April 30): A new date will be announced soon, and officials asked people to please hold on to their tickets, as they will be good for the rescheduled show.
  • The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Originally June 13, 2020): Officials announced the new date for the ceremony will be on June 12, 2021. According to the Hall of Fame, "All tickets purchased by guests will be refunded in full automatically by TicketMaster and the Tennessee Theatre Box Office."
  • The 2020 Visit Knoxville Open (Originally May 11 - May 17): Officials announced that the 2020 Visit Knoxville Open will be postponed until 2021, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Korn Ferry Tour is also scheduled to return to Knoxville in the spring of 2021.
  • Knox St. Patrick's Parade was originally scheduled for March 17, 2021 but will be back in March 2022.

Modified Events

  • Gatlinburg's Independence Day celebrations will go on this year with a few changes. The River Raft Regatta and the Fireworks Display will go on as planned along with other patriotic pop events throughout the day, but the Midnight Parade is canceled.
  • Knoxville Walk MS Event (Originally April 18): Walk MS events through June 30 are moving to a virtual experience. Participants are encouraged to post pictures of their walks using #VirtualWalkMS.

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