In its fourth year, Knoxville's downtown New Year's celebration has turned into a bona fide civic event, a day-long, family-friendly extravaganza spanning downtown. First Night Knoxville starts with children's events at the East Tennessee History Center at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, and runs through a midnight ball-drop and fireworks on Market Square.
Scheduled performers include Knoxville expats Mark Lamb, the founder of Circle Modern Dance, singer/songwriters Jodie Manross and Louise Mosrie, Sara Schwabe, who will reunite with her Yankee Jass Band, and all-around instrumentalist Phil Pollard. Also on the schedule: Sean McCullough, performing music from his brand-new CD of children's music and with his grown-up band the LoneTones, Greg Horne, Four Leaf Peat, Knoxville Opera, Matt Morelock, Taylor Brown and Company, and Johnny Astro and the Big Bang. Participating venues include the Miller's Building, the YWCA, the TVA Towers, the Square Room, Morelock Music, and the Knoxville Visitors Center.
Events in Krutch Park and on Market Square are free, but admission to any of the indoor venues requires a First Night button. Button are $15 ($20 on Dec. 31) and are available at Pilot stores, downtown retailers, and at the First Night Knoxville website.