Erin Slocum looks forward to the Dogwood Arts Festival all year.
“It’s amazing, the weather is phenomenal, there are so many cool things to do, and honestly it’s a super family-friendly event,” said Slocum, festival marketing director.
Thousands visited Market Square and Krutch Park on Saturday to celebrate the 53rd annual festival.
Kicking off the day’s events was the Chalk Walk, consisting of more than 200 artists ranging in ages from elementary school to adult. The competition was divided into 11 categories based on entrants’ age and number of team members.
Artists had from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to complete their pieces before judges did their final walk-through. Winners were announced at an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. on the Market Square stage.
Top finishers in each category won cash prizes of $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third. Overall awards for Best in Show and People’s Choice awarded the winner $500 and $300 respectively..
Tina Rhea Brown of Clinton has been a big fan of the arts festival for several years.
“ I love all the outdoor activities, the people watching, everyone brings their dogs, the local vendors. I just love the whole atmosphere,” said Brown.
Chalk was not the only artistic talent on display. Saturday marked the second night of the three-day Rhythm and Blooms concert series.
Concerts ran from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m. at venues scattered across Market Square, Downtown and the Old City. Artists featured include The Everybodyfields, The Black Cadillacs and Jason Isabell & The 400 Unit.
The concert series wraps up tonight with shows at Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Barley’s Tap Room and Pizzeria. Trollies are provided to transport guests free of charge among venues. For the full concert schedule and to purchase tickets, visit the series’ website at www.rhythmnbloomsfest.com.
Other musical talent showcased Saturday includes several street musicians and an Elvis impersonator to entertain. Two upright pianos, donated by Rose Music Company, were present for crowd members to play a melody or two of their own.
Combining music and artistic talent, Dogwood Arts partnered with 15 Knox County high schools to design guitars donated by Epiphone. The finished guitars were part of a silent auction to benefit Dogwood Arts.
Local vendors were also present to provide a preview of the 2013 Market Square Farmer’s Market beginning in May. Vendors include Tennessee Moonshine Cake, Cruze Farm, VG Bakery and Three Bears Coffee Company.
The festival is only just begun. Walking trails opened April 1 and will run through the month. The popular motor trails are open April 10-28 and numerous other events are planned.
For additional information on upcoming Dogwood Arts events visit their website at www.dogwoodarts.com.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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