Volunteer Landing

 

    

Volunteer Landing is a park as well as a place of performance in its own right, and it is also a walkway that connects different areas of the city.  The one-mile river walk begins near the University of Tennessee and culminates in close proximity to downtown Knoxville, all the while running along the Tennessee River, a distinct landmark in this area.  The venue is an interactive path within the city that links districts that might otherwise have no connection.    

water features at Volunteer Landing

 Volunteer Landing sits alongside the section of river that flows past downtown Knoxville.  The walkway is attached to the greenway and is a great place to take a break from walking, running, or bicycling.  The park offers swings, green spaces, and water features that are enjoyable for people of all ages.  The path is conveniently within walking distance of many other attractions Knoxville offers.  From the river walk, Thompson-Boling Arena, the Tennessee Theatre, Market Square, and many other venues are easily accessible.
 
     Like many of the places it connects, Volunteer Landing provides an excellent space to hold a myriad of events.  Two events that are held here annually are Wine on the Water, a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, and Boomsday, the nation’s largest Labor Day fireworks festival.  On Saturdays in the fall, the “Vol Navy” docks at the marina connected to the walkway.  The “Vol Navy” is a group of boaters that congregates on game days to celebrate the traditions of Tennessee football.  Football not only brings boaters to Volunteer Landing, many other fans choose to assemble on the promenade as well.  On days such as these, Benjamin’s concept of the flaneur is very pertinent to the venue.  It is enjoyable to simply stroll along the walkway and soak in everything that is happening.  In addition to fundraisers, festivals, and football fans, weddings and receptions are occasionally held at Volunteer Landing.
 

musical events could be held on this stage

While many events that are held on the walkway have a musical component, performances that are solely musical or theatrical have never been held at this venue.  Just because it has never happened does not mean that it is not possible.  Underneath the main tower, a natural stage forms.  This stage could be used for these types of performances.  It is an untraditional venue, but it holds many possibilities.  Because of its flexible nature, Volunteer Landing has the potential to host a multitude of events.    

In addition to being a park and place of performance, Volunteer Landing is a history center.  Along the walkway, there are periodically kiosks, like the one on the left, that explain a historical fact about the river.  Near the end of the river walk a statue, seen on the right, stands to honor the signing of the Treaty of the Holston.  This treaty was signed on July 2, 1791.  It established that the Cherokee nation was the protectorate of the United States and that the US would manage all foreign affairs of the Cherokee.  Henry Knox, the Secretary of War at this time, signed an addendum to the treaty.  The city of Knoxville is named in his honor. 

Kelley Combs

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