2016 Tour de Lights
December 16, 7 p.m., Market Square
*Free bike safety checks and judging for the decorating contest start at 6 p.m.
Join us for this fun, free bike parade through downtown, 4th & Gill and Old North Knoxville. Riders are encouraged to get creative with lights, costumes and decorations. The route is about 5 miles long and takes about an hour to ride at a casual pace. All streets will be completely closed for the event. Hot cocoa and treats are available thanks to Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market. You can RSVP on Facebook, but you don't need to register.
Prizes are awarded at 8:15 p.m. in these categories:
- Best costume - Adult
- Best costume - Child
- Best bicycle and/or trailer
- Best helmet
- Best group with theme
- Best all around
and runner ups in each category
2015 Tour de Lights
More than 1,000 people braved the freezing temps to enjoy the 9th annual parade of bicycles through downtown, 4th & gill and old north Knoxville. There were smiles, lights, tinsel, and zebras galore! thanks to mast general store and three rivers market for the hot cocoa and treats.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is definitely a ride, not a race. The average speed is less than 8 mph. If you start out and realize that you can’t make it the whole way, you can stop and wait for the group to come back by, or return downtown. The route is completely closed to traffic, with KPD officers at every intersection.
It depends on your child’s abilities on a bike. If your child has never ridden on the street, or hasn’t ever ridden five miles (on greenways, for example), this is not the time to try it for the first time. If your child doesn’t have good bike control skills, then he or she should be in a trailer or on a tag-a-long/trail-a-bike. When there are this many people riding together, it becomes a safety issue when kids who have trouble controlling their bikes are swerving unexpectedly. Remember, there are hills, and it is a nighttime ride.
We can’t stress enough that your child needs to be able to pay attention to people around them, and your instructions, in the midst of a lot of people and the dark. Go out on the greenways on a weekend, and make sure they stay close to you and listen to you when you give them instructions.
No, you sign in when you arrive at Market Square. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook if you would like!
Please be sure to allow enough time to find parking if you are driving, unload your bikes, and get ready. We want to leave at 7 p.m. promptly. You can park for free in Locust St., State St., and Summer Pl parking garages, as well as Market Square garage, which tends to fill up quickly.
If you want to be in the decorating contest, you should arrive early so that the judges have time to see you. They will be looking at everyone’s costumes and decorations between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The five mile route departs from Market Square and will tour the 4th and Gill and Old North neighborhoods before returning to the Market Square.
Please contact Kelley Segars
with any questions we have not answered!
Rules and Safety Information
There are some special challenges that go along with riding with hundreds of bicyclists. Please see our safety tips for information about biking with children and guidelines to follow during the ride.
Wear a helmet. Not only is this for your safety, you’ll be serving as a good role model for all the kids (kids 16 and under 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, either by checking it yourself using the ABC Quck Check or taking it to your local bike shop. There will be 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.
We want everyone to have a great time AND be safe! Be sure to review our tips for riding in large groups before the event.