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16th Vestival pays tribute to Knoxville’s 225th Birthday

vestival 2016The 16th annual Vestival is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. Image courtesy of

“Then and Now” is the theme of the 16th Annual Vestival, South Knoxville Arts and Heritage Festival, sponsored by Candoro Arts & Heritage Center The event will be held Saturday, May 7, 11 am to 7 pm on the grounds of Knoxville’s Historic Candoro Marble Building off Martin Mill Pike in the historic neighborhood of Vestal. A Friday evening reception on May 6th (6 to 9 pm) serves as the official kickoff event prior to Vestival 2016. The birthday theme will include balloons and birthday cake to collaborate with the 225th Birthday of Knoxville. The Friday night reception features historic images of Knoxville from the local and much-beloved Thompson Photo Collection paired side by side with nowaday scenes captured by photojournalist Saul Young.

“Vestival began as a way to celebrate the rich heritage of marble artisans and sculptors who lived in Vestal and worked nearby at the Candoro Marble Company. This festival has a direct impact on Knoxville because it brings over 1,300 people together in an artistic way. Artists and musicians have always been drawn to the Vestal area of Knoxville. Everyone who attends gets a sense of the “Vestal Spirit” legacy of the former marble workers and cultural renewal currently in motion. This year, we are also celebrating Knoxville’s 225th Birthday.” explains Chairwoman Sharon Davis.

“From acrobats and belly dancers to local cuisine ranging from Egyptian to Vietnamese, this festival is a full assault on the senses,” adds Chairwoman Davis “It’s an eye-popping experience. Spices fill the air” adds Sharon, “Festival goers immerse in fantastic local music and local art. Anyone with an artistic spirit will appreciate seeing the architecture of Charles Barber and strolling the grounds. This is Knoxville’s premiere event for art while snacking and marveling as Dragonfly aerialists twist in the sky above, children paint, and pickers unite in jam sessions. If you are a musician, be sure to bring your instrument.”

“The historic Candoro Marble building is such an important part of Knoxville history. Every Knoxvillian needs to know that this architectural treasure is the origin of Knoxville’s famous nickname, ‘The Marble City.’”

There will be two stages of local musicians all day, children's art activities, an old-timey cake walk. A traditional Mothers’ Day brunch from 11 am to 12 noon, provided by South Knoxville farmers and Three Rivers Market.

The Friday evening reception and the all day Saturday Vestival takes place rain or shine. Admission is by donation; a $5-$10 per person/family donation is requested to help support the programs of Candoro Arts & Heritage Center.

Future plans for Candoro Arts & Heritage Center include the launch of Pink Marble Trail Tours, an original idea of South Knoxville’s own Molly Gilbert. Keep an eye out for the launch of Candoro’s new mobile-friendly website, which is developed and underwritten by Slamdot.

For more information, visit

Published May 4, 2016

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