Some major events and gatherings are being canceled as concerns grow about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in East Tennessee.
Large gatherings across the country are being put on hold as the number of cases in the U.S. continues to rises -- with worries that having large groups of people gathering in one place could lead to elevated risks of many people becoming infected.
This list will be updated as more event cancellations and closures are announced:
Closings and delays
- Visitor centers, restrooms, group recreation sites and campgrounds are closed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest.
- Visitor centers and campgrounds in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed WSR are closed but trails are open at this time. Public facilities limited. The day-use area at Leatherwood Trail is closed effective 3/27.
- City of Knoxville parks are closing playgrounds, athletic courts and fields, and restrooms.
- The Great Smokies Flea Market will close from March 27 to Mach 29.
- Ober Gatlinburg temporarily closed starting Friday, March 20 at 3 p.m.
- Anakeesta in Gatlinburg has temporarily closed and will monitor weekly on when to reopen. Guests that purchased tickets online can still use them one year from the purchase date.
- DENSO is ceasing operations until Friday, March 27.
- West Town Mall and all other Simon-owned malls will be closed through March 29.
- Blount Mansion is closed through at least April 3.
- Belleza Salon & Spa is closed and hopes to resume normal business on Monday, April 6.
- Great Smokies Flea Market in Kodak will reopen April 3 at 8 a.m.
- Anakeesta will temporarily close on Sunday, March 22nd.
- Museum of Appalachia and gift shop will be closed through the end of the month. Also, the Museum Cafe will be open for curbside and delivery service. The dining area will be closed to the public, but guests are invited to phone in their orders by calling 865-494-7680. The Cafe’s regular hours of operation - 11:00am to 2:00pm - will be observed for curbside pickup service. Delivery service will also be available to homes and businesses within a five-mile radius between 11:00am and 1:30pm.
- Museum of East Tennessee History downtown will be closed through April 3. All ETHS public programming – Brown Bags, lectures, genealogy classes, teacher workshops, and student museum tours- have been postponed with dates to be determined when it is deemed to be safe for public gatherings. The ETHS Annual Meeting and Awards scheduled for May 5, 2020, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for later in the summer.
- Knox County Commission will not hold its March 23 work session. County leaders will update the public in the future on the status of the March 30 regular session.
- Knoxville Trolley Red and Green lines have ceased operation until further notice.
- All Knox County Clerk satellite locations (Cedar Bluff, East, Farragut Town Hall, North/Halls, and South Knox) will be closed effective Monday, March 23, until further notice. The County Clerk's Office Courthouse location will offer limited/controlled access and drive-thru services.
- Sevierville City Hall is closed to the public until further notice. The City is encouraging the use of online services. Residents and visitors can also call City Hall for assistance at 865-453-5504.
- Knoxville Rec Center gyms closed until further notice.
- tnAchieves announced March 16 it was cancelling the remainder of its mandatory TN Promise meetings. To remain TN Promise eligible, students (not parents/guardians) will be responsible for watching a team meeting webinar prior to April 3 at 11:59 CT. The 37-minute webinar covers all of the content traditionally covered at the Spring Team Meeting, including an overview of a last-dollar scholarship, the tnAchieves Summer Bridge Program, next steps after college application and the community service deadline. Failure to watch the webinar in its entirety will result in loss of TN Promise eligibility. Check out tnachieves.org for more info on how to view the webinar.
- Regal will be closing all theater locations until further notice.
- Dollywood postponed the opening of its theme park for two weeks due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. It is now scheduled to open on Saturday, March 28.
- Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Pirates Voyage closed March 16. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, as well as Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins, will remain open, the theme park announced in a release on its website.
- Gatlinburg's Skylift Park and SkyBridge are closed until further notice.
- The Comedy Barn Theater, Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, and Smoky Mountain Opry will be closed until May 9
- Zoo Knoxville closed March 16. It did not say when it would reopen.
- The Tennessee Theatre is temporarily closed through Monday, April 6. The Clinch Avenue box office closed, and phones will not be regularly staffed. For all cancelled events, customers who purchased tickets via authorized sellers will be issued a full refund. The refunds will be processed as soon as possible.
- The Bijou Theatre is temporarily closed through Tuesday, March 31.
- Muse Knoxville has temporarily closed both locations (Chilhowee Park and West Town Mall) through Tuesday, March 31.
- All United Methodist Churches in the local area will not hold services through the next two weeks.
- The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter will be closed to the public temporarily. Adoptions and owner reclaims must be scheduled by calling (865) 425-3423.
- Publix will close at 8 p.m. until further notice.
- Kroger will temporarily shift its service hours at all Middle and East Tennessee, North Alabama and Southern Kentucky stores to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. until further notice.
- Belk will be closed to customers until Monday, March 30.
- All Bed Bath & Beyond locations will close until April 3 starting on Monday, March 23.
- Altar’d State is closing all stores until March 30.
- In an effort to promote social distancing, YWCA is suspending all group meetings and activities at all YWCA locations (Downtown Knoxville, Phyllis Wheatley Center and Oak Ridge) until further notice.
- YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center: The facility will be closed to all groups and programming until further notice. The Phyllis Wheatley Center will resume programming when Knox County Schools returns to its normal scheduling. Please contact Kathy Mack, Director of the Phyllis Wheatley Center, with questions or concerns at 865-546-0651.
Club W: All Club W activities are suspended until further notice, this includes the Downtown Knoxville pool.
Domestic Violence Services:
YWCA Victim Advocates will be available via phone for those seeking domestic violence services. Safety Planning, Danger Assessments and other recommendations can be made over the phone to those seeking assistance. Serving those in need is a top priority and will continue through alternative methods. Call YWCA at 865-523-6126 for assistance.
Harrah's Cherokee Casinos closed starting on March 18.
The Sevierville Community Center is closed indefinitely.
Mulligan's Restaurant at the Sevierville Golf Club is closed indefinitely.
Huck Finn's Catfish in Pigeon Forge will be CLOSED to dine-in dining until further notice. It is open for take-out and curb-side delivery and on DoorDash.
- Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival in Sevierville, which was initially scheduled for May 15-16, 2020, has been canceled
- The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony is being postponed from June 13, 2020 to 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 Rossini Festival International Street Fair has been postponed. The organization said vendors who want a refund can contact Don Townsend (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- SEC Men's Basketball Tournament and all SEC sporting events, including spring football, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season have been canceled.
- All events, tournaments and leagues at City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation facilities have been cancelled for the next 8 weeks. Youth Commissions should also follow this request.
- Child Car Safety Seat Check Event - March 21, 1179 Dolly Parton Parkway
- Individual appointments are available by calling the Sevierville Police Department.
- Knoxville Symphony Orchestra's performance of the Moxley-Carmichael Masterworks. The concerts, originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday, were going to be broadcasted over the radio in wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but the KSO said its plan could not be possible.
- Knoxville St. Patrick's Day Parade and Cel-O'Braughtion
- The organizers of the Knoxville's St. Patrick's Day parade and Cel-O’Braughtion scheduled for downtown Knoxville this weekend say the event has been cancelled due to public safety concerns.
- Knox Shamrock Festival
- "The risk has become too great. We are a nonprofit health organization; our priority is the health and safety of our community, especially high-risk populations such as dialysis patients and those with chronic kidney disease."
- Smoky Mountain Winterfest at Thompson-Boling Arena
- "The Smoky Mountain Winterfest event scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled. Please stay tuned for additional information."
- Cirque Du Soleil Knoxville - April 15-19
- First Annual Gold Star Day Out — April 4
- 29 Ways to Improve Your Art — April 3
- Murray Kinsley and the Wicked Grin at Bluetick Tavern on April 12
- Andy T Blues Cruise on April 19
- New Exhibition Showcase at the Emporium — April 3
- Murray Kinsley performance at Bluetick Tavern — April 12
- Townsend Spring Festival — originally scheduled May 1 - 2
- "The event will not be rescheduled. Resources will now be devoted to putting on the annual fall event, Sept. 25-26."
- Knoxville Operate cancellations:
- Knoxville Opera Guild “Opera Up Close High Tea" - March 29
- African-American Voices in-school programs series
- Harriet Tubman Student Dress Rehearsal - April 29
- Alcoa Kiwanis Appraisal Fair, Political Memorabilia Show and Book Sale
- TWRA Hunter Education Classes and TWRA shooting ranges will be closed until further notice
- First Blues Cruise — April 19
- "The Smoky Mountain Blues Society board of directors will be monitoring the changing situation and will notify of any shows that have been postponed or cancelled as soon as a change in schedule occurs."
- Alcoa Kiwanis Appraisal Fair, Political Memorabilia Show, and Book sale cancelled
- Muse at the Mall
- "Due to the economic impact associated with the spread of COVID-19, Muse Knoxville is closing its pop-up satellite museum space in West Town Mall known as Muse at the Mall. Plans are in the works to reopen a larger, expanded location in the coming months."
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
- "For the month of March, and an abundance of caution, BBBS-ETN will suspend all group activities, and we will not be providing tickets to sporting events or other large events.
- "For the month of March, and an abundance of caution, BBBS-ETN will suspend all group activities, and we will not be providing tickets to sporting events or other large events.
WDVX has cancelled a number of March concerts. Get the list here.
- Big Ears Knoxville 2020
- "The impact of this cancellation on the community that makes Big Ears possible — the artists, the festival attendees, our staff and production teams, and the Knoxville community with all of its businesses and workers — cannot be overstated."
- UT Knoxville vs. UT Martin Baseball game at Smokies Stadium
- "The Tennessee Smokies announce the UT vs UT - Martin baseball game scheduled for March 24, 2020 has been cancelled due to the recent COVID-19 developments and UT’s decision to cancel games throughout the end of the month.
- The UT Arboretum's Society's 53rd Annual Spring Plant Sale scheduled for April 3rd and 4th has been cancelled.
- Camp Koinonia 2020
- "Out of the abundance of caution with the Corona Virus situation, Camp Koinonia 2020 as well as the Meet and Greet on Thursday, March 12th will be cancelled."
- All TWRA hunter's education classes and firing ranges - Closed until further notice.
- Knoxville Square Dance
- "After consultation and reflection we have decided the best course is to cancel the square dance planned for tomorrow (Thursday) and the April dance as well. Stay healthy everyone!"
- City of Knoxville Neighborhood Conference
- "Amid growing concerns about COVID-19 the City of Knoxville will be cancelling the upcoming Neighborhood Conference scheduled for March 28, 2020 at the Knoxville Convention Center."
- TN Promise Meetings
- "Out of an abundance of caution, tnAchieves has cancelled all upcoming TN Promise meetings scheduled throughout March into April."
- Women in Jazz Jam Festival
- Tennessee Helping Hearts will be cancelling Gold Star's Day Out until further notice, to be rescheduled at a later date.
- The Knoxville Ice Bears and the Southern Professional Hockey League suspended the rest of the 2019-2020 season, effective immediately.
- The TSSAA is suspending the remainder of the girls’ state tournament and next week’s boys’ state tournament. If these events are rescheduled will depend on the length of the suspension and the availability of facilities.
- The City of Knoxville canceled the March 28-29 Tennessee Valley Cat Fanciers’ 43rd annual Springtime in Tennessee event at Chilhowee Park.
- The Gibbs Ruritan Club 70th Anniversary Celebration, originally scheduled for March 21st, has been canceled, due to health concerns
- Knoxville Opera has canceled or postponed all events through May 17.
- Bonnaroo is put off from June and rescheduled to Sept. 24.
- Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga has been postponed to a later date that's not been determined
- Wolfstock Festival Postponed to September 11-12
- Dogwood Arts postponed all events, including Chalk Walk, Spring Featured Gardens and the Dogwood Arts Festival, through May 11. At this time, the recommendation does not impact the Southern Skies Music Festival scheduled for May, 16. New dates are TBD.
- Knox County Parks and Recreation sporting activities, including youth and adult sports, have been postponed through April 6.
- The Knox County Beer Board's March 30 meeting will be put off until April 27.
- The Board of Zoning Appeals meeting for March 25 has been put off until April 29.
- The April 20 Foo Fighters concert at Thompson-Boling Arena has been put off. A new date will be announced.
- Inaugural Craft Fair at Marble Springs — postponed until May 31 from 12-5 p.m.
- UT Football's Orange and White Game is postponed to a TBD date.
- Minor League Baseball - Tennessee Smokies season start delayed
- "In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season. We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date."
- Girl Scout Cookie Booths are on hiatus through April 5
- Arrowmont Jubilee - Rescheduled for Fall 2020 at date TBA
- Riverbend Festival 2020 will be rescheduled for a later date
- "We will announce the scheduled date for the festival and additional details soon. All purchases will be honored for the future date."
- 12th Annual Antique Appraisal Fair & Show in Greeneville - postponed until late June
- Made for More Women's Expo 2020 - a new date will be published as soon as details are available.
- "Our Expo will not occur on March 28th as scheduled due to the current public health concerns. A new date will be published as soon as details are available. Your event fee can be applied to the rescheduled event or a refund can be issued."
- The City of Knoxville postponed the SADA Baby concert at the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park. Ticket holders will be notified when the promoter reschedules.
- Family Pet Portrait Day postponed to a later date, yet to be determined.
- Record Store Day postponed to June 20.
- The Town of Farragut has postponed the Health and Wellness Fair, previously scheduled for Saturday, March 28, and Farragut Book Fest for Children, previously scheduled for Saturday, April 4. Two invitation-only events, Farragut's 40th Anniversary Exhibit and Movie Premiere and the Farragut Committee/Volunteer Banquet, have also been postponed.
- Knoxville Opera Postponements
- Knoxville Opera Rossini Festival International Street Fair — April 18
- Harriet Tubman Performances — May 1 and 3
- Knoxville Opera Guild Croquet Tournament — May 17
COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.
Why is everything being cancelled?
Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and others are urging people to limit their exposure to large crowds and groups of people to prevent the spread of the virus.
Two terms you are likely hearing more frequently are "flatten the curve' and 'social distancing.' The terms describe the importance of public and individual efforts to control a new disease with no vaccine and limit its spread via person-to-person contact.
'Flatten the curve' is an effort to prevent hospitals from being overburdened. The speed at which the disease spreads could overwhelm the health care system if cases spike too quickly and they receive more patients than they can care for. By 'flattening the curve' by reducing exposure, it reduces the speed new cases occur, limiting such a scenario and allowing response and life-saving treatment efforts to happen without overburdening hospitals.
'Social distancing' is what you are seeing with these cancellations. Organizations are canceling these events out of precaution both for safety and to prevent a potentially rapid spread. The more people that gather in one place, the greater the risk there is for this disease to spread. Health experts say this kind of self-containment strategy is crucial in efforts to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and diseases like it.