Friday, December 15, 2017. 

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.

The route is about 5 miles long and takes about an hour to ride. All streets are completely closed for the event. Cookies and cocoa were provided by Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market. Thanks to our other sponsors: Graphic Creations and the Epilepsy Foundation of East TN.

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.

2017 Changes - We Heard You

After a survey of participants and discussion among event planners, we have made some revisions to increase the safety and enjoyment of Tour de Lights.

  • We will depart Market Square in stages. Experienced bicyclists will line up on Wall Ave and leave first at 7 p.m. Groups who have come in themed costumes will gather on the east side of the stage and leave next. Beginning bicyclists and families with young kids will gather on the west side of the stage and leave last. See the event map below.
  • Instead of stopping briefly to re-group around Emory Place, this year we will instead slow down as we approach downtown. This enables KPD officers to change intersections.
  • KPD may stop riders occasionally to allow traffic on Broadway and other main cross streets to proceed, especially KAT buses that need to stay on schedule. This is similar to what happens during the marathon and other events.
  • If you want to be in the decorating/costume contest, you’ll need to go to the photo booth (across from the stage) between 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. The judges will be there, and you can get your photo taken!


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.