This was just one of the friendly — and funny — llamas at World’s Fair Park Saturday for the Great Llama Race. It was a hoot!
Wow, I just hope this coming weekend is as much fun as last weekend was! If you didn’t have a good time in Knoxville last weekend, you just weren’t paying attention.
Not only was there the Rhythm and Blooms Festival, which provided scores of entertainers of many kinds at a wide variety of venues, but country diva Emmylou Harris performed an intimate fundraiser for 150 folks on the stage of the Tennessee Theatre; the Knoxville Symphony Pops Orchestra played the music of Queen to a full house at the Civic Auditorium; Chalk Walk jammed Krutch Park and Market Square; and the Great Llama Race brought hundreds of humans and llamas to World’s Fair Park. It all was phenomenal.
As you know, I love Knoxville all year round. But this time of year is just the tops, when we all are shaking off the winter doldrums and we have the anticipation of all the camaraderie that summer brings literally hanging in the air. Here’s just a glimpse at some of last weekend’s entertainments.
The great weekend started Friday night with Stars on Stage, a fundraiser for the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation.
Emmylou Harris performing at a fundraiser for the Tennessee Theatre. (Photo courtesy of the Tennessee Theatre, by Eric L. Smith)
(We will devote a full blog post to this Tennessee Theatre event shortly.) Saturday, we headed to World’s Fair Park for the Great Llama Race.
I have fallen in love with llamas! They are so cute and friendly.
The Great Llama Race, now in its seventh year, raises funds for Casa de Sara, an international nonprofit with headquarters in Knoxville. All of Casa de Sara’s proceeds from this year’s race will go to sponsor its elementary school in La Guardia, Bolivia. Local schools got a cut of the proceeds, too, if the llama they picked to sponsor had a good showing.
Even the event’s signs were adorable.
You could take a selfie with a llama, as this fan did.
Or you could get someone to take your picture AS a llama!
Maybe you’d like a stuffed llama.
Or you could ride (or sit on) an inflatable llama.
Here’s my friend Erin Donovan of Visit Knoxville with her race partner, JJ Gryphon. (Photo by Sarah Elliott.)
And they’re off! (Photo by Erin Donovan.)
Here’s the winning llama, running for Tennessee School for the Deaf. (Photo by Erin Donovan.)
Llamas come in all colors and shapes.
Loved the T-shirts!
But, time to move on. Krutch Park and Market Square were home to the Dogwood Arts Festival’s annual Chalk Walk. Here are just a few among the scores that I liked.
A mermaid by Sarah Williams.
This blue flower by Sarah and Ariahna Smith was eye-catching.
Wow! Loved this by Hannah Bingham.
Jessica Langley was working on a very cool fox.
Cody Swaggerty’s truck looked like it was turning out great.
This was an interesting concept by the kids from Sequoyah Elementary.
Cheryl, Lydia, PJ and Joshua Burchett showed some real talent here.
Aww! This was my favorite. It’s by Mary Katherine and Charles Chen.
Hahaha! A llama wearing an Elvis wig standing on the Sunsphere! (Sorry about the shadow.) It’s by Merrilee Guyotte.
Great job by Shannon Stooksbury.
Another impressive piece by Lauryn Darby.
And then, the one that cracked me up the most! “I’m taking the cat. Don’t try to stop me.” It was based on the viral Internet photo of a raccoon carrying a cat. Artists were Michelle Kiely and Brodey Dunham.
Saturday evening brought the Knoxville Symphony Pops Orchestra playing the music of Queen. What a romp that was!
Las Vegas veteran Brody Dolyniuk played the role of the late Freddie Mercury fronting Windborne’s Classic Rock Symphony and the Knoxville Symphony Pops Orchestra.
Our friends, from left, Mike and Paula Browning and Carolyn and Dr. Doug Leahy, joined us on the front row. Alan went to Fulton High School with all of them.
The crowd — young and old, male and female — adored the show.
Here they are on their feet.
“Freddie” came down into the audience for part of the encore.
“We Are the Champions” had Doug — and everyone else — waving and swaying.
It’s going to be a hard weekend to beat!