Best Local Idea: Sundown in the City

Runners Up: Greenways, Knox Ivi, Market Square

Never mind all the grumbling about the crowds and the teenagers and the lineups and how much beer costs—nothing symbolizes downtown Knoxville’s recent renaissance like Sundown in the City, the free music series on Market Square that’s just started its 11th season. From a few hundred people and local bands in the first year to gigantic crowds and big-name draws, Sundown has run parallel to downtown’s resurgence as a cultural and entertainment center. The concert series has also undoubtedly spurred some of that resurgence, introducing the city’s center to people who might not have had any idea you could, you know, have fun downtown. This year’s Sundown reduction—the series is down to five biweekly shows, from 12 in 2009—might be sort of like taking off the training wheels and letting downtown ride on its own.

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