Knoxville Lake Life Events Guide 2012


Rockin’ the Docks: May 26 and June 30 • Lenoir City Park (mile marker 602.5) •
If you want a music festival/fireworks show/all-around blockbuster summer event on Memorial Day or July 4 weekends, Lenoir City’s Rockin’ the Docks is the place to be. Food and drink vendors will be onsite, and a children’s play area will be set up nearby. This year’s lineup features Jenna and Her Cool Friends, the RMS Band, Finkelsteen, and Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau. Pets and alcoholic beverages prohibited.

Second Saturday Concerts at The Cove: June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8 • The Cove at Concord Park (mile marker 617)
Knox County Parks and Recreation’s free monthly concert series at Concord Park returns for the 2012 season. Come by land or by sea and see The Atomic Horns on June 9, Half past on July 14, and the Knoxville Symphony Brass on August 11.

Lenoir City Arts and Crafts Festival: June 2-3 • Lenoir City Park (mile marker 602.5) •
Celebrating its 50-year anniversary, the Lenoir City Arts and Crafts Festival features works for sale by 240+ crafters, as well as food vendors and live music. Saturday’s lineup includes Simply Strings, Eric Spurgeon, Pistol Creek Catch of the Day, and Simon Slick and the Grasskickers, and Sunday’s lineup includes Outta the Blue Band, Jeff Jopling Band, and Bo Carey.

Outdoor Knoxfest: August 24-26 • Volunteer Landing (mile marker 648) •
The new Outdoor Knoxfest packs in more urban wilderness adventure than most people get in a year or two. Though many of its events tend toward the more landlocked variety, Outdoor Knoxfest does nonetheless manage to get its feet wet through the day-long multidisciplinary Adventure Race, as well as boat demonstrations and rentals at Volunteer Landing.


Tennessee Riverboat Company Cruises: dates/times vary •
You’ve seen the “Star of Knoxville” cruising by downtown—why not find out what they have to offer? Regular meal and sightseeing cruises are offered several times a week, with special themes and holiday events sprinkled throughout the summer’s calendar. Or if you have your own special event coming up, charter the boat for your own private party.

Waverunner demo rides: Thursday evenings, May-June • Alcoa Good Times •
Alcoa Good Times holds demo rides on Thursday evenings to help match potential riders with the right watercraft.

Concord Yacht Club Regattas: May 26-27, July 4, September 3, October 20-21 • Concord Yacht Club (mile marker 616.1) •
Sometimes you just want to unfurl your sails and get back to basics. Concord Yacht Club hosts several regattas over the summer for boaters and spectators of a certain refinement who prefer a green approach to boating. (CYC events are generally members-only affairs, but if you’re already interested in sailing, why not join?) You can always watch from land at Concord Park or in your boat anchored in the cove.

Tenth Annual KARM Dragon Boat Festival: June 23 • The Cove at Concord Park (mile marker 617) •
In this 10-year tradition in Knoxville, dragon boat teams (20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer apiece) race to raise funds for Knox Area Rescue Ministries. Other activities include Asian cultural entertainment, music, food, and children’s activities. Opening ceremonies are the evening of June 22, race day is June 23.

INT Wake Tournament: July 14 • Oak Ridge Rowing Club •
The “Little League of Watersports” makes a championship tournament tour stop in Oak Ridge this year. INT League members will compete for points to win the area’s division title and qualify for the U.S. championships event later this year.

Tennessee River Rally Poker Run: July 14 • Fort Loudoun Marina (mile marker 602.5) •
The Lenoir City Civitan Club holds a novel boating event each year that’s less a race and more a long-distance nautical game of poker. Participants run their boats across Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes, visiting five locations to pick up cards to build a hand. At the end of the run, the three best hands win cash prizes. Come to the marina to watch the boats take off and return late afternoon. Many boats are on display the night before.

Tennessee River 600: July 21-28 •
As it turns out, jet-ski riders like to gang up and go on massive benefit rides too. The Tennessee 600 is one such, an eight day, 600 mile trip down the Tennessee River to benefit Children’s Hospital of Birmingham and TWRA. Riders will be gathering in our neck of the woods (or fork of the river, as it were) July 21-22, departing on the trip from Volunteer Landing Marina.

MasterCraft “King of Wake” Pro Wakeboard Tour: July 28 • Volunteer Landing (mile marker 648) •
Not only does Knoxville get a spot on the world’s largest professional wakeboarding circuit’s annual competitive tour, it gets the last tour stop of the 2012 season before the National and World Championship events in August. Potential Kings of Wake will be vying for points in a series of competitions, with qualifiers moving on to national and world championship events in August.

Tennessee Valley Rubber Duck Race: August 20 • Volunteer Landing •
Knoxville’s yearly waterborne tide of yellow plastic tub toys makes its return this August. Sponsors adopt a duck or twenty, which on race day are dumped unceremoniously into the water to make their way to the finish line. Sponsorship fees benefit area Boys and Girls Clubs, and winning ducks stand to net their adopters tens of thousands of dollars in prizes.



FIRST, A WORD ON LICENSING: You can’t mention lakes without getting to the great inevitable of fishing, and you can’t mention fishing without a word on licensing. If you’re over 13 and under 86, if you’re not fishing on a farm your family owns or leases, or you aren’t on military leave, pick up a license before you bait your hook. Luckily, fishing licenses can be purchased online ( or at any number of sporting goods stores. The city maintains a brief list ( of local fishing spots, but if you want to know where they’re really hitting, ask a local angler.

TWRA Free Fishing Day: June 9, statewide
Of course, you could always just wait until you don’t need a license. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency lifts its fishing license restrictions and allows all comers to fish without a license on the second Saturday of June. (Children 13 to 15 years old are allowed to fish license-free all week; kids younger than that can fish for free all year.) TWRA and Knox County’s Parks and Recreation department are holding a Kids Free Fishing Day event at Concord Park to help get anglers hooked while they’re young.

Tuesday Night Toad: Tuesdays, April-September •
If you’re into the more competitive side of lake fishing, Tuesday Night Toad is a bass fishing tournament that runs out of various access points across Fort Loudoun Lake. Payout scales with the number of boats in the tourney, and winner at the highest tier stands to take home $1,000.

Bassmaster Weekend Series: June 9 • Fort Loudoun Lake Tellico Canal Ramp •
And if you’re really competitive, sign up for one of the granddaddies of the sport. Divisional one-day winners can pick up upwards of $13,000, and the national champion stands to win $100,000.


Stand Up Paddleboarding: Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center, Tuesdays (evening sessions), Saturdays (morning sessions) •
Learn the basics of stand up paddleboarding, or just get out on the lake and paddle to your hearts content. Bring your own paddleboard or rent one onsite from event sponsors River Sports Outfitters.

Social Paddle: Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center, Thursdays • May-June •
If the seated form of paddling is more your style, head to the Adventure Center Thursday for a leisurely evening excursion on the lake. Boats, flotation devices, and paddles will be available for rent onsite.

Chota Canoe and Kayak School: June 15-17 • Hiawasee Outfitters •
Chota Canoe Club’s annual three-day summer courses offer instruction options in both whitewater and lake-based canoeing and kayaking. The school includes the option to camp out over the weekend, and the Canoe Club offers free paddling trips every weekend after the course over the summer. Weigh your options carefully—you can learn to paddle safely, but you run the risk of turning it into a lifelong obsession.

Intro to Kayak Touring class: July 7, August 11, August 25 • The Cove at Concord Park (mile marker 617) •
Kayaking isn’t quite as simple as one might think. Learn why things like boat fit and posture matter, as well as proper paddling techniques to help you get your craft where you want it to go. Shore and water lessons will be given, so prepare to get wet.

Concord Sailing Center Sail Classes: Concord Yacht Club (mile marker 616.1) • Wednesdays and Fridays, May-September •
Concord Sailing Center offers classes for adults interested in sailing. Students must be able to swim 50 yards without a life jacket. Keelboat Certification tests are offered at the end of the course. Class space availability limited.

TWRA Boating Safety Courses:
You wouldn’t try to drive a car without a license and some training, would you? TWRA boating safety courses are held at a number of TWRA-approved locations over the summer. Don’t test your luck and run afoul of an enforcement agent—grab a black pen, your Social Security card, and your mandatory Type 600 Boating Safety Exam Permit, and study up for the exam at one of these locations instead.

Gander Mountain
Two-night class with test on second night

May 22-23, June 12-13, June 26-27, July 10-11,

July 24-25, Aug. 14-15, Aug. 28-29, Sept 11-12, Oct. 9-10, Nov. 13-14, Dec. 11-12

6 p.m.- 9 p.m.

Sea Ray of Knoxville
Four-day class

May 15, May 17, May 22, May 24

6:15 p.m.-9 p.m.

Additional cost for class

Contact Larry Martin at 865-977-4139

or e-mail at

Concord Marina
May 19, 9 a.m.

Fox Road Marina
May 26, 9 a.m.

Pre-register: Chris King at 865-966-9422

Concord Marina
Four-day class

June 19, June 21, June 26, June 28

6:15 p.m.-9 P.m.

Additional cost for class

Contact Larry Martin at 865-977-4139

or e-mail at

John Sevier Hunter Education Center
Fourth Tuesday of each month (6 p.m.-9 p.m.)

Call (865) 594-6279 to pre-register.


CALHOUN’S ON THE RIVER: 400 Neyland Drive • 865-673-3355 •
Happy Hour: 4 p.m.-7 p.m., Mon-Fri

May 25, 9 p.m. - Neon Bloom, covers

May 26, 9 p.m. - Taboo, covers

May 27, 9 p.m. - The Griffins

May 28, 9 p.m. - Kitty Wampus, Rock/Blues

CALHOUN’S FORT LOUDOUN, LENOIR CITY: 4550 City Park Dr. • 865-988-9838 •

May 25, 8 p.m. - The Kincaid Band

May 26, 8 p.m. - Neon Bloom

May 27, 8 p.m. - Tall Paul

May 28, 8 p.m. - Ramajay Intercoastal

FOX ROAD MARINA - BAMBOO BAR: mile marker 617,
Happy hour: Saturdays 6 p.m.-9 p.m.. Food and drink specials.

May 26 - Denver Stevens, singer/songwriter

June 2 - Your Brand

LAKESIDE TAVERN: mile marker 16 • 10911 Concord Park Dr. • 865-671-2980 •
1/2 Price Wine Night: Every Monday. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.. $3 off appetizers, 1.2 price draft beer, house wine, house and call highballs at the bar.

RUTH’S CHRIS: 950 Volunteer Landing Lane • 865-546-4696 •
Ruth’s Prime Hour: Nightly before 6:30 p.m.. Food and drink specials.

SWEET P’S BARBECUE AND SOUL HOUSE: mile marker 635.5 • 3725 Maryville Pike • 865-247-7748 •
Songwriters in the Soul House:

May 25 - Geoff Achison

VOLUNTEER LANDING MARINA - PIRATE’S COVE TIKI BAR: mile marker 648 • 956 Volunteer Landing Lane •
Grand Opening May 25, food and drink specials.

Live music, Saturdays 7 p.m.-10 p.m., food and drink specials.

May 26 - Matt Tillery

June 2 - Denver Stevens

WILLY’S: mile marker 612.4 • 2600 Whitten Lane • 865-288-3480 •
Happy Hour: Mon-Sun, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.. $2 domestic bottles, $3 import bottles, $1 off cocktails, food specials.

Karaoke: Thursday nights, 7 p.m..

Summer Kick-Off Party: Sunday, May 27. Food and drink specials all day, music (TBA), fireworks show at dusk.