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10 About Town: Beers with bears, fair food-to-go and a virtual wine festival

Event organizers are getting creative to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020

UT Gardens is hosting a Parent-Child Creative Dance on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The event is designed for children ages 3-6 and is taught by Registered Somatic Movement Educator Angela Hill. Class participants will be spaced out at a safe distance. Registration costs $10 per family.

Every Thursday in September, Zoo Knoxville is hosting Craft Bear Nights, featuring craft beers from local breweries, a food truck and an Octoberfest-inspired menu from their own chef. The fun lasts from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. each evening.

Friday, Sept. 11, 2020

The Actors at The Knoxville Children’s Theater will bring a popular Louis Sachar book to life with their upcoming production of ‘Holes.’ The play runs from Sept. 11-20. Due to social distancing, tickets are limited, and opening night is already sold out.

While the Tennessee Valley Fair isn’t happening in the traditional format this year, there are still several small events happening this weekend, including the Junior Dairy Show, Junior Beef Show, a cornhole competition and fair food to-go. Friday is the deadline to sign up for the Tennessee Valley Fair’s cornhole competition, which is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Chilhowee Park. The entry fee is $30 for singles and $50 for a team of two.  If you’re craving fried fair food, there will be vendors selling funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos and other fair staples at the fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020

The Market Square Farmers' Market is in a new location this year. On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., shop local produce, art, meat and more at Mary Costa Plaza outside the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. The first hour is reserved for elderly and immune-compromised shoppers.

Kickstand Community Bike Shop will host a bicycle safety course Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. in the shop’s parking lot on North Broadway. Register for the $15 class at kickstandknoxville@gmail.com.

The Maker City Summit is virtual this year. For two days, there will be multiple lectures and workshops to help makers and potential makers operate a successful business and connect with one another. Registration costs $35.

Saturday is the 2nd annual Carpetbag Theatre Day. Former Mayor Madeline Rogero and the 111th General Assembly officially named Sept. 12th as Carpetbag Theatre Day in 2019. To celebrate, there will be a Facebook Live screening of ‘Red Summer’ on Saturday with a question and answer session afterward.

The annual Nine Lakes Wine Festival is semi-virtual this year. Participating wineries created virtual tasting videos to help customers decide what type of wine they’d like to order at the Winemaker’s Market on Saturday since there will not be tastings at the event. The Winemaker’s Market will be set up at Melton Lake Park in Oak Ridge on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and guests can shop for wines that are not sold in stores.  Tickets are $13, and proceeds benefit United Way of Anderson County.  

The Knoxville Track Club’s six-pack beer run series that was originally scheduled for the spring, is back on. The weekly run series kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. at Blackberry Farm Brewery in Maryville. Each week there will be a new two to four-mile course mapped out at a local brewery, and participants can complete it at their leisure. Prizes and discounts are available for runners who complete all six runs.

Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020

The Ijams Nature Center's annual Symphony In the Park concert is Sunday, but like many 2020 events, it’s undergone some changes. This year, the event will be streamed online for concert-goers to enjoy from home instead of in-person. The deadline to buy tickets is Friday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. The program begins at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday and includes an online auction and picnic dinners prepared by local chefs from several Knoxville restaurants. 

The Eastside Sunday Market is every week from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Walter Hardy Park on MLK Jr. Ave.  Shop seasonal produce, handmade crafts and homemade food.