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Magical elves, festive flavors and holidays happenings come to Downtown Knoxville

November 21, 2022

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in Downtown Knoxville with immersive experiences for residents and visitors of all ages, including the return of The Elf on the Shelf® Adventure, Peppermint Trail, ice skating, seasonal shopping and more – and it all starts Nov. 25.

“It’s the most wonderful time of year in Downtown Knoxville,” said Michele Hummel, executive director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “We invite everyone to enjoy the magic of this season and our historic city center. Skate, search for Santa’s elves, snack and sip on peppermint treats and stock up on gifts, all while making priceless memories.”

Santa Claus is sending Scout Elves on an important and extended mission downtown for the seventh annual The Elf on the Shelf® Adventure. Sneaky elves will hide inside dozens of participating businesses, giving a great excuse to explore unique downtown merchants.

North Pole Passes for the family-friendly tradition are available at Mast General Store and the Knoxville Visitors Center. The first 5,000 people to pick up a Pass at either location will get a free holiday stamp for the self-guided adventure. Find elves at 20 or more locations and return to Mast General Store to register for prizes. Participants can share photos via social media using the hashtag #ElvesInKnox and tagging @downtownknox. The scavenger hunt ends Jan. 8.

While people are spotting elves downtown, they can sleigh the popular Peppermint Trail, which includes holiday-themed coffees, candies, cocktails and other creations. More than 90 merchants are participating.

There will be plenty of peppermint and other holiday flavors and scents including gingerbread, eggnog, milk and cookies and more. See all the special offerings at downtownknoxville.org/peppermint.

Other holiday activities organized by the Downtown Knoxville Alliance and other partners include:

  • The North Pole Postal Service is delivering children’s letters to Santa from Downtown Knoxville. Drop off letters in Market Square in the specially painted mailbox designed by local artist Paris Woodhull before Christmas Eve to ensure they make it on time.
  • Experience the City of Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice, an open-air ice-skating rink in the heart of Downtown Knoxville. The Market Square pop-up is open daily and nightly, seven days a week, for children and adults from Nov. 25-Jan. 2.
  • Take an elf-ie at Downtown Knoxville’s holiday photo ops! Don’t miss decorated merchant windows, the winter mural by local artist Megan Lingerfelt in Strong Alley and new artwork at the ice rink. Tag photos with #lovedowntownknox on social media to spread holiday cheer.

For more information about these and other holiday happenings in Downtown Knoxville, visit downtownknoxville.org/holiday.

“Thank you to the many participating businesses that help us bring holiday magic to Downtown Knoxville and to the residents and visitors who support them year-round,” Hummel said. “We wish everyone happy holidays and hope they come downtown to celebrate this season.”

About the Downtown Knoxville Alliance
Ensuring a vibrant, flourishing downtown is the primary mission of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance (DKA). Formed in 1993 as a Central Business Improvement District (CBID), the district encompasses a 0.67-square-mile area and is supported by a special assessment to property owners that is used to make improvements, enhance services and promote downtown. The DKA continually focuses on attracting and retaining a thriving community of residents, businesses and visitors in Downtown Knoxville. For more information, visit downtownknoxville.org.