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Weekend edition May 12, 2023 | Shannon Smith

News Roundup | Water parks, composting, and arena awards

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

Thompson-Boling Arena nominated for national award

Thompson-Boling Arena (TBA) has been nominated for the Arena of the Year award by the Academy of Country Music. Located on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, it is Tennessee’s largest arena, the home of Tennessee basketball and Lady Vol basketball and volleyball, and the site of many of East Tennessee’s biggest events.

In 2022 alone, the arena hosted Paul McCartney, Elton John, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Alabama, and Kevin Hart, plus many family shows and community events. Earlier this month, TBA hosted a concert by Lizzo, and in the coming weeks, the arena will host major visits by WWE Smackdown, Stevie Nicks, Breaking Benjamin, Hank Williams Jr., Thomas Rhett, and The Chicks.

“UT is both honored and humbled to be nominated among such a prestigious group of entertainment venues,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Operations Brian Browning. “As the first major university-managed on-campus arena to ever receive a nomination, we remain committed to hosting shows for Knoxville and the region for years to come.”

Water parks, splash pads open across the area

The Knox County Parks and Recreation Department will open at least two of its three splash pads Saturday, May 13, including the ones at Powell Station Park and New Harvest Park.

The 2023 splash pad season runs through Sunday, Sept. 10. The free automated water playgrounds are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, weather permitting.

Dollywood’s Splash Country will open for its 23rd season on Saturday, May 13, with more shade, more food, and more opportunities to make a splash all summer long.

It’ll be open all weekend, then daily operation begins Saturday, May 20, and continues through Aug. 6. The park shifts to a primarily weekend-only schedule through Sep. 10

City expands Knoxville compost project

The City’s Knoxville Compost Project now includes more locations for neighbors to bring their household food scraps to be composted rather than go to the landfill.

Residents can drop off qualifying food scraps at the original downtown collection site in the Old City (227 Willow Avenue), as well as at two additional recycling centers — 225 W. Moody Avenue in South Knoxville and 210 Alice Street (across from Chilhowee Park) in East Knoxville – and on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Nourish Knoxville Market Square Farmers’ Market on Market Square in downtown Knoxville. These are the only locations where food scraps are accepted for the Knoxville Compost Project.

Participants must take the online quiz to receive the code that opens the food scrap bins. Qualifying food scraps are limited to fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, paper coffee filters, eggshells, and nutshells.

City of Knoxville Chief Economic Development Officer steps down

After three years as the City of Knoxville’s Chief Economic Development Officer, Harold Cannon announces his semi-retirement.

Cannon has been instrumental in coordinating the final details of the multi-use stadium agreement, leading the charge on the Developers’ Roundtable, and working to streamline some critical City services. He was hired in 2020 to lead the City’s Engineering Department after leaving the private sector where he served as president and co-owner of Cannon & Cannon for 24 years. He was later appointed to be the City’s Chief Economic Development Officer.

Cannon is calling this semi-retirement, adding, “as long as I have any help to offer, I plan on still being involved.” His last day is May 26, 2023.

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