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Weekend edition January 27, 2023 | Shannon Smith

News Roundup | Music festivals, parking passes, and more coffee

Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.

If you have any Knoxville area business news or updates you’d like to feature in Teknovation Weekend, please send us an email at

Dogwood Arts announces “Southern Skies Music Festival” lineup

Southern Skies Music Festival is back for a second year, with a longer duration and more vast lineup than its inaugural year in 2022.

The second annual event, which will take place on May 20 and 21 on the Performance Lawn at World’s Fair Park, will feature St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Grace Potter, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Black Joe Lewis, Jackie Venson, The Stews, Cruz Contreras, Doc Robinson, Cece Coakley, EG Vines, Kelsi Walker & the Nervous Kids, Brian Clay with Lauren Arp, and Ben McLaughlin & the Mystic Marauders.

Tickets are now on sale, with early bird general admission prices starting at around $93 each. You can grab yours here.

Five & Hoek Coffee opens in Old City

Yet another new coffee shop now calls Knoxville home, this one a second location for a shop originating in Wheaton, Illinois.

Five & Hoek Coffee opened this week at 200 W. Magnolia Ave. in the Old City in Downtown Knoxville.

“THANK YOU for the warm welcome and your kindness and patience when lines were long,” the shop posted on Instagram on opening day. “We are so ready to become part of the Knoxville community just as we have been in our beloved Wheaton community for over 9 years now. Here’s to sharing many more drinks together!”

Great Smoky Mountains National Park parking passes on sale now

Starting March 1, parking tags will be required for cars planning to park in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Parking passes cost $5 for a daily pass, $15 for a weekly pass, and $40 for an annual pass. Annual passes are available now online and in person. Daily and weekly passes will go on sale online starting February 21 at 10 a.m. EST, and in person in late February.

Each tag will be valid for a single vehicle and must physically be displayed. Parking tags are required to park anywhere in the boundaries of the Smokies but are not location specific. Parking tags will not be required for motorists who pass through the area or who park for less than 15 minutes.

Historic downtown parking garage to be demolished

The Pryor Brown Garage, a nearly 100-year-old parking garage on Church Avenue in Downtown Knoxville, is set to be demolished after years of nonuse.

A demolition permit application was filed with the City of Knoxville in December. Knox Heritage said due to its significant history, the permit is subject to a 60-day demolition delay. The demolition delay will expire on February 12, 2023.

The Pryor Brown Garage first appeared on the Knox Heritage Fragile & Fading list of endangered historic places in 2014. It has been a staple on the list every year since.

Knox Heritage said this planned demolition is “a compelling example of what happens when historic buildings are not maintained. Blatant lack of maintenance is a strategy some property owners will engage in that can potentially lead to the demolition of a building.”

Pilot, Weigel’s recognized as ‘Leaders in Labor’

Two leaders at Knoxville-based Pilot Company and one at Powell-based Weigel’s have been recognized in CSP’s 6th annual Power 20 list of convenience retailers making a difference in their companies and for the industry.

“Like in other industries, there’s no doubt the pandemic led many convenience-store employees to rethink their careers. These 20 industry representatives, from owners to HR directors and talent-acquisition pros, saw the challenge and did something about it,” says Steve Holtz, editor-in-chief of CSP, which stands for Convenience Store Products, which reports news on that industry.

Pilot’s Jamie Landis, Vice President of Team Member Experience, and Angie Cody, Director of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Awareness, were dubbed ‘The Dream Team’ by CSP, which writes “Pilot Co. is letting its employees lead when it comes to recognizing each other across a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and experiences.”

Melanie Wilson Disney, Director of Human Resources for Weigel’s, is recognized by CSP as ‘Flexibly Focused,’ reporting “open communication helped the company to understand that its employees wanted a better work-life balance.”

View the full list of Leaders in Labor here.

Knoxville middle school wins local STEM competition, will move on to nationals

A team from Annoor Academy of Knoxville won first place in the Future City Competition, a middle school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program, and will move to the national competition in February in Washington, DC.

The teams were challenged to address the topic of climate change by working with classmates, an educator, and a volunteer mentor to use the engineering design process and project management skills to envision and design a futuristic city. Solutions were presented in an essay, a city model using recycled materials, a seven-minute presentation, a project plan, and a Q&A with a panel of STEM professionals.

Teams have been working on their projects since August. The event was hosted by LDA Engineering at the Zeanah Engineering Complex at The University of Tennessee Tickle College of Engineering. Teams from five Tennessee schools participated.

“Our company is invested in STEM and engineering education, and we’re proud of all of the teams and partners who worked so hard to make this event possible,” said Jason Brooks, CEO of LDA Engineering and a regional coordinator for this year’s event. “We wish the students from Annoor Academy of Knoxville the best of luck in the national competition.”

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