Friday, Dec 14th


6:15 - 7:15 pm             Photo booths, refreshments, bike safety checks at both staging areas – helmet giveaway at south location

7:15 pm                       Line up 

7:30 pm                       Ride starts

8:15 – 9 pm                 Photo booth and refreshments - Market Square stage (north) location only

8:45 pm                       Announce winner of Best Themed Group

Changes this year:

There will be two staging areas - one on the north end and one on the south end of Market Square. Photo booths, bike safety checks, and refreshments will be located in both areas. 

  • Experienced riders (e.g. people who are confident on bicycles and in large crowds) will line up on Wall Ave from Gay to Walnut. 
  • Families, themed groups, and beginner riders will line up on Union from Gay to Market and down Market to Clinch. Wall, Union, and Market streets will be closed to traffic starting at 6:30 p.m. Line-up will start at 7:15 p.m. and the ride leaves at 7:30 p.m. The later start is to allow time for people to get home from work and then get downtown.

Judging for the decorating/costume contest will be online this year from noon on Sunday to noon on Tuesday! In addition to our usual categories decided by judges, there will also be a People's Choice winner, decided by Facebook likes. The only award presented the evening of the ride will be Best Themed Group. Judges will be watching from along the route at Vienna Coffee at Regas (just after the Gay Street viaduct). Online judging means that if you are not going for the Themed Group award, you can get your photo taken after the ride, if you are running late.

Vienna Coffee at Regas will be open until 8:30 p.m. just for Tour de Lights, so if you are looking to watch the parade instead of ride in it, that would be a great location.

Remember that State Street Parking Garage will be under construction. Check the project's blog for updates, but you likely should plan to park somewhere other than Market Square or State Street garage. Check the map below for other free parking locations.

2017 event summary 

The 11th annual Tour de Lights was incredible! More than 1,000 people participated in this fun, free bike parade through downtown, 4th & Gill and Old North Knoxville. Many spectators turned out along the route to watch and call out holiday greetings. Several musical groups serenaded the participants at the start and along the way.

Prizes for the decorating/costume contest are awarded in these categories, with a runner up in each:

  • Best costume - Adult
    The Grinch and Max
  • Runner Up - Nightmare Before Christmas

  • Best costume – Child
    Elf on the Shelf
  • Runner Up - J Warner

  • Best bicycle and/or trailer
    Reverse Sleigh
  • Runner Up - Horse Bike

  • Best helmet
    Gingerbread House duo
  • Runner Up - Snowman Sleigh Wreath

  • Best group with theme
    Miracle on Market Square
  • Runner Up - Santa's Sleigh and 24 Reindeer

  • Best all around
    Peanuts gang
  • Runner Up - Candy Cane Crew

Thanks to these businesses for donating the prizes: Bliss, Fountain City Pedaler, Nothing Too Fancy, Tomato Head, and TVB. 

Free Parking

The Route

Click arrow to view legend.

Event Staging

Presented By

City of Knoxville logo

I Bike KNX logo

Sponsored by

Mast General Store logo   Three Rivers Market logo               

Frequently Asked Questions

Rules and Safety Information

There are some challenges that go along with riding with a thousand bicyclists. Please see our safety tips to help us all have a fun time!

  • Wear a helmet. Not only is this for your safety, you’ll be serving as a good role model for all the kids (kids under age 16 are required to wear helmets by law).
  • By law, your bike should be equipped with a front white headlight and red rear reflector.
  • Make sure your bike is in proper and safe condition before the ride. There will be free safety checks available on Market Square between 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. but it’s best to have your bike checked before the last minute. TIP: Make sure your tires have enough air!


All Decked Out!

Costume ContestCheck out our Facebook albums for photos of all our winners! 

Here are links to media coverage and videos for 2017:

CTV video
Inside of Knoxville blog post
Knoxville News Sentinel videophoto gallery and article
Instagram photos and videos 

2016 You Tube video of the #worldslargestbikepoweredsanta 

Need some inspiration?

Check out the galleries from previous year's events. Bring your "A" game, the competition gets tougher every year!

Highlights from the 2016 Tour De Lights

8th Annual Tour de Lights from Community Television Knoxville on Vimeo.